Film / Our Dancing Daughters
Daughters, dancing.

Our Dancing Daughters is a silent film drama made in 1928.

Joan Crawford stars as Diana Medford, a beautiful and popular young woman who appears to be spoiled but is actually a moral upright person. She's best friends with Ann, a gold-digging flapper. Both are in love with Ben Blaine, a millionaire. Ben thinks that Diana is disinterested in him because she flirts with everyone, and marries Ann, who only wants his money. Diana is going to leave at this distressing news. Ben's sister decides to throw Diana a going-away party, which Ann wants to attend with her real love, Freddie. Ben attends behind Ann's back. What will happen when Diana and Ann see each other?

Star-Making Role for Crawford, who had gotten a couple of Love Interest parts with MGM but became one of the biggest actresses at the studio with the success of this film.

Tropes used by the film:

  • Dances and Balls: Multiple fancy balls and dances attended by the New York jet-set that Diana and her friends are part of.
  • Disney Villain Death: Ann tumbles down a flight of stairs and breaks her neck after her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: A meta example with the lead actress. Young, fresh-faced, beautiful Joan Crawford is quite a contrast to older, brassy, pancake makeup Crawford.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The opening shot. The camera focuses on Diana's feet in front of a mirror as she puts some underwear on—and then dances a jig.
  • The Flapper: This really could have been called Flapper: The Movie. Diana and her friends are all archetypal examples of the flapper—young, wearing fancy dresses, sporting short haircuts, drinking, dancing, having sex.
  • First Girl Wins: Diana gets Ben in the end.
  • Gaussian Girl: Lots of this with Crawford.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting: New York in The Roaring '20s.
  • Gold Digger: Ann, who comes from an upper-class but apparently broke family, is being groomed by her mother to marry rich.
  • Love Triangle: Ann lures a gullible Ben away from Diana.
  • Meal Ticket: Ben represents a chance for Ann and her mother to recover their family's financial status.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Ann plays on this to lure Ben away from Diana (in this film "modern" is a code word for "slutty"). Another character feels ashamed of her free-love past, especially after her husband freaks out when some of her old boyfriends stop over.
  • Playing Sick: Ann lies about this in order to fool Ben.
  • The Roaring '20s
  • Silence Is Golden: Our Dancing Daughters was released during the brief 1927-29 window where silent films were transitioning to sound. As a consequence, it does not have any dialogue, but it does have a recorded sound track with music and sound effects.