Busby Berkeley actually directed at least one section of this film even though he wasn't credited. I have seen a photograph of Berkeley directing Al Jolson and Sybil Jason as they sing "You're the Cure for What Ails Me" on a lakeside dock, as well as home movies shot by composer Harold Arlen showing Berkeley clowning around at that location with Jolson, lyricist EY Harburg and others. According to Harold Arlen biographer Ed Jablonski, Berkeley choreographed the "I Love to Sing-a" reprise in which Jolson and ensemble begin in a radio station, continue through the outer offices, down an elevator, through a lobby and out into a busy street conversing in rhyme all the way. This number seems to me a foreshadowing of the "Munchkinland" sequence in THE WIZARD OF OZ three years later, wherein Judy Garland strolls through the village to the music and lyrics of the same songwriting team (Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg) with choreography by SINGING KID's credited choreographer, Bobby Connolly; maybe Connolly was inspired by Berkeley's work here. It is to Jolson's credit that he even agreed to perform in the "I Love to Sing-a" reprise because it's all about how dated and irrelevant his "Mammy" singing was. So at least he had a sense of humor.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?