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The Show of Shows (1929)

It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Master of Ceremonies
William Courtenay ...
The Minister - Guillotine Sequence
...
The Victim - Guillotine Sequence
...
Executioner - Guillotine Sequence
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Akst ...
Pianist Accompanying Irene Bordoni
...
Performer in 'Meet My Sister' Number (as Mimi Vendrell)
...
Hero - Performer in 'The Pirate'
...
Performer in 'The Pirate' Number
...
Performer in 'Bicycle Built for Two' Number
...
'Meet My Sister' Presenter
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Performer in "The Pirate" Number / Soldier (segment "Rifle Execution")
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Performer in 'Meet My Sister' Number
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Condemned Man (segment "Rifle Execution")
...
Performer in 'Just for One Hour of Love' Number
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Storyline

It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can be heard in a gaudy, grandiose music comedy revue. But also appear actors and actresses from the first 'talkies', stars from Broadway and of course the German shepherd Rin-Tin-Tin. Frank Fay is the host of the more than 70 well-known stars who show various acts. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

revue | See All (1) »

Genres:

Musical

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Parada das Maravilhas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone) (Western Electric Apparatus)

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the original review published in 'Variety' 27 November 1929, only 21 minutes of the total running time were not in Technicolor, a 17 minute section of Part One, and a four minute opening of Part Two. See more »

Quotes

John Barrymore, Himself: Ladies and Gentlemen, the soliloquy you're about to hear is from the first part of Shakespeare's Henry the VI, when Richard the III is Duke of Gloucester, before he became King. In it, he not only discloses his own peek on psychology but he also infers that he never will be King unless he destroys his elder relations, one by one. Although it is not clearly indicated in this particular soliloquy whether he does or not, permit me to assure you, that he eliminates them all, with the graceful ...
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Connections

Featured in Smash His Camera (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Pirate Band
(uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan
Performed by Ted Lewis and others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Attempt To Out-Ziegfeld-Ziegfeld
9 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thanks to Warner Archive, I can once again see this mammoth variety show which throws in everything but the kitchen sink. (The bathtub, however is present.) This film gives screen time to every person who was under contract to Warners at the time. If some of the artists seem unfamiliar to some, it is because they were big in the silent days, and most faded with the popularity of the talkies. There are some truly remarkable artists from the vaudeville era as well. You will be most impressed with Winnie Lightner, who performs two numbers. Also there is that French star, Irene Bordoni who croons a love song in a sexy manner. Perhaps one of the biggest highlights is the two-strip Technicolor "Chinese Fantasy," which has been restored for this version. It is truly beautiful and it stars Myrna Loy and Nick Lucas. Finally, there is the massive "Lady Luck" finale which goes on for nearly a quarter of an hour. If you have seen Ken Russell's 1971 cult-musical The Boy Friend, you will see that Mr. Russell must have been influenced by some of the numbers in The Show of Shows. The costumes as well as some of the choreography reflect this. The Technicolor segment has been perfectly edited into the black-and-white print in a way that is superior to the similarly restored color footage in films like Sally or Mammy. Opening and closing with a red curtain, the number looks like it always belonged there, even in the black-and-white print. In addition, the color is extremely vibrant, and gives one an idea of the tremendous impact the color must have had on 1929 audiences. The Lady Luck finale, featuring pretty young things attached to chandeliers and curtain pulls, certainly gets my vote for the most outrageously lavish production number of 1929. The Warner Brothers wanted something really big to close out the year, and they actually beat MGM here. It would come in the years that followed that MGM would snatch the lavishness crown away from every other studio and retain it until Hollywood's golden age came to a close.


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