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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>
This is NOT a bad film. It's a 1929 musical that won an Oscar for best film as well as nominations for direction (Harry Beaumont) and lead actress, Bessie Love. It was the number ONE hit of 1929. Central to this film is Love's great performance as Hank Mahoney, the older sister in a musical act trying to make it on Broadway. The plot is pretty sophisticated for 1929. Bessie Love is in love with a singer (Charles King) who falls for younger sister, gorgeous Anita Page. Rather than hurt her sister, Page starts running around with a scummy playboy (Kenneth Thomson).
The truth comes out and Love backs off in a heart-breaking scene, giving up King and the act, and clears the way for Page and King. Two great songs: The Broadway Melody and You Were Meant for Me, both nicely done by Charles King. Love and Page are also fun in The Boy Friend song, in which Bessie Love gets to cut loose and dance in a full-fledged number. Another song, The Wedding of the Painted Dolls, is truly bizarre, and possibly the most over produced musical number you'll EVER see! But I like the music.
Yes, yes, you've seen all this before, but remember this is a 1929 talkie. The opening number is wonderful, with Charles King introducing The Broadway Melody. That's James Gleason as the music publisher. And keep your eyes on Rosie (no idea who played her) with her swinging beads. Blanche Payson plays "the big woman" in charge of the dressing room, who has a terrific scene with the gay designer (Drew Demorest). Mary Doran, Eddie Kane, Ray Cooke, and Jed Prouty have roles and that's composer Nacio Herb Brown at the piano. I love this film! I love the music. Bessie Love is SO GOOD in this film, you wonder why her talkie career didn't go better. Anita Page is also good and has a couple of terrific dramatic scenes. Charles King is a good singer but his acting was hammy. The three stars also appeared in Hollywood Revue of 1929. And yes, Bessie Love had been in films since the teens and was already a veteran of 15 years when she made this film. Catch her in Intolerance and The Lost World.
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