Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lilian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a paper man, gets ... See full summary »
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Roy Del Ruth
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Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lilian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a paper man, gets this information and is writing about this in his column in an slight unfriendly way. Gordon's old class mate Irene Forster, a tap dancer from Albany also tries to get the leading role in this show, but Lilian insists in getting this part herself. So Irene Forster, Bert Keeler and Gordon's secretary Kitty start a little game to get Irene the leading role. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The song "I've Got A Feeling You're Fooling" contains the line "It's just the well-known old Army game". The "Army game" is a variation on 3-card Monte where the object is to confuse the player in order for the dealer to win. It was named the Army game since it was often played in the Army trenches during WW1. See more »
The Broadway Melody of 1936 is my all-time favorite movie. One day I was watching the special features on the Singin' In the Rain 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. I watched the "Broadway Rhythm" excerpt from this movie and the "I've Got a Feelin" You're Foolin' excerpt, too. After viewing I was all "What was that?" So I watched them again. After the 4th time, I was hooked. So I bought the whole movie about a year ago and here I am today, commenting on it.
The B.M. of 1936 is an amazingly likable movie. The plot is flimsy like most other musicals of the Golden Age, but it's really, really, funny. The other reviewers summed up the plot correctly so I guess I won't be able to add anything new to that. But the smooth blend of plot and musical numbers are so dynamic that it the whole finished product just blows you away.
Now, for the stars. We have Jack Benny, in pretty much top-form as a newspaper gossip columnist. He is very likable in his role, because he (typical of 30's musicals) heroically does a good deed in the end despite all the trash he printed.
Sid Silvers is extremely hilarious as his hare-brained assistant and the scenes where he pretends to be Arlette's secretary are really funny.
This is Buddy and his sister Vilma's 1st film and Vilma's last. They are cute here as Eleanor's friends, and their dance numbers are really cute, too.
Nick Long Jr. has to be seen to be believed in the "Foolin'" number. I've never seen any dancer on screen, not even Fred Astaire do stuff like that.
Una Merkel is her usual wise-cracking, voice-of-reason self as Robert Taylor's secretary, and does top-notch work, as usual.
Little-known Broadway and B-movie actress June Knight gives an wonderful performance as the young, snooty widow who puts up the money for the show. Though probably the closest thing to a villain in the movie, she comes across as extremely likable because of the ah-mazing musical number with Robert Taylor and her wonderfully comedic acting. I don't think this movie would've become my favorite if she weren't in it.
Robert Taylor is as usual, way handsome, suave, and likable. There's really nothing more i can say about him except that he's terrific. And hunky! In here he is at the peak of his matinée idol stardom!
And Eleanor Powell. Her acting is good and she surprisingly is GREAT in her Mlle. Arlette imitation. But the dancing! It's out of this world!!! I think is the best dancer in movie history along with Fred Astaire. You have-have-HAVE to see her in the finale! Her timing and everything is so perfect, it's almost unreal! B.M. of 1936 is definitely one of her best vehicles, because she comes across as very talented, sweet, and likable.
The musical numbers, as I've said before, are extremely dynamic. Why? Because of the music and everything else. It took a lot of work, people, and time to produce the #s and it was not in vain, because all the numbers are spectacular. The key thing is the music. I's so good!!!!! All the songs are either toe-tapping or sweet and elegant ballads. One of the best Freed/Brown movie scores. The sets play a big part, too. Unlike a bunch of musicals from this period, the sets are not over-decorated and unbelievably lavish. No, they are simple, streamlined, very elegant, and art-deco. Because of these great sets, the actors' performances were displayed to the best extent they could be. Here's a list of the musical numbers:
Broadway Melody: Sung in the very beginning by Harry Stockwell.
You Are My Lucky Star: Sung after Broadway Melody by Frances Langford.
I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin': The 1st big number here and my favorite musical number ever! Robert Taylor and June Knight are terrific together and look great. I think this # is an ultimate example of old-Hollywood glamor with the art-deco night club set, and the glitzy costumes and atmosphere. June Knight is definitely not the world's greatest dancer but her singing is great. Robert Taylor pulls off his number well with a nice singing voice. The whole thing is extremely romantic and elegant. To me, "Foolin'" is unforgettable.
Sing Before Breakfast: Buddy and Vilma Ebsen tap dance to this in the beginning. Later, Eleanor taps. It's the start of her career at MGM and a mere shadow of what was yet to come. This # is fun and adorable.
I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin: Reprised nicely at a rehearsal by Frances Langford.
You Are My Luck Star: Another big # and enchanting! I am sure everybody will like this lavish ballet but I think it's a tad bit not as good as the other #'s for some reason I can't pinpoint. it's first sung by Eleanor (dubbed by Marjorie White) and then danced by Eleanor and a bunch of chorines.
On a Sunday Afternoon: Another cute big-ish # by Buddy and Vilma. Their tapping is great. They're is in 1890's period costume for this.
A Cappella Tap: Eleanor does an a cappella tap #! She is truly amazing in this while in Arlette guise.
Broadway Rhythm: The glorious finale! You have to see this! The costumes and the set and acts are just wow!!!!!! And that MUSIC is absolutely soul-searing!!!!! And when Eleanor comes out for the end, she does one of her best tap solos ever! I can hardly describe this, just see the number and you'll love it! Well, that's the end of my review. I think this the the Best B'Way Melody and one of the best old musicals ever. Bye!
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