Dance, Fools, Dance

Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) is a pre-Code Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Lester Vail in a story about a reporter investigating the murder of a colleague. Story and dialogue were created by Aurania Rouverol, and the film was directed by Harry Beaumont. Dance, Fools, Dance was the first of eight movies between Crawford and Gable.

Dance, Fools, Dance
Directed byHarry Beaumont
Written byStory and dialogue:
Aurania Rouverol
Richard Schayer
StarringJoan Crawford
Lester Vail
Clark Gable
CinematographyCharles Rosher
Edited byGeorge Hively
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • February 21, 1931 (1931-02-21)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,268,000[1]

Plot summary

Former socialite Bonnie Jordan (Joan Crawford) is a cub reporter whose brother Rodney (William Bakewell) is involved with a beer-running gang. On one caper, he drives the car that guns down a rival gang. Bonnie's journalist colleague Bert Scranton (Cliff Edwards) is murdered when he finds out too much. Gang chief Jake Luva (Clark Gable) is suspected of plotting Scranton's murder, and Bonnie investigates, barely escaping with her life after learning the details of the gang's operations. The criminals are brought to justice.



Photoplay commented: "Again, Joan Crawford proves herself a great dramatic actress. The story ... is hokum, but it's good hokum, and Joan breathes life into her characterization." Andre Sennwald noted in The New York Times, Miss Crawford's acting is still self-conscious, but her admirers will find her performance well up to her standard."[2]

Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $848,000 in the U.S. and Canada, and $420,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $524,000.[1]

Historical note

Several events in the screenplay are based loosely on real-life crimes that occurred in Chicago prior to the film's production, such as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 and the murder of reporter Jake Lingle by underworld hoodlums in 1930.

See also


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Quirk, Lawrence J.. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.
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