Dance Hall

Perhaps the closest the British cinema of its period came to a neo-realist fresco: a matrix of low-key melodramatic narratives converging on the communal (rather than institutional) core of the local palais, and on an upcoming dance contest. The diffuse focus on working-class women marks it as a welcome rarity (presumably to the credit of unsung Ealing screenwriter Diana Morgan), and even the domestic cliché situations communicate a lively sense of resistance to dominant social and economic austerity. Director Crichton moved on to some of the cosier Ealing comedies, but working on Dance Hall, as co-writer and editor respectively, were more abrasive talents Alexander Mackendrick and Seth Holt.

Release details

Duration: 80 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Charles Crichton
Screenwriter: EVH Emmett, Diana Morgan, Alexander Mackendrick
Cast: Natasha Parry
Diana Dors
Petula Clark
Jane Hylton
Donald Houston
Sydney Tafler
Kay Kendall
Bonar Colleano
Geraldo
Ted Heath