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Dance Hall [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Donald Houston, Diana Dors, Petula Clark
  • Directors: Charles Crichton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 78.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008LU8O9U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,314 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Digitally remastered, the first ever DVD release of this lost gem from Ealing Studios features a brand new Making Of featurette.

Story by Alexander Mackendrick (Ladykillers, The Man in the White Suit, Whisky Galore!) and from the director of The Lavender Hill Mob and The Titfield Thunderbolt, Dance Hall is a romantic melodrama centred round the life and loves of four working-class women who spend their Saturday nights at the Chiswick Palais dancing to the music of Ted Heath’s Big Band.

Natasha Parry (Romeo & Juliet, Oh, What A Lovely War!) stars as Eve, whose marriage to Phil (Donald Houston, The Longest Day, Room at the Top) is imperilled when she takes a different partner for an upcoming dance contest. Her reasoning is that Phil is a lousy dancer, but she loves him all the same; Phil, however, is the jealous type, who doesn’t quite see things Eve’s way. Petula Clark (Goodbye Mr Chips, Finian’s Rainbow) plays Georgie, whose ambition is to become a dance champion with her partner, Peter (Douglas Barr, Hue and Cry). Among the other familiar faces floating by in Dance Hall are Bonar Colleano, Diana Dors, Sydney Tafler, Gladys Henson, Dandy Nichols and Jane Hylton.

Special Features:

- Making Of featurette
- Restoration Comparison
- Trailer

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the entire canon of Ealing Studios, "Dance Hall" is unjustly overlooked. This is a great shame and hopefully this excellent new DVD release will go some way towards deservedly building its reputation. I imagine in it's day it was "just another film" and slipped by almost unnoticed given it's lack of big star names.

It's an uncomplicated tale of a group of female friends whose social life revolves around the local Palais de Danse, the story focuses on Eve, well played by Natasha Parry and her troubled relationships with the two men in her life - her true love, Donald Houston, who finds it hard to contain his jealousy of Bonar Colleano, her main dance partner.

All the protagonists are excellent, Diana Dors is at her most flighty and attractive, well supported by Jane Hylton and Petula Clark. The cast is full of familiar faces, if you blink though you'll miss Kay Kendall's five seconds appearance! Harry Fowler, uncredited, appears very briefly at the very end of the film.

The photography is very good, full of excellent camera angles, and in this pristine print it looks magnificent.It's taken a long wait for this film to appear on DVD, one of the few Ealing films not previously available, but it's been worth it. Like all this kind of film it's also now a fantastic piece of social history showing a way of life among working people that has now disappeared completely. It's very interesting to see (and hear) Ted Heath's and Geraldo's orchestras, and there is a very pretty ballad, "You're only dreaming", sung by Hy Hazell, which reflects the dreams and aspirations of the girls whose lives centre around the Palais. Local colour is excellent, as to be expected, there is a wonderful shot of Natasha Parry running through the dark streets as a trolleybus disappears into the night behind her!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I recommend it without hesitation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
DANCE HALL is one of several rare and desirable British films yet to be seen at all in any format since initial screenings.

A very welcome release to DVD, particularly as the film elements have been treated so respectfully.

DANCE HALL's existence has been a curiosity for too long and based on the excellent Review above, will be a commendable addition for those wanting to revisit the era it depicts as well as the various interesting cast members.

Many thanks! (For the DVD release and the Review).

Eric GLASBY Australia
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By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 2015
Format: DVD
This is good old fashioned social drama before John Osbourne exploded in the skies above Ealing. The story follows a number of young women working in the factories of West London in 1950 (so still national service and some rationing, but no war). Their relaxation is to visit the local Palais de Danse (Chiswick in this case) which has been reimagined to be rather grander than it perhaps was in those days before Jive took over (it has both Giraldo and Ted Heath's orchestras at work). As with all Ealing dramas most of the stars under contract had problems, at the time, with being credible as working class women, or girls as they are always termed in the period, (Diana Dors being an honorable exception) but one can look beyond that to the detail of their houses and workplaces. Bonar Colleano appears as a louche American rotter. The film is notable for considering the life of the women from their point-of-view.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This dvd is very clear including sound because of the re-mastering. Ealing Studios capture the feeling of the fifties - I was there too! People were different then. Therte was some austerity still, but we were in it together. We were not so greedy, or car-crazy nor did we think of our homes as cash-generating machines! We were kinder and happier people. Ealing Studios always caught the spirit of those times and this dvd should sell well because of that. Natasha Parry though only nineteen gives a poised and sympathetic performance - similarly Jane Hylton.
When I want to step back in time, just for a while, I shall watch this dvd.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 July 2015
Format: DVD
Ealing’s 1950 film Dance Hall comes with high credentials indeed, being directed by Charles Crichton (the film being sandwiched between his Train Of Events and The Lavender Hill Mob) and co-written by 'other Ealing legend’ Alexander Mackendrick and, whilst Dance Hall does not quite live up to this billing, its tale of a quartet of post-WW2 factory-line women, aspiring in love and dance, has enough to raise it above the 'run-of-the-mill’. Crichton (and regular Ealing cinematographer Douglas Slocombe) do a great job evoking a nostalgic age – this was a time where 'youth’ yearned for Benny Goodman, dance-floor etiquette maintained 'gentlemanly manners’, kippers might turn a girl’s head and disdain was expressed as 'hooey’ (rather than 'LOL’). And, even though Dance Hall’s central tale of love, jealousy and thwarted ambition is the stuff of many soaps, Crichton’s film does make some pertinent points around marital domestication, transient relationships and parental loyalty and, by the end of the film, has you caring about its characters.

Of course, the other unusual thing about Dance Hall (particularly for its time) is that it is written from 'a woman’s perspective’ and the central quartet of actresses here acquit themselves well – Natasha Parry being particularly good as aspiring (and frequently distraught) dancer, Eve, in love with Donald Houston’s 'dull’ RAF man, Phil, but tempted by Bonar Colleano’s 'flash Yank’, Alec; a young Petula Clark’s Georgie at odds with her parents; Diana Dors typically brassy (and comedic) as the glamorous Carole and Jane Hylton also impressive as the more mature, but emotionally suppressed, 'agony aunt’, Mary.
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