Original UK quad format poster
|Directed by||Charles Crichton|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Screenplay by||E.V.H. Emmett|
|Music by||Joyce Cochrane|
|Edited by||Seth Holt|
|Distributed by||GFD (UK)|
Dance Hall is a 1950 British film directed by Charles Crichton. The film was an unusual departure for Ealing Studios at the time, as it tells the story about four women and their romantic encounters from a female perspective.
The story line centres on four young female factory workers who escape the monotony of their jobs by spending their evenings at the Chiswick Palais, the local dance hall, and having problems with their boyfriends or hoping to find some.
- Donald Houston as Phil
- Bonar Colleano as Alec
- Natasha Parry as Eve
- Petula Clark as Georgie Wilson
- Jane Hylton as Mary
- Diana Dors as Carole
- Gladys Henson as Mrs Wilson
- Sydney Tafler as Jim Fairfax
- Douglas Barr as Peter
- Fred Johnson as Mr Wilson
- James Carney as Mike
- Kay Kendall as Doreen
- Eunice Gayson as Mona
- Dandy Nichols as Mrs Crabtree
Most critics thought the leads were too glamorous for the working-class ladies they represented, but agreed that Clark, slowly emerging from the children's roles that had served as the basis of her early film career, and Parry, in her screen debut, had captured the spirit of young, post-war women clinging to the glamour and excitement of the dance hall.
The film premiered on 8 June 1950 at the Odeon Marble Arch in London, and the reviewer in The Times wrote that "the trouble with the film is that the characters do not match the authenticity of the background, and the working girls, who are the heroines, are too clearly girls who work in the studio and nowhere else", and concluded that the film "is not without its interest, but it does not quite live up to the high standards set by the Ealing Studios."
Unusually for an Ealing production at that time, the film tells the story about the four women and their romantic encounters from a female perspective, presumably the input of screenwriter Diana Morgan. Today, the film is mainly interesting as "an historical piece full of incidental detail: visual reminders of London bomb sites and trolleybuses, and references to 'Mac Fisheries', 'Music While You Work', football results and rationing."
Filmink said " Dors is easily the best thing about the film, playing a saucy minx out for a good time, and does not get nearly enough screen time. The film focuses more on the adventures of Perry, Hylton and… Donald Houston. (It was typical of Ealing that they would make a 1950 Sex and the City-style movie, and spend a slab of the running time focusing on their Mr Big character)."
- The Times, 8 June 1950, page 3: Picture Theatres – Odeon, Marble Arch Linked 2015-06-01
- Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of The 1950s The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press USA. p. 285.
- BFI Screenonline, Roger Philip Mellor: Dance Hall (1950) Linked 2015-06-01
- DANCE HALL Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 17, Iss. 193, (Jan 1, 1950): 99.
- Capsule write-up ("Grim drama but well done") for Dance Hall's July 1957 TV broadcast in U.S. (on WSUN, channel 38 in Florida, licensed to city of St. Petersburg)
- "Mary Armitage's FILM CLOSE-UPS". The Mail (Adelaide). 39 (1, 955). South Australia. 19 November 1949. p. 4 (SUPPLEMENT). Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Selznick-Korda Deal Is On Barter System". The Newcastle Sun (9894). New South Wales, Australia. 17 September 1949. p. 10. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- ""Success" Was "Writing on the Wall" for Ex-Coalminer". Illawarra Daily Mercury. New South Wales, Australia. 4 January 1951. p. 10. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- Gough-Yates, Kevin (November–December 1969). "Seth Holt interview". Screen. Vol. 10 no. 6. p. 5.
- Dors, Diana (1960). Swingin' Dors. World Distributors. p. 30.
- George Perry: Forever Ealing: a celebration of the great British film studio (Pavilion/Michael Joseph, 1981) ISBN 9780907516064
- The Times, 12 June 1950, page 6: New films in London Linked 2015-06-01
- Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.