Review: ‘Dames’

Heavier on the comedy but lighter on the story than WB's predecessors. There are five song numbers and all amazingly well done. Busby Berkeley pyramids attention in spectacular manner, at times making 'em wide-eyed with his choreographic mating of rhythmic formations with the camera.

Heavier on the comedy but lighter on the story than WB’s predecessors. There are five song numbers and all amazingly well done. Busby Berkeley pyramids attention in spectacular manner, at times making ’em wide-eyed with his choreographic mating of rhythmic formations with the camera.

Three sets of songwriters fashioned a corking score. Al Dubin and Harry Warren have the cream of the crop with the title song, ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’, and ‘The Girl at the Ironing Board’. Mort Dixon and Allie Wrubel are responsible for ‘Try and See It My Way’, and Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain (latter a personable youth who plays himself in a songwriter’s bit) contributed ‘When You Were a Smile on Your Mother’s Lips’.

‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ is one of the two most spectacular numbers with the entire chorus in Benda masks of Ruby Keeler. ‘Dames’ is the spectacular topper-offer with the girls in opera length black tights and white blouses.

Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell again are the romantic interest, and again he is the ambitious songwriter who has just written a surefire musical comedy hit that’s only begging for a backer, and again Keeler is the sympathetic and romantic inspiration. Joan Blondell is prominent in a decorously subdued but otherwise flip chorine who perpetrates a mild ‘shake’ on Guy Kibbee.

Dames

Production

Warner. Director Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley; Screenplay Delmer Daves; Camera Sid Hickox, George Barnes; Editor Harold McLernon; Art Director Robert Haas, Willy Pogany

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Joan Blondell Dick Powell Ruby Keeler ZaSu Pitts Guy Kibbee Hugh Herbert
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