Eleanor Powell Movies

Eleanor Powell

Want to know the best Eleanor Powell movies?  How about the worst Eleanor Powell movies?  Curious about Eleanor Powell box office grosses or which Eleanor Powell movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Eleanor Powell movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Eleanor Powell (1912-1982) was an American dancer and actress.  Her solo tap numbers in musical movies in the 1930s and 1940s were very popular. Her IMDb page shows 15 acting credits from 1930-1953. This page will rank 13 Eleanor Powell movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Her one television and one uncredited role were not included in the rankings.

Eleanor Powell Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Eleanor Powell films by co-stars of her movies
  • Sort Eleanor Powel films by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Eleanor Powel films by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Eleanor Powel films by how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Eleanor Powel film received.
  • Sort Eleanor Powell films by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Eleanor Powell Table

  1. Ten Eleanor Powell movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 76.92% of her movies listed.  Her biggest hit was Thousands Cheer (1943).
  2. An average Eleanor Powell movie grosses an average of $159.50 million in adjusted domestic gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter. 9 Eleanor Powell movies are rated as good movies…or 69.23% of her movies.  Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) was her highest rated movie while I Dood It (1943) was her lowest rated movie.
  4. Five Eleanor Powell movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 38.96% of her movies.
  5. Two Eleanor Powell movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 15.38% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00. 11 Eleanor Powell movies scored higher than that average….or 84.61% of her movies. Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935) got the the highest UMR Score while George White’s 1935 Scandals (1935) got the lowest UMR Score.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Eleanor Powell

  1. Eleanor Torrey Powell was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1912.

2.  Eleanor Powell and her dancing skills were discovered when she was 11 years old.  At 17, she was appearing on Broadway and was named ” “the world’s greatest tap dancer”.

3.  Eleanor Powell headed to Hollywood in 1935 and quickly became one of the biggest movie stars of the late 1930s and 1940s.

4.  Eleanor Powell considered 13 to be her lucky number.  Her name is 13 characters long and she starred in 13 movies.

5.  Fred Astaire considered Eleanor Powell as the best of his many dancing partners.  Her last public appearance was with Astaire when she received an AFI lifetime award in 1981.

6.  After retiring from movies, Eleanor Powell hosted the children’s show The Faith of Our Children.  She won numerous Emmy® awards for her work on that show.

7.  Though she worked with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly….she considred Bill Robinson the most talented dancer that she ever worked with.

8.  Eleanor Powell was married one time.  She was married to actor, Glenn Ford from 1943 to 1959. They had one son, Peter Ford.  The godparent’s of Peter were…..Bill Robinson and Pearl Bailey.  (this last fact comes from Paul Brogan)

9.  Unlike most other film dancers of her day, Eleanor Powell did not use a choreographer but devised all her own numbers. Consequently, although she danced with some of the best dancers of her era, his most memorable performances were in solos.

10.  Check out Eleanor Powell‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.


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15 thoughts on “Eleanor Powell Movies

  1. Cogerson

    The star tap dancer of the pre-WWII era. The highlight of her performances is her striking dance turns. My own favorite of her films is the Broadway Melody of 1936. It is her first role but she seems to get a greater opportunity to develop a character than she did in her later movies. It is a fun show with Jack Benny as a cynical columnist and Buddy Ebsen and his sister popping in. A boyish Jed Clampett was a hoot back then. Another good one is Ship Ahoy. A nothing plot as was often the case, and tedious comedy, but whenever the music starts with Eleanor dancing to the Tommy Dorsey orchestra–including a great dancing-drumming duet with drummer Buddy Rich–it is first rate. And Dorsey had an interesting young singer with him who is unbilled in the film, but does three numbers.. A skinny fellow who I think had a lot to offer. Frank somebody or other.
    Why did her career fade? Well, I think her screen persona never went beyond being “nice” and her acting chops appear to have been extremely limited. And she had no flair for comedy. She was a dancer, not an actress. In contrast, Ginger Rogers and Leslie Caron were all around talents. Even Cyd Charisse could get deeper into character. And, for me, she is an athletic but never sensuous dancer, which Charisse or Ann Miller certainly could be.
    I remember reading a comment from Fred Astaire that what Powell did she did better than anyone, but she just wasn’t versatile.
    I have seen 9 of the Eleanor Powell movies you list.

