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Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) is a pre-Code Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Lester Vail in a story about a reporter investigating the murder of a colleague. Story and dialogue were created by Aurania Rouverol, and the film was directed by Harry Beaumont. Dance, Fools, Dance was the first of eight cinematic collaborations between Crawford and Gable.

Dance, Fools, Dance
Dance Fools Dance lobby card.jpg
Directed byHarry Beaumont
Written byStory & Dialogue:
Aurania Rouverol
Richard Schayer
StarringJoan Crawford
Lester Vail
Clark Gable
CinematographyCharles Rosher
Edited byGeorge Hively
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • February 21, 1931 (1931-02-21)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,268,000[1]


Plot summaryEdit

Former socialite, Bonnie Jordan (Joan Crawford) is a cub reporter whose brother Rodney (William Bakewell) is involved with a beer-running gang. On one caper, he drives the car that guns down a rival gang. Bonnie's journalist colleague Bert Scranton (Cliff Edwards) is murdered when he finds out too much. Gang chief Jake Luva (Clark Gable) is suspected of plotting Scranton's murder and Bonnie investigates, barely escaping with her life after learning the details of the gang's operations. The criminals are brought to justice.



Photoplay commented, "Again Joan Crawford proves herself a great dramatic actress. The hokum, but it's good hokum and Joan breathes life into her characterization." Andre Sennwald noted in The New York Times, Miss Crawford's acting is still self-conscious, but her admirers will find her performance well up to her standard."[2]

Box officeEdit

According to MGM records the film earned $848,000 in the US and Canada and $420,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $524,000.[1]

Historical noteEdit

The film is loosely based on real-life events of the production's period which occurred in Chicago, such as reporter Jake Lingle's murder by underworld hoodlums and the St. Valentine's Day massacre.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Quirk, Lawrence J.. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.

External linksEdit