The Films of Petula Clark
Dance Hall

Released June 1950 - [UK]
Drama - 80 minutes

Episodic tale of four factory girls and their various romances at the local dance hall. Petula plays Georgie whose ambition it is to become a dance champion with her partner, Peter. Although the two fail to win the Greater London Amateur Dancing Championships, they do find romance with one another and the film ends with the duo becoming engaged at the climatic New Year's Eve dance.

Mrs Wilson...........
Sydney Tafler.......
Kay Kendall...........
Natasha Parry
Jane Hylton
Diana Dors
Petula Clark
Douglas Bar
Donald Houston
Bonar Colleano
Gladys Henson

Celebrating a birthday on the set.

  • Written by E.V.H. Emmett, Alexander Mackendrick, Diana Morgan
  • Directed by Charles Crichton
  • Filmed: Ealing Studios, England

    • 'You Haven't Lived Until You've Jived / Anyone Can Rock 'n' Roll'
      In the mid-50's the world woke up to rock 'n' roll, began jiving to it, and hasn't stopped since...
      A great line from the film "Dance Hall"(1950) where Diana Dors and Petula Clark are jiving on the dance-floor is when the manager comes up to them and says, "Ladies! Come out of that jungle!"
      1st 1950's Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly monthly magazine
    • Petula was awarded the INSTITUTE OF DANCING BRONZE AND SILVER MEDALS for her work on the film.

    Four of Mr. Rank's Charm School Hopefuls--and you'd better believe it!
    They are Jane Hylton, Petula Clark, Diana Dors and Natasha Perry;
    they play factory workers who spend Saturday night at the local Dance Hall.

    • Exquisitely stylish Ealing evocation of Fifties London and its dance dens. And, lumme, don't young Dors and Clark look a proper picture.
      Virgin Net Movies

    •      Dance Hall was one of Ealing's rare attempts to get to grips with a feminine subject. Directed by Charles Crichton, the film contrasted the monotony of factory life with the glamour and excitement of the Palais, following the stories of four girls played by Diana Dors (her only Ealing appearance), Petula Clark, who had only just emerged from children's roles, Jane Hylton, who had been in It Always Rains on Sunday and Passport to Pimlico, and Natasha Parry, the future wife of Sir Peter Brook, making her film debut. The storyline is somewhat thin, and the purpose of the film is to get behind the scenes of a big dance hall and show something of the life it represents.
           Natasha Parry stars as Eve, whose marriage to Phil (Donald Houston) is imperilled when she takes a different partner for an upcoming dance contest. Her reasoning is that Phil is a lousy dancer, but she loves him all the same; Phil, however, is the jealous type, who doesn't quite see things Eve's way. Although the background is reasonably authentic, with famous bands such as those of Geraldo and Ted Heath given opportunities to perform on camera, little is revealed about the girls, who are far too actressy to be taken as genuine working-class fugitives from the shop floor.

    • Ealing Studios have once again taken the London scene and made it the backbone of an enjoyable and extremely well-made British film. The particular aspect of the London scene depicted here is a hug palais-de-danse; and it is in its picture of this vast throbbing dynamo of entertainment with its strange magnetic lure for all kinds of young people that the film is most successsful. The frenzied atmosphere of the palais, the easy=going relationships that exist withink its walls, the exceitement of the dance contest, the rather weaary indifference of the musicians--these are brought most vividly to life. The technical work is uniformly excellent and the uctting in some of the dance-hall sequences is brilliant. The story itself, though not without its effective dramatic touches, appears a trifle dim and contrived in comparison with the vitality of its background. It concerns mainly the marriage troubles of a girl who, even after her marriage, finds she cannot quite escape the lure of the palais and who, quite innocently, maintains her friendship with the immoral American who had once been her dance partner. The husband becomes unjustly jealous and threatens divorce. Two sub-plots concern the disillusion of the young girl who fails to win the dance contest but finds romance instead, and the loyalty of another girl who sacrifices her own love to bring the husband and wife together again. The role of the unhappy wife is played appealingly by Natash Perry. She, Jane Hylton, Petula Clark and Diana Dors give agreeable, unaffected performances but do not quite express the uninhibited high spirits of the factory-girls they are intended to be. Donald Houston, as the obstinate but kind-hearted husband, gives a sympathetic performance, and Bonar Colleano is impressively convincing as the ruthless, persuasive American. Minor performaces are in the best Ealing Studios tradition of liveliness and realism.
      Today's Cinema - May 31, 1950

  • Diana Dors and Petula Clark receiving advice about the boogie-woogie scene from director Charles Crichton, 1952
    (Photographer Kurt Hutton, from The Ealing Studios Tradition)

    Petula and Diana Dors

    Petula and Douglas Bar

  • IMDb