Ten Cents a Dance (1931)

Genre: Drama
Director: Lionel Barrymore
Writers: Jo Swerling
Producers:  Harry Cohn, Frank Fouce
Cast:   Barbara Stanwyck as Barbara O’Neill,Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley, Sally Blane
Release Date: 6 March 1931
Synopsis: A taxi dancer with a jealous husband finds herself falling for a wealthy client.
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Ray’s Review

For her next film, Barbara returned to Columbia for a film that was originally called Roseland, then Anybody’s Girl, before they settled on the title of Ten Cents a Dance. This was the seventh, and last film directed by actor Lionel Barrymore. Unfortunately he was suffering from crippling arthritis that was eventually to confine him to a wheelchair. He was taking medication that caused him to fall asleep during the shooting, and as Barbara commented, “As a performer, you just had to try harder.”

She played a dance hall hostess who knew how to handle a tough customer. “What’s a guy got to do to dance with you gals?” asked one obnoxious customer, to which our heroine snarled, “All ya need is a ticket and some courage.” This was typical of Barbara in these films of the early 1930’s, always ready with a crack, and showing that she knew how to handle any man.

Her vulnerability occasionally surfaced, which is how she makes the mistake of marrying a weakling clerk (Monroe Owsley).

He embezzles money from his boss, Ricardo Cortez who just happened to be a customer at the dance hall, and has fallen in love with Barbara, incidentally this is the only time that she ever played a character called Barbara.

She realizes that she is married to a total loser, but borrows the money so that she can save him from jail and tells him that she wants a divorce, knowing that his boss is waiting for her.

Note: Ray’s Review features in this website courtesy of Ray Johnson, as published in britmovie.co.uk website’s forum legendary Barbara Stanwyck thread. Ray also manages the best forum on Barbara Stanwyck, Yahoo Groups’s Miss Barbara Stanwyck, click on the Forum menu item to be redirected.