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Joan Crawford and Clark Gable were both in their young MGM prime when they suited up for Dancing Lady, the studio's big, shiny, silly reply to 42nd Street. Joan is a burlesque dancer (but mind you, serious artiste) when she is plucked from the ranks by a playboy, played by Franchot Tone, Crawford's future real-life hubby. Gable is the bluff, hard-driving theater director guiding a new Broadway musical that has room for one more chorus girl. Maybe. It all builds to the opening of the big show, and some utterly insane musical numbers including a Bavarian spectacle and the mind-bending "Rhythm of the Day." The saving grace in these scenes is that Fred Astaire, in his film debut, partners Joan onstage and sings a bit. The movie also has Nelson Eddy and soused one-liners from Robert Benchley, plus Ted Healy and His Stooges doing some surreal comedy. Vaudevillian Healy actually has a pretty big role here, but the Stooges (three fellows named Moe, Curly, and Larry) would go on to stardom without him. The movie may not be a great one, but it gives the sugary flavor of early-'30s MGM, and even a simple scene like a gym workout (with Gable and Crawford in especially sassy form) provides the pleasures of art deco production design and cool costumes.

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Special Features

* Vintage musical shorts: "Planet Nuts" with Ted Healy and the Three Stooges, "Roast Beef & Movies" with Curly Howard
* Theatrical trailer

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WA67904 Dancing Lady DVD (1933/Joan Crawford) $19.98 $17.99