A tunesmith, a user and an out-and-out heel, puts the stories of his broken romances into song, turning old love letters into lyrics, and capitalizing on the death of his best friend to ... See full summary »
A tunesmith, a user and an out-and-out heel, puts the stories of his broken romances into song, turning old love letters into lyrics, and capitalizing on the death of his best friend to turn it into the subject of a tear-jerker that turns into a hit. Written by
In late 1928, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that it had bought Nell Martin's novel "Lord Byron of Broadway" and would be turning it into a musical with William Haines and Bessie Love. However, it went downscale when actually casting the central roles, and the lack of star power and the so unappealing story added up to a flop at the box office. Critics commented about its lackluster casting, and "Lord Byron Of Broadway" quickly sank at the box office. See more »
If the name of Ukulele Ike makes you smile with informed warmth, you may want to give a quick flip past "Lord Byron of Broadway" when TCM replays it in thirty years or so. If you're obsessive-compulsive enough to wait out scene after scene of tepid love talk for two-strip Technicolor Albertina Rasch dance routines, or lesser-known Nacio Herb Brown songs trilled by operetta-singing stiffs, you may even sit thru a good portion of it. But whatever you bring to it, be warned that you cannot possibly like this picture.
Even to the 1929 audience, "Lord Byron" must have been a bland plate of turkey indeed. The color dance numbers aren't too bad to look at - Mme. Rasch owed a debt to Busby The Great, or maybe vice versa - but listening to the draggy, chirpy musical settings is painful even if you love the music of the 20s. And if the name of lead actor and grade-B recording star Charles Kaley means anything at all to you, you've watched entirely too much Joe Franklin. Or perhaps you ARE Joe Franklin.
Strictly for nostalgia nerds, this, and even for them, it's not all that rewarding.
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