Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

Our Dancing Daughters is a movie. It has Joan Crawford in it. It was good.

Diana (Joan Crawford) is an outgoing socialite who likes dancing and dudes. Ann (Anita Page) is a reserved daughter of a mom (well, most are, I suppose) who wants her to marry rich and for money. They both set their sights on Ben (Johnny Mack Brown) a rich guy who has the same personality as every suited-up 20’s movie guy. He ends up marrying and realizes he screwed up. 

I stated that this film was good but really, I need a category between okay and good as I think that’s where I’d put it. Maybe I should go to a star system because I’d put this at, like 2.7 out of 5 or something. I don’t know. Anyways I loved the performances by the women in this; Joan Crawford plays her character well. This film, out of all films I’ve seen from this era so far (all five of them!) presents romance in the most realistic way, and it’s because of her. She really does portray falling for someone and flirtiness very well. While it’s still in the over-the-top style of silent film acting she portrays the subtlety of emotion and you can really see the butterflies as she falls for Ben. Anita Page is great in her role as well, and her acting opposite of Diana as an antagonist is in strong balance, and it’s because of this balance that the story builds up to what I think is a fantastic ending (though in some ways it feels like a 1920’s version of a 2010 reality show, though then again, those were popular for a reason) 

Like other films from this era, I just didn’t love the role of Ben. Do I think it’s the fault of Johnny Mack Brown (typing that name kinda rules), not exactly, but it just felt like his character was nothing more than a guy with money who was good-looking. It works for the story, I suppose, but it doesn’t really push the film to great levels) I do think the film does drag at moments as well, and there just isn’t enough visual to add to the aesthetic experience for me. 

As I watch more and more films going forward, however, I just can’t imagine this film sticking with me. It’s an above-averagefilm to me and definitely watchable, but I don’t really see it as anything more than that.


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