Amazing Dance Sequences of Film, Part 2

Well, it took me a little longer than I anticipated to get this finished but here it is! Continuing the countdown:

5) Living it Up (1954) Jerry Lewis, Sheree North

As a sometime-swing-dancer, I can always appreciate a good jitterbug, especially when the dancers are as talented as Sheree North and Jerry Lewis! Most people think of Jerry as just a comic, and rather a forgettable one at that, but he was actually a very talented dancer and I always enjoy watching him. You can see Dean Martin and Janet Leigh in there a little too. ;)

4) the Seven Little Foys (1955) Bob Hope, James Cagney
This clip simply astounds me. Not only because the dancers are so well-known and so talented, but because, to put it quite frankly, they're so old! Bob Hope was fifty-two and Jimmy Cagney was fifty-six when this movie was filmed. And they dance so incredibly well! Especially Jimmy. He's so smooth and he has such style. (In fact, I had no idea James Cagney could dance until I saw a clip of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Call me an idiot.)

3) Cinderfella (1960) Jerry Lewis, Anna Maria Alberghetti
Another Jerry Lewis number, this time from one of his self-produced films (and one of my favorites). I adore this clip. How cool is that entrance?! The amazing thing is, Jerry didn't rehearse it. He knew exactly what he was going to do, but he only did it once. Like James Cagney, Jerry is an incredibly smooth dancer. His steps are as sharp as the creases in his pants. ;) And the bit where he's dancing with Anna Maria Spaghetti (as Dean called her) is so cute. I love her, she's gorgeous (and I don't know how she danced in that sheath skirt--Edith Head should know better). Oh, don't forget, that's Count Basie in the background! Could it get any better?

2) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Sally Ann Howes, Dick Van Dyke
Who can forget the stunning "Doll on a Music Box"? Sally Ann Howes is a genius. The whole number is phenomenal. Dick Van Dyke is incredible. (He had to be on wires. There is no way.) When I was a little kid, I thought they had actually built a life-size doll that looked just like Sally Ann Howes. I just couldn't believe that was a real person, and I still can't. Not only is doing the jerky motions incredibly difficult, but try doing them while you're turning around in a circle with one foot suspended on your ankle! (Hint:Watch closely and you'll see Truly push Caractacus into the mirror at 5:23.:P )

And the Number One, Most Awe-Inspiring Dance Sequence of all time Is....

1) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)  Betty Carr, Jacques d'Amboise, Martha Doggett, Virginia Gibson, Nancy Kilgas, Ruta Lee, Martt Mattox, Julie Newmar, Marc Platt, Jane Powell, Tommy Rall, Russ Tamblyn
I was eleven years old. My dad had brought home Seven Brides on DVD and we all sat down to watch it. It was a funny, entertaining film but when we got to the barn dance...well, nobody said a word. We just sat there. After it was over my dad solemnly hit the replay button. It was even better the second time. (As an aside, I love the part where Jane Powell comes in! She was a great dancer!)
The next year, I became obsessed with the film and that dance in particular, and learned it off by heart. (My dad checked the soundtrack out from the library for me so I wouldn't wear out the DVD.) I would prance around the family room with my imaginary partner, wearing my grandmother's bridal hoop and an old gingham curtain tied around my waist. When they whirled up onto the picnic tables, I bounced up on the back of our couch.I always danced Virginia Gibson's part (the girl in pink) because we had the same name and I thought she was the best dancer (plus she was in almost every single sequence of the dance, so I got to do the entire thing). You know, it's still my dream to perform this dance somewhere, sometime...

So, that's it! What did you think of my list? Do you agree or disagree? Is there some fantasmagorical dance number I missed out on? Tell me what you think!

1 comment:


    Love this list!