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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>
When critics talk about the Thirties being the era of escapist entertainment, believe me they have Broadway Melody of 1936 in mind.
For people like my parents growing up in the midst of The Depression this world where everyone wore tuxedos and danced away at rooftop parties in between Broadway shows can only be described as escapist.
The nice thing about escapist films is that the plot really doesn't have to make sense. You couldn't have a Broadway producer as young as Robert Taylor, he was 25 when this came out. And certainly a talent like Eleanor Powell would certainly have been discovered long before Taylor rediscovers his old grade school chum from Albany.
The plot such as it is involves producer Taylor and Walter Winchell like columnist Jack Benny engaging in a feud. During the course of things Benny creates a fictitious French stage star who is visiting New York. Later Taylor "discovers" Eleanor Powell masquerading as the fictitious Mademoiselle Arlette and signs her for his show.
Taylor and Benny are fine and Jack Benny gives a good performance in a character that is free of the usual Jack Benny clichés he so carefully created for his radio persona. But the film really belongs to Eleanor Powell. You look at her dance and then you look at Ruby Keeler over at Warner Brothers and there just ain't a contest. Powell was primarily a dancer, but she had good comic timing, could put over a song, and even act decently.
You will also like June Knight as the rich girl Taylor is courting for financial backing of his show. And Sid Silvers as Benny's sidekick is pretty funny especially in drag and with his scenes with Una Merkel.
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