This week’s mystery movie was the 1931 Columbia picture Ten Cents a Dance, with Barbara Stanwyck, Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley, Sally Blane, Blanche Friderici, Martha Sleeper, David Newell, Victor Potel and Sidney Bracey.
Music by Abe Lyman and His Band.
Story and continuity by Jo Swerling.
Continuity by Dorothy Howell.
Photographed by Ernie Hallor and Gil Warrenton.
Edited by Arthur Huffsmith.
Musical direction by Bakaleinikoff.
Produced by Harry Cohn.
A Lionel Barrymore production.
More information on Ten Cents a Dance is available in the AFI catalog.
Ten Cents a Dance is available from Critics’ Choice Videos.
Last week’s movie was one of more than a thousand to feature Bess Flowers, so I decided to go through her credits to see if I had anything where I could make her a mystery star. Unfortunately, she’s in a group scene and the print isn’t sharp enough for a screen capture. But that’s how I picked Ten Cents a Dance.
I’m going to guess that Mordaunt Hall did not approve of this movie – allowing some positive points because it’s based on a Rodgers and Hart Song.
Nope. He does not approve of such goings-on (March 7, 1931):
Ten Cents a Dance goes no more deeply into the story of the girls who dance for a living than does the popular song from which the new film at the Strand derives its name. It toys insincerely with the surface of the problem. Barbara Stanwyck, who has revealed an aptitude for intelligent adult roles, is as out of place in the Palais de Dance as all the other lovely women of Hollywood who line the rail of this dance hall waiting for customers. And surely it would be a distinct shock to find a millionaire or a college graduate of the types played here by Ricardo Cortez and Monroe Owsley among the clerks and sophomore to be found nightly in the various ten-cents-a-dance emporiums about town.
Sounds like Mordaunt Hall was very familiar with dime-a-dance places. Hmmmm.
For Monday, we have a dressy mystery fellow.
Update: This is Jack Byron.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman. And incredibly enough, she does not approve of such goings-on!
Update: This is Blanche Friderici.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious fellow. He, too, does not approve of such goings-on!
Update: This is Monroe Owsley with Phyllis Crane as Back of the Head Woman.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Bob Hansen (Tuesday’s mystery woman) and Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman).
For “Aha Thursday,” we have two mystery women.
Update: This is Peggy Doner, left, and Sally Blane.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, all mystery guests and Wednesday’s Back of the Head Woman), Incredible Inman (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery chap), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mysterious fellow), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery man) and Sheila (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery chap).
For Friday, we have this mysterious fellow.
Update: This is Ricardo Cortez.
And our mysterious leading lady.
Update: This is Barbara Stanwyck.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery woman No. 2), Incredible Inman (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery woman No. 2), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery women), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery women) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests, peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery guests).