Born to Dance (1936)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Romance, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Nov 27, 1936 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

James Stewart's crooning of Cole Porter's "Easy to Love" in this musical extravaganza later found its way into the vastly successful MGM retrospective That's Entertainment as something of a curiosity, and back in 1936, the studio had in fact contemplated dubbing Stewart with singer Jack Owens. But although Stewart's vocal abilities are far from startling, his typically bashful rendition actually turns out to be one of the highlights of Born to Dance. Naturally, Eleanor Powell, whose equilibristic tapping remains a marvel to behold, is at the center of this pleasantly screwy if slightly overblown musical-comedy, and her colossal final number, to the rhythm of "Swingin' the Jinx Away," is still "a wow," to use a phrase closer to 1936. Cole Porter's score ranges from the classic "I've Got You Under My Skin" to the satirical (but eminently forgettable) "Love Me, Love My Pekingese," and if Born to Dance doesn't quite live up to the great MGM musical tradition plot-wise, it is still great entertainment. A little-known fact is that Eleanor Powell actually used a dance double, Marilyn Kinsley, in a few shots.