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Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 20 August 1937 (USA)
Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screen play), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sally Lee
...
Sonny Ledford
...
Caroline Whipple
...
Peter Trot
...
Alice Clayton
...
Betty Clayton
...
Nicki Papaloopas
...
Herman Whipple
...
Duffy
...
The Waiter
...
James K. Blakeley
Robert Wildhack ...
The Sneezer
...
George Papaloopas
...
Jerry Jason
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Storyline

Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. Sally purchases a horse, she used to train when her parents had a farm before the depression and with to ex-vaudevillians, Sonny Ledford and Peter Trott she trains it to win a race, providing the money Steve needs for his show. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So New It's a Year Ahead!

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Broadway Melody of 1937  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The singing voice of Eleanor Powell was dubbed by Marjorie Lane. See more »

Goofs

There is an audible change in the quality of the soundtrack in Judy Garland's "You Made Me Love You" number when she goes from the spoken interlude to the reprise of the melody. It appears that she pre-recorded the sung portions but delivered the spoken parts "live" as the scene was shot. See more »

Quotes

Betty Clayton: [singing] I'm just another fan of yours, and I thought I'd write and tell you so.
See more »

Connections

References It Happened One Night (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Largo al factotum
(1816) (uncredited)
from "Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)"
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Played on piano by Billy Gilbert and sung by Charles Igor Gorin
Reprised by him at the racetrack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice tribute to Clark Gable
20 April 2000 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

My suspicions are running high that the lavish budget and extravagance of "Broadway Melody of 1938" were practice made in order to disguise the age old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney premise "Come on, let's put on a show!", away from the typical country town backyard setting, for Broadway itself in a dressed up version of a simplified recyclable plot.

It's hard to believe that Judy Garland, a dark brunette starry eyed fifteen year old as a supporting novelty prop, hence the almost non-explained entrance into the "Melody" movie, later became a threat to Eleanor Powell, the female equivalent of Fred Astaire. Despite her lack of purpose, as the daughter of a boarding house proprietress for struggling actors, Judy manages to sing up a storm with her first big hits, "Dear Mr Gable", originally sung to the King himself before its inclusion in the film, "Everybody Sing", so popular that one of her films the following year was renamed after the song, sing a bit of "Yours and Mine" in the opening credits, and a dance in a toilet roll crinoline white dress with Buddy Ebsen.

However, "Broadway Melody of 1938" was Judy Garland's earliest feature film foray at MGM, and not surprisingly for a dynamