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Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I had the chance of watching this amazing movie when I bought the DVD version of The Broadway Melody. Although the restoration of the film wasn't that good, it still brought me to a conclusion that the film itself is a landmark achievement in the invention of a new Hollywood genre: the movie musical.
In the strictest sense of the word musical, however, The Broadway Melody is still at tips. It only contains some three songs blurted out of nowhere by the actors, as well as some orchestral music accompanying the movie as musical score. However, this kind of musical, which is still very much understood to be young in 1929's case, is already a rave not only for audiences but also for the critics.
Also, the technical aspects of the film, although are not outstanding enough to win the modern Best Picture, are very much appreciated in 1929's case. If we watch the movie in 1929's style, we can see that indeed it is a great movie. Long shots of dance sequences, great art and set decoration and of course great costumes would fill your eyes, not mentioning the kind of sporadic editing techniques and bright lighting that this movie utilized. This movie, in 1929's opinion, would really win the Best Picture, hands down.
However, what's more interesting with this movie is that, as a contemporary audience watching it, I am so enthralled at the history it had shown me. Remember, this is the transition to sound. It is much amusing to notice the fact that for the first time in my life, I have seen movie title cards (used for denoting various locations in the film) and that it is obvious that the movie utilized the 16-frames-a- minute hand-cranked camera which was common with the silent films of the 1920s, because of the seemingly fast motion (you'd notice it too)that actors made in the movie. Another thing is the static nature of the cameras in this movie. It is explainable since cameras are enclosed in "iceboxes" or camera rooms that are enclosed so as not to be heard by the then all-hearing microphone, that's why, in 2005's opinion, it did not have an imaginative screenplay. However, at this focal points, I can say that history has been shown in this movie and has added a great deal of weight for it to be considered as Academy Award winner for Most Outstanding Production of 1929.
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