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Tossed into one of the liveliest medleys of battleships and submarines, songs and choruses, long-limbed Eleanor Powell trips through one of the best musical comedies of the winter, "Born to Dance". As Nora Paige, the New Hampshire country girl, she finally gets a lead in a New York musical show. James Stewart who plays opposite her as the luckless Naval officer is duped by a rival actress in a publicity stunt. Their alternate weals and woes give them ample opportunity to sing such tantalizing Cole Porter hits as "Easy to Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin"' and at least six others. Eleanor Powell sings, taps, and whirls with just about as much appeal as we could wish. Sid Silver and gangling Buddy Ebsen would brighten any show with their asinine antics. There are spots in the action that seem to drag a little, especially in some of the love scenes, but such carping criticism is really not justified in the face of the lively wit and music which make "Born to Dance" the fast-moving show it is.
In unhappy contrast, "Mad Holiday"' the companion feature, with Edmund Lowe and Elissa Landi, is rather slow and hackneyed. Philip Trent (Edmund Lowe), a movie actor wearied of his acedetective role in mystery films, boards a ship for a vacation cruise. On the steamer he meets Phyllis (Elissa Landi), author of many of his scripts, and together they get involved in the murder of a wealthy man and the disappearance of his famous diamond. Somehow murder on shipboard is a favorite sport with Hollywood producers, and this one leads Philip and Phyllis in and out of staterooms for fifteen torturous minutes.
Realizing the monotony, the producers evidently tried to inject humour in the form of Ted Healy and his face-pushing slapstick. Nevertheless, the murder is eventually solved, the diamond recovered, and Philip finds himself in Phyllis's arms. The two interests, humor and mystery, seem to get in each others' way throughout, frequently tripping up the action. Perhaps the one redeeming feature of the whole production is Elissa Landi, whose performance is good and beauty better.
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