Monday, February 25, 2008

Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)

I'm not sure if this film would qualify as an authentic Scranton reference, but 1931's Dance, Fools, Dance includes a character named Bert Scranton, played by Cliff Edwards.

Fearing her brother Roddy (William Bakewell) has become part of a bootleg gang, cub reporter Bonnie Jordan (Joan Crawford) volunteers to cover the follow-up story to the murder of the paper's star reporter, Bert Scranton (Cliff Edwards), while he is investigating a Prohibition-era massacre.

Bonnie is a former socialite who, after her father lost all his money in the stock market crash, has to find work.

Posing as a professional dancer, she infiltrates the gang of Jake Luva (Clark Gable), working in one of his speakeasies. Flirting with Luva, she finds out to her horror that her brother was not only involved in the gangland massacre, but was the one who murdered Scranton. Luva finds out who she really is, and he orders her killed. Luva, however, is killed after she shoots her brother.

Bonnie, rather than hiding her brother in the newspaper story she writes, tells the whole truth. In so doing, she wins the respect, admiration, and love of Bob (Lester Vail), the man who previously rejected her as a silly flapper in the days when she was wealthy and didn't make any contribution to life.

Though not available on DVD, Dance, Fools Dance, was released for a brief time on VHS as part of MGM's Forbidden Hollywood Collection. To purchase a copy of the video, click here.

Also, Don McKeon recently emailed me and told me he caught Dance, Fools, Dance on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Scranton is said many, MANY times.

The clip below features a passing character saying, "Hello, Scranton!"

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