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The Best Dance Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Dance movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Dance movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. The Red Shoes

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1948
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In this classic drama, Vicky Page is an aspiring ballerina torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. While her imperious instructor, Boris Lermontov, urges to her to forget anything but ballet, Vicky begins to fall for the charming young composer Julian Craster. Eventually Vicky, under great emotional stress, must choose to pursue either her art or her romance, a decision that carries serious consequences.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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2. Frances Ha

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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82/100
Released: 2013Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An aspiring dancer moves to New York City and becomes caught up in a whirlwind of flighty fair-weather friends, diminishing fortunes and career setbacks.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. Limelight

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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78/100
Released: 1952Rated: G
Drama, Romance

What it's about: A fading music hall comedian tries to help a despondent ballet dancer learn to walk and to again feel confident about life.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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4. Black Orpheus

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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74/100
Released: 1959Rated: PG
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Young lovers Orfeu and Eurydice run through the favelas of Rio during Carnaval, on the lam from a hitman dressed like Death and Orfeu's vengeful fiancée Mira and passing between moments of fantasy and stark reality. This impressionistic retelling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice introduced bossa nova to the world with its soundtrack by young Brazilian composers Luiz Bonfá and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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5. Grand Hotel

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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74/100
Released: 1932
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through worry, scandal, and heartache.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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6. The Tree of Wooden Clogs

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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72/100
Released: 1978
Drama, History

What it's about: The life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of make him help them, although this represents a great sacrifice. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy other. What can they do?

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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7. Le Notti Bianche

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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72/100
Released: 1957Rated: PG-13
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Marcello Mastroianni, as a lonely city transplant, and Maria Schell, as a sheltered girl haunted by a lover’s promise, meet by chance on a canal bridge and begin a tentative romance that quickly entangles them in a web of longing and self-delusion. Luchino Visconti’s Le notti bianche, an exquisite adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s “White Nights,” translates this romantic, shattering tale of two restless souls into a ravishing black-and-white dream.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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8. Summer Interlude

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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71/100
Released: 1951
Drama, Romance

What it's about: A jaded prima ballerina reminisces about her first love affair after she is unexpectedly sent her lover's old diary.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (Google Play & Vudu).

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9. The Secret of the Grain

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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70/100
Released: 2007
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father who forces himself to stay close to his family despite the schisms and tensions that are easily sparked off and that financial difficulties make even more intense. He is going through a delicate period in his life and, recently, everything seems to make him feel useless: a failure. He wants to escape from it all and set up his own restaurant. However, it appears to be an unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary that is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realize his ambition. But he can still dream and talk about it with his family in particular. A family that gradually gives its support to this project, which comes to symbolize the means to a better life. Thanks to its ingeniousness and hard work, this dream soon becomes a reality...or almost...

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (Google Play & Prime Video).

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10. Casque d'Or

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
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69/100
Released: 1952
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Ex-convict Georges Manda returns to the free world determined to go straight and takes a steady job as a carpenter. Unable to completely shake his connections with the underground, he meets with a former prison mate, older gangster Félix Leca, who introduces him to his mistress, the sweet but guarded Marie "Casque d'Or". Marie and Georges fall into a passionate relationship, driving Félix to do everything in his power to ruin the couple.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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11. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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68/100
Released: 1945
Drama, Romance

What it's about: This unique love story, based on a novelette by Denis Diderot and with dialogue written by Jean Cocteau, follows the maneuverings of a society lady as she connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute. With his second feature film, director Robert Bresson was already forging his singularly brilliant filmmaking technique as he created a moving study of the power of revenge and the strength of true love.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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12. Lola Montès

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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66/100
Released: 1955
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Lola Montes, previously a great adventurer, is reduced to being the attraction of a circus after having been the lover of various important men.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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13. Attenberg

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
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64/100
Released: 2010
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: Marina, 23, is growing up with her architect father in a prototype factory town by the sea. Finding the human species strange and repellent, she keeps her distance. Instead she chooses to observe it through the songs of Suicide, the mammal documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, and the sexual-education lessons she receives from her only friend, Bella. A stranger comes to town and challenges her to a foosball duel, on her own table. Her father meanwhile ritualistically prepares for his exit from the 20th century, which he considers to be "overrated." Caught between the two men and her collaborator, Bella, Marina investigates the wondrous mystery of the human fauna.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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14. Dancing Lady

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
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63/100
Released: 1933
Musical, Comedy

What it's about: Janie lives to dance and will dance anywhere, even stripping in a burlesque house. Tod Newton, the rich playboy, discovers her there and helps her get a job in a real Broadway musical being directed by Patch. Tod thinks he can get what he wants from Janie, Patch thinks Janie is using her charms rather than talent to get to the top, and Janie thinks Patch is the greatest. Steve, the stage manager, has the Three Stooges helping him manage all the show girls. Fred Astaire and Nelson Eddy make appearances as famous Broadway personalities.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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15. A Dog's Life

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
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61/100
Released: 1918
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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16. Starstruck

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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50/100
Released: 1982Rated: PG
Comedy, Musical

What it's about: A new-wave extravaganza in which a young woman wants to become the next big singer with the help of her friends and despite the wishes of her working class family.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi) & stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & 2 others).

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17. Bumping Into Broadway

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
42/100
Released: 1919Rated: G
Comedy

What it's about: A young playwright spends his last cent to pay the past-due rent for the pretty dancer who's his boarding house next-door neighbor. Soon after, he winds up at a gambling club, where he wins big - just before a police raid.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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18. Never Fear

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
40/100
Released: 1949
Drama

What it's about: A dancer who has just gotten engaged to her partner and choreographer and is about to embark on a major career is devastated to learn that she has contracted polio.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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