The 1936 film Born to Dance is something rare for Jimmy Stewart – a musical. Like the previous one of his I reviewed, it was nominated for two Oscars (Best Dance Direction – Dave Gould for “Swingin’ the Jinx” and Best Music, Original Song – Cole Porter for the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.) While the song went on to become a classic, this film never did.
The dance numbers were great (recognize that fellow in the sailor suit? It’s Jed Clampett – Buddy Ebsen in just the second year of his acting career.) and the acting was even pretty good. Unfortunately, the singing left a lot to be desired. Jimmy Stewart doesn’t appear to be the best of singers, nor does Buddy… neither had any range. That said, the humor was great, and while Eleanor Powell couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag… her dance numbers were amazing.
If that less-than-glowing recommendation isn’t enough to make you see it… do it for Buddy – he is a blast to watch throughout – whether playing the fumbling bumpkin or gettin’ jiggy with a tap number.
RATING 7 out of 10