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On Your Toes (1939)

A young hoofer quits vaudeville to become a composer and hooks up with a Russian ballet troupe.


Ray Enright


Jerry Wald (screen play), Richard Macaulay (screen play) | 5 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Vera Zorina ... Vera Barnova
Eddie Albert ... Phil Dolan Jr.
Alan Hale ... Sergei Alexandrovitch
Frank McHugh ... Paddy Reilly
James Gleason ... Phil Dolan Sr.
Leonid Kinskey ... Ivan Boultonoff
Gloria Dickson ... Peggy Porterfield
Queenie Smith ... Mrs. Dolan
Erik Rhodes ... Konstantin Morrisine
Berton Churchill ... Donald Henderson
Donald O'Connor ... Phil Jr. as a Boy
Sarita Wooton Sarita Wooton ... Vera as a Girl (as Sarita Wooten)


Junior Donal, an ex-vaudevillian now teaching music at Knickerbocker University in New York, enlists to help of patroness Peggy Portefield to persuade Sergei Alexandrovich, the director of the Russian Ballet, to stage a friend's jazzy "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet. Junior becomes involved with the company's prima ballerina, Vera Barnova, and even takes over the male lead in "Slaughter". This so enrages Vera's lover and regular dancing partner that he hires two thugs to kill Junior while he is performing on stage. Written by Alessandro Martini <alemartini@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music | Comedy


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English | Russian

Release Date:

14 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dançarina Russa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Monday 27 August 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Albuquerque Sunday 16 September 1956 on KOAT (Channel 7), in Boston Wednesday 19 September 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4), in San Francisco Wednesday 3 October 1956 on KPIX (Channel 5), in New York City Sunday 4 November 1956 on WABD (Channel 5), and in Bloomington IN Tuesday 18 December 1956 on WTTV (Channel 4). See more »


George Balanchine's name is misspelled as "Ballanchine" in the credits. See more »


Sergei Alexandrovitch: I will not give the American audiences what they want, I will give them what they ought to like.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Lorenz Hart, the lyricist for the original Broadway show, receives onscreen credit, but his lyrics are never sung at all in the film. See more »


Song of the Volga Boatman
Hummed by Alan Hale when Ivan takes Junior upstairs to the hotel room
See more »

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User Reviews

Meager results considering it was a Broadway hit...
11 April 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Except for the wonderful musical arrangement of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue", the choreography looks less than inspired as danced by VERA ZORINA and EDDIE ALBERT. Especially if one has seen Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen do the number in a fantastic musical highlight from WORDS AND MUSIC. And the less said about the weak comedy routines, the better.

The only compensations in this weak transfer from stage to screen (in which "There's A Small Hotel" has been relegated to background music), is the pleasant cast. Eddie Albert is his usual charming self, gifted at comedy and easily stealing most of the scenes with his nonchalant genius for comic roles. Vera Zorina demonstrates that she could act, when called upon, but her role is the stereotyped diva in distress that any capable actress could do with her eyes shut.

Alan Hale, Leonid Kinskey, Donald O'Connor (as a boy hoofer), and Frank McHugh do their standard professional jobs in assorted light comedy roles--but despite their flair, most of the one-liners fall flat.

Surely, this was a more exciting event on Broadway than it appears in its screen incarnation with Ray Bolger appearing opposite Vera Zorina. Too little time expended on a worthwhile script and too many songs missing from the original stage musical. The result is a routine backstage musical with only the "Slaughter" ballet to redeem it.

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