When Life Gives You Last Night’s Gossip Girl, Make Dancing-Lady-ade

To wash the bile-tastic taste of last night’s Gossip Girl, my friend Brynn and I decided to turn to someone we knew we can always trust to entertain and delight, even in our darkest of ours.  That special someone is Joan Crawford, and last night, she was our Dancing Lady.  

We watched the ending because I’d completely passed out the previous time we attempted to watch it late one night (a belly full of pot roast and a few Joan Crawfords will do that to you, so don’t judge me!).

Dancing Lady is a 1933 musical starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable (who, by the by, is ridicu-handsome in his youth).  I’d bother and try to explain the plot, but the plot is paper-thin, and Dancing Lady is really just an excuse to let the sparks fly between Crawford and Gable (their scene at the gym is a hysterical and sexy in the same breath) while uber-producer of the era, David O. Selznick, tries his best to recreate the magic of the Busby Berkeley musicals.  Oh, and the Three Stooges are in it.  And Fred Astaire makes his screen debut in it.  Here’s just a taste of the singing, dancing madness:

They dance on a magic carpet before landing in Bavaria to sing the joys of German beer?  It’s both obvious and logical to ask, “What in the hell?”, but I prefer to simply ask, “Why the hell not?”  Trust me, it’ll ease you into the total explosion of insanity that is the finale:

Are those dresses made out of saran wrap?  What in the world is with that gonzo carousel?  Is that song kinda ripping off Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet?  And why, oh why is Joan coming out on a separate carousel horse with a powerful wind (machine) and bathed in a kaleidoscope of light as the curtain falls upon our glorious spectacle of theatrical excess?

Oh who freakin‘ cares?

When you get something this inspired in its unadulterated insanity, you have to just let go and love it.  Dancing Lady may be a poor facsimile of Berkeley’s best work, but that doesn’t really matter.  The heights of joy it can take you are sublime and special in a very different way: the Joan way.

It may not erase the memory (nightmare fuel) of bad Gossip Girl, but it sure washes away the bitter taste.

One Response

  1. I so love this entry, Joan Crawford, and you.


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