  2. Hi

    The youtube clip tells you everything you need to know about her talent. What amazes me is that it looks so easy tapping on the floor like it’s the most natural thing in the world. I would say that that scene would have took weeks to rehearse. I’ve seen a few of her movies. I particularly like Broadway Melody 1940. I’m surprised she didn’t become a bigger star than she was. By the time MGM was reaching its golden period of musicals, she was more or less retired.
    I think why she’s maybe less remembered today is that her screen personality wasn’t very strong. Whereas Astaire had real charm. Even Ginger Rogers had a sassiness about her. But in saying all that she was without doubt the greatest female dancer. Anyone who appreciates the art of dance or is into musicals will always be interested in her.

    1. Hey Chris.
      1. I was also impressed with the attached You Tube video…especially since I have not seen any of her movies.
      2. I will have to check out Broadway Melody of 1940. Especially with the combo of Astaire and Powell.
      3. Evidently a gall bladder issue in the early 1940s took away some of the momentum from her career…..seems she stopped making movies about 8 years before the musical era ended.
      4. Doing these pages has helped me understand the careers of these actors and actresses much better…..it is very helpful now in understanding the difference between the Eleanors and the Powells…lol.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Eleanor Powell.

  3. Eleanor was never on the Oracle of Bacon top 1000 Center of the Hollywood Universe list and there is no one on the list currently who ever worked with her. If we go back to the first list in 2000 it’s rather pitiful the few connections she has.

    222 BESS FLOWERS Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
    222 BESS FLOWERS Honolulu (1939)
    222 BESS FLOWERS Lady Be Good (1941)
    222 BESS FLOWERS Ship Ahoy (1942)
    270 FRANK SINATRA Ship Ahoy (1942)
    344 JAMES STEWART Born to Dance (1936)
    606 ALBERTO MORIN Honolulu (1939)
    740 GEORGE CHANDLER Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
    767 PHILIP AHN Ship Ahoy (1942)
    783 JAMES FLAVIN Born to Dance (1936)
    783 JAMES FLAVIN Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
    783 JAMES FLAVIN I Dood It (1943)
    832 DON BRODIE Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
    859 MYRON HEALEY I Dood It (1943)

    Eleanor appeared with 6 Oscar winners in her films.

    FRANK SINATRA Ship Ahoy (1942)
    GEORGE BURNS Honolulu (1939)
    GINGER ROGERS Queen High (1930)
    JAMES STEWART Born to Dance (1936)
    JANE WYMAN George White’s 1935 Scandals (1935)
    LIONEL BARRYMORE Lady Be Good (1941)

    1. Hey Dan
      1. Wow….compared to other lists…this is pretty small.
      2. I think the double whammy of limited movies…and her last movie being almost 70 years old are the main reasons for that.
      3. Good ole Bess Flowers in 4 of the 13 Powell movies.
      4. I actually think 6 Oscar winners for 13 movies is pretty impressive….not a bad percentage at all.
      Good lists….even if they are shorter. Thanks for sharing the information.

  4. This is not a mistake but an observation about a core part of your earlier pages that is missing. It wasn’t in the Eleanor Parker page either. You are no longer doing a section on “Possibly Interesting Facts About ———” such as Powell was married to Glenn Ford and had a son…”

    I don’t know whether or not it is a reflection on the long time it takes to do the dynamic pages .

    Back to Eleanor Powell:

    I have seen 5 of Powell’s movies:

    My favourite of her films is Broadway Melody of 1940.

    I have also seen:

    Broadway Melody of 1936
    Broadway Melody of 1938
    Thousands Cheer
    Born to Dance

    1. Hey Flora
      1. Thanks for the comment, tally count and observation.
      2. I was in a time crunch so I did not do a Possibly Interesting Facts on either “Eleanor”….I did not do Parker because I had not researched all of her movies….I did not do a Powell list….because I was trying to get all of her UMR co-star links “dynamic”…and I ran out of time to do the Possibly Interesting Facts list.
      3. But….now I do have 10 possibly interesting facts on Eleanor Powell….including her one and only marriage to Glenn Ford.
      4. As for my tally count….put me down for 0. One of the few times I have gotten a goose egg in the tally contest.
      5. I want to see Born To Dance…if only to see a very young James Stewart.
      Good feedback as always.

  5. Decided to do this Eleanor Powell page for numerous reasons: (1) She was a huge star…even with only 13 movies. (2) Had most of these movies in the database already. (3) The limited amount of Powell movies….made it possible to quickly (ok it still took hours) get this section of our database 100% dynamic. In other words every Powell UMR co-star with a link now has a dynamic website. So please…somebody find a mistake…..so I can test out our new dynamic website.

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