George's partner in vaudeville quits their act, claiming that Betty has broken his heart. George then teams up with Charlie, a stranded trouper, and Irving becomes their manager. Later, in ... See full summary »



(adaptation), (story) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Charles Mack ...
George Moran ...
Harry Green ...
Bert Swor ...
Freeman Wood ...
Lawrence Leslie ...
Jack Luden ...
Monte Collins ...
Skeets (as Monte Collins Jr.)
George Thompson ...
Eddie Kane ...
Charlie Hall ...
Tough (as Charles Hall)


George's partner in vaudeville quits their act, claiming that Betty has broken his heart. George then teams up with Charlie, a stranded trouper, and Irving becomes their manager. Later, in New York, the "Two Black Crows" star in their own revue and save money to build their own theater on Broadway. Betty comes to the theater with her lover, who poses as a cousin and induces George to hire her. He showers her with jewels and money. She tries to persuade George to invest in oil stock her lover is selling, and though their act is a success, Charlie fires Betty. When Charlie and Betty's lover quarrel, Charlie is injured. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


NOW - HEAR THEM ON THE SCREEN Funnier than ever! See more »


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

4 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Backstage Blues  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A ballet sequence, "Silvery Moonlight", composed by Dimitri Tiomkin, was not used. See more »


When Moran and Mack perform their first routine, the pit orchestra is visibly playing and being conducted, yet there is no music--only audience laughter--on the soundtrack until the end of their sketch. See more »


Referenced in Paramount on Parade (1930) See more »


Do I Know What I'm Doing While I'm in Love
Written by Leo Robin, Richard A. Whiting (as Richard Whiting) and Sam Coslow
See more »

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User Reviews

Wheezy old backstage meller.
18 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

The black face team of Mack and Moran were onetime show biz royalty, the top of their now abandoned calling, the art of minstrelty. In 1929 everyone knew them, and this genre of Vaudeville. Until now, just having seen this very rare feature, I'd only been exposed to their hugely successful phonograph recordings, their late Educational shorts, and the severely awful Sennett film, HYPNOTIZED. So I've always thought of them as pretty bad, with Amos n' Andy very quickly surpassing them in the early 1930s, and it's obvious why-they could be funny.

Now I see that M & M could be funny, and the scenes of their re-created Broadway show act prove it. They do the (by then) years old "Early bird gets the Worm" routine, and it was very amusing, because unlike the records, you can see it as a performance. So I was happily surprised. The rest of the film is the old, old story of partners split up by a no-good dame that breaks up the act, then,a lesson learned and they get back together. The payoff scene has Mack, unconscious in a hospital bed, touch and go, but ebbing fast, and Moran, in a desperate bid to snap him out of it, is pulled from the theatre without taking the time to remove his minstrel makeup, and dressed as a convict to boot. Nothing works until he tearfully calls out their act's feeder lines, and with that, he responds and tearfully wakes up and a great big happy tearful relief takes over. It's ludicrous, but since this kind of Victoriana was regularly staged for laughs, we can assume that only the most backward audience would take it seriously in 1929, too.

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