Born to Dance (1936)

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German title Born to dance
Original title Born to Dance
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1936
length 105 minutes
Director Roy Del Ruth
script Jack McGowan ,
Sid Silvers based
on a story by
Jack Gowan,
Sid Silvers,
Buddy DeSylva
production Jack Cummings
for MGM
music Cole Porter
camera Ray June
cut Blanche Sewell

Born to Dance is an American film musical by Roy Del Ruth from 1936.


Dancer Nora Paige has only been in New York City for a short time and has not been engaged when she meets Jenny Saks, who offers her a place to stay. Jenny has been waiting for her husband Gunny for four years, who is in the Navy and whom she married head over heels after a few days of acquaintance two days before he was called up. Jenny became pregnant by him and their child Sally is now almost four years old, but Gunny knows nothing of Sally's existence.

The sailors return home from the war and Gunny announces himself to Jenny with his friends Ted and Mush. Jenny promptly confuses her little husband with tall Ted, who, however, immediately falls in love with Nora Paige. While Jenny fights with herself and her new old husband in the following years, Ted and Nora try to become a couple. But not only Ted's last few weeks with the Navy are a hindrance, but also the Broadway star Lucy James, whose dog is fished out of the sea by Ted. Lucy's manager wants to present his protégé and Ted as lovers because of the publicity, as Lucy is about to premiere her new musical Great Guns! . Nora is not at all enthusiastic about it. When she, Ted, Jenny, Gunny and Sally meet, she pretends to be Sally as her daughter in order to keep Jenny's secret and offend Ted. Asking Ted whether she is married, she does not deny it. Although Ted is still in love with Nora, he now keeps his distance, but by secret tactics on the show by Lucy James, he gets the job as Lucy's second cast. When she realizes that Nora is the better dancer, she lets her fire. At the same time, in the presence of Ted, she forbids her manager from any further newspaper reports about her and Ted, with whom she has fallen in love. When Ted learns of Nora's dismissal, he gives a newspaper an anonymous tip that he and Lucy are planning a marriage. Because Lucy is now furious and cancels participation in her show, Nora can take her place. She shows at the premiere that she is the better dancer of the two.

Nora and Ted finally find each other. Jenny now also has the courage to tell Gunny, whom she has successfully ignored for a long time, about his fatherhood. However, he has now reported back to the Navy, convinced that his wife no longer loves him - and Jenny angrily announces that she will wait for him.


Cole Porter was signed up in 1935 to write his first film music for Born To Dance . The original title of the film was Great Guns! and should be about three sailors who fall in love with three hostesses, one of the women receiving competition from a prominent woman. The original variant was slightly changed, with the star now becoming an actress. Was also changed a scene in which James Stewart and Virginia Bruce jointly skating go, with a longer setting Sonja Henie in figure skating should face. Since Henie asked for $ 100,000 for their minute-long performance, the scene was rewritten and Stewart and Bruce instead watch Georges and Jalna dance in a restaurant.

Born to Dance came into US cinemas in November 1936. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1937 . Dave Gould received a nomination in the Best Dance Directing category for choreographing the song Swingin 'the Jinx . The number forms the finale of the film, is around 10 minutes long and was reused in 1943 for the Powell film The Clumsy and the Beautiful (in the original I Dood It ). Gould lost to "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" from the movie The Great Ziegfeld . Cole Porter was nominated for an Oscar in the category “ Best Song ” for the title I've Got You Under My Skin , but lost to The Way You Look Tonight from the movie Swing Time .

Cole Porter's song "You'd Be So Easy to Love" , which was written for Born To Dance and was later recorded by Josephine Baker and Frank Sinatra , among others , was also popular. In the film he is sung by James Stewart and Eleanor Powell , with Powell's vocals being dubbed by Marjorie Lane . James Stewart, whose role was originally intended for Allan Jones and who owed his engagement primarily to Cole Porter, sang his title himself. "It was Porter [...] who rejected the subsequent decision to have Stewart's insignificant tenor dubbed by a professional singer."

Other titles included in the film
  • Rolling Home
  • Rap Tap on Wood
  • Hey babe hey
  • Entrance of Lucy James
  • Love Me, Love My Pekingese


The critics called Zum Tanzen born " Broadway Melody of 1937 under another name": the actors, the director, the screenwriters, the film editor and other team members would be the same as in the films Broadway Melody of 1936 and Broadway Melody of 1938 . The content is also similar, so here too a young dancer has to fight for her first major role in a musical.

The film was described by the critics as a "loose ... sequence of song and dance numbers". "The shallowness that prevails in most of the film" was criticized. The film service called Zum Tanzen born a “somewhat viscous musical with some extraordinary dance numbers and lively music by Cole Porter; overall pleasant entertainment. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Born to Dance . In: Stanley Green (Ed.): Hollywood Musicals Year by Year . 2nd Edition. Hal Leonard, Bluemound 1999, p. 63.
  2. The German TV premiere took place on February 7, 1988 on ARD. See film service .
  3. ^ A b Donald Dewey: James Stewart. A life for the film. Henschel, Berlin 1997, p. 104.
  4. Jonathan Coe: James Stewart. His films - his life . Heyne, Munich 1994, p. 30.
  5. Born to dance. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used