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Dance Hall [DVD]
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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.
- Making Of featurette
- Restoration Comparison
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
When I want to step back in time, just for a while, I shall watch this dvd.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an alright film starring a rather enthusiastic Donald Houston. It is a drama set around a dance hall as the title suggests and really one cannot say more than that.Published 23 months ago by Pam Pike
A first class film and starring the great Diana Dors. Get a copy now that brings back the good old dance hall days which we all used to go to. John McHugh.Published on 27 July 2014 by Amazon Customer
Tried to get this for years as viewed it when a teenager. I enjoyed it then as stayed in my memory. I was not disappointed this time. Read morePublished on 15 April 2014 by Janet Pv Kite
I had not seen this film before. After watching it, I think its fair to say that Bonar Colleano is the real star of the film. Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2014 by essex
Nice to see this forgotten classic has been selected for DVD release. A lovely glimpse of London life in the early post war years from a working woman's angle. Read morePublished on 15 Jan. 2014 by BritFilmLover
Wow! If you are a fan of Petula you will love this for the freshness. Innocence, professionalism but yet just plain fun and exuberance she demonstrates. Read morePublished on 9 July 2013 by david m.
Well worth having in your collection as a documentary of the attitudes between the sexes in 1950's England. Read morePublished on 30 April 2013 by Hugh Wylie