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William K. Howard
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Ted and Lulu Hackett are vaudeville's The Hacketts, a fairly successful song-and-dance team. They bring their son Ted Jr. up in the business and he soon eclipses them. When the son is offered a starring role on Broadway, he arranges for his parents to join him in the show, but Ted Sr. is embarrassed to learn that he and Lulu are there purely in order to keep their son happy. They return to vaudeville, only to find that their duet act has gone stale with time. Meanwhile, Ted Jr. has married and had a son, but he has also fallen victim to drink. Tragedy strikes the Hackett family, and only the march of time will tell whether Ted III will repeat the failings of his father and grandfather. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
This film originated in an unreleased musical revue, The March of Time (1930), which was to have featured real and recreated vaudeville star acts. When that project was abandoned, MGM tried to salvage the footage by creating a new story into which they could insert footage shot for the earlier project. Some of the inserted footage contained shots of well-known performers who had only been in the earlier film, such as Fay Templeton, Marie Dressler, William Collier Sr., and DeWolf Hopper Sr., but since almost all of the incorporated footage was in long shot, most of these actors, if present, are impossible to identify. A copyright continuity of the film, however, suggests that they are present, even if unrecognizably so. Dressler, however, is mentioned by characters in the movie. See more »
Broadway to Hollywood is the story of a vaudeville couple, Ted and Lulu Hackett played by Frank Morgan and Alice Brady, and their trials and tribulations over a 30 year period.
The problem for a contemporary viewer is that the people in cameos and the names that are dropped are probably unknown to the MTV generation. You would have to know that Joe Weber and Lew Fields for instance were a great vaudeville comedy team who then went into the producing end of the business in order to appreciate a scene where Joe Weber wants to hire young Ted Hackett II, and will give the elder Hacketts small bits in his show in order to get him.
Because it is revived every year around the 4th of July, I suppose Yankee Doodle Dandy is the best comparison to this film to make. The elder Cohans there are a show business family whose kids are raised in the theater atmosphere the way the Hacketts raise their son. Of course here we go into a third generation of Hacketts.
Doing a small unbilled part in this film is Nelson Eddy who sings In the Garden of My Heart during a show. Ironically in two years Eddy would be starring in Naughty Marietta and Frank Morgan would be supporting him.
In reading the credits I was flabbergasted to read that the brothers Howard of the 3 Stooges played a pair of clowns who essentially roll a drunken Ted Hackett Jr. as he's being fired from a show. Certainly Moe and Curly who started in vaudeville would know all about that venue of show business. They are unrecognizable in their clown make up.
When the film is nearing it's conclusion it's now Ted Hackett III who is hitting the big time in Hollywood played by Eddie Quillan. His parents were played by Russell Hardie and Madge Evans. Still it's Morgan and Brady who carry this. It's like if Walter Huston and Rosemary DeCamp were the central characters of Yankee Doodle Dandy.
It's a nice film with a good story, but I fear it's too dated for today's audience.
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