5.3/10
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7 user 2 critic

Dancing Sweeties (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance, Drama | 19 July 1930 (USA)
Personalities and relationships are made and un-made in this story about dance contests and the contestants. Precode romances in this short-ish B film from Warner Brothers.

Director:

Ray Enright

Writers:

Harry Fried (story "Three Flights Up"), Gordon Rigby (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Grant Withers ... Bill Cleaver
Sue Carol ... Molly O'Neil
Tully Marshall ... Pa Cleaver
Edna Murphy ... 'Jazzbo' Gans
Eddie Phillips ... Needles Thompson
Margaret Seddon ... Mrs. Cleaver
Sid Silvers ... Jerry Browne
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Storyline

Bill is a hot shot dancer who partners with Jazzbo, until he sees Molly at the dance. He enters the Waltz with Molly and wins first prize - and they wind up being married that same night. Now they are free of their parents nagging and their own bosses. 24 hours - no dancing as in-laws are visiting. 24 days - the Apartment is finished so off to the Hoffman's Parisian Dance Palace. Molly can only dance the Waltz and not the hot new jazz dance so she leaves and Bill follows. They are both unhappy, Bill has two left feet when it comes to romance. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EVER DANCE THE HULLABALOO? These are dancing days! Get in step with the newest fad-the Hullabaloo- as done by Grant Withers and Sue Carol in this fast-paced, red-hot story. It makes the Charleston and the Black Bottom look like the Polka and the Virginia Reel. (Print Ad- Portsmouth Times, ((Portsmouth, Ohio)) 30 September 1930) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has been preserved by the Library of Congress. See more »

Quotes

'Jazzbo' Gans: [while dancing with Needles in the dance contest] Lift up your feet. What are your arms - violin cases? What size shoe do you wear, anyway?
Needles Thompson: [sarcastically] Eights, but nines feel so good, I buy tens.
[Jazzbo rolls her eyes]
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Crazy Credits

Intro: "With some people dancing is a pleasure - - and with some people dancing is a business - - but with some people dancing is life......" See more »

Soundtracks

Hullabaloo
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Emmett Dolan and Walter O'Keefe
Played at the Atlas Athletic and Social Club dance
Sung by an unidentified male quartet
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User Reviews

 
Leave It to Cleaver
30 March 2021 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

DANCING SWEETIES (Warner Brothers, 1930), directed by Ray Enright, based on the story "Three Flights Up" by Harry Fried, is neither the best nor the worst of the early talkies from 1930. In fact, it's an agreeable look back into the world of dance marathons. With a fine mixture of song interludes, humor and sentiment, it's the dancing sequences, which are a far cry from the latter musicals of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, that highlight this presentation. Starring Grant Withers, shortly before his declining years in "B" westerns and chaptered serials for smaller movie studios such as Republic, and the pert and cute Sue Carol, in her only Warners film, being names unfamiliar to contemporary audiences, yet satisfactory for their performances in a quickie drama such as this.

Following the opening titles featuring superimposing young couple's tap dancing feet with no underscoring, "With some people dancing is a pleasure ... and with some people dancing is a business ... but with some people dancing is life," the story gets underway at the Hoffman Parisian Dance Palace where a dance contest with a free public wedding is to take place. Bill "Kid" Cleaver (Grant Withers) is a conceited dancer with nine first place cups to his credit. The very night he's to dance with his partner, "Jazzbo" Gans (Edna Murphy), Bill takes an sudden interested in Molly O'Neill (Sue Carol), dance partner to his friendly rival, "Needles" Thompson (Eddie Phillips). Attracted by her beauty, Bill conveniently sends Needles away so he can dance with Molly instead. The upset Needles ends up dancing the marathon with Jazzbo, losing the contest to Bill and Molly. Because the bride of the public wedding walks out, refusing to marry an undertaker, Jerry Browne (Sid Silvers), manager of the palace, substitutes Bill and Molly instead. Regardless of being perfect strangers and having similar backgrounds in life, they go on with the wedding and new life together. After meeting their parents, Bill and Molly find a place of their own. Troubles arise when Bill begins to miss his freedom going to dance marathons with Jazzbo, only to scheme his way to step out without ruining his marriage.

Others in the cast include Tully Marshall ("Pa" Cleaver); Margaret Seddon ("Ma" Cleaver); Kate Price (Molly's Mother); Dora Dean and Ada May Vaughan (Molly's sisters, Nellie and Emma). Though sources credit Vince Barnett as Ted Hoffman, after repeated viewing, the actor playing Ted Hoffman for its first sequence, is played by Lee Moran. When Hoffman appears again during the wedding ceremony, he is glimpsed to be Vince Barnett. Maybe a mistake in the editing process.

Though not essentially a musical, some good tunes by Al Dubin and Joe Burke include its theme song of "The Kiss Waltz," first vocalized by Grant Withers, then by a male quartette, and finally by Sue Carol. This is followed by a "Hullabaloo" dance sequence before "The Kiss Waltz" is reprised one last time. With its repeated background play, naturally "The Kiss Waltz" is the movie's song plug here.

While Grant Withers gives a conceited performance in the manner of MGM's William Haines or latter Warner Brothers own James Cagney, he gives a sturdy performance, while Sue Carol, years before retiring from acting to become a talent agent, is sympathetic as well as likable. Sid Silvers offers some humor here, but there isn't enough of him except as master of ceremonies. Even for its short length (62 minutes), it gives the impression of being longer with possibly more songs and story that ended up on the cutting room floor. Regardless, DANCING SWEETIES is good enough for film historians to view and rediscover dancing sweetie, Sue Carol.

Available on DVD, DANCING SWEETIES can be seen once in a while on Turner Classic Movies cable channel. (**)


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Flights Up See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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