Dance Hall (1950 film)

Dance Hall

Original UK quad format poster
Directed by Charles Crichton
Produced by E.V.H. Emmett
Screenplay by E.V.H. Emmett
Diana Morgan
Alexander Mackendrick
Starring Donald Houston
Bonar Colleano
Petula Clark
Natasha Parry
Jane Hylton
Diana Dors
Music by Joyce Cochrane
Reg Owen
Jack Parnell
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Seth Holt
Distributed by GFD (UK)
Release dates
  • 8 June 1950 (1950-06-08) (UK)[1]
Running time
80 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

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.[2]


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.[3]

Main cast


The bands of Geraldo and Ted Heath provide most of the music in the dance hall.


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.[4]

The film premiered on 8 June 1950 at the Odeon Marble Arch in London,[1] 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."[5]

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."[2]


External links

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