Dancing Co-ed (1939)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 29, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Lana Turner is a sight to behold in Dancing Co-Ed, a sprightly if utterly routine little musical programmer. Turner's beauty is legendary, and at 18, she's got the kind of youthful vitality that the camera latches onto and lingers on lovingly. As a showcase for Turner's looks and talent, Co-Ed does just fine: she gets to show off her legs and her way with a comedic line. There's nothing in the film that could remotely challenge her dramatically, but it does give her the opportunity to show that she knows how to carry a film, even one as silly as this. And silly it is. The plot is total nonsense, the kind of "high concept" film that can pretty much write itself. That's what happens here, so don't go expecting any surprises in the plot or any memorable dialogue. Instead, sit back and enjoy Turner and the talented (if mostly wasted} supporting cast that surrounds her, from Artie Shaw and his fabulous band to Richard Carlson, Lee Bowman, Ann Rutherford and Monty Woolley. S. Sylvan Simon's direction is perfunctory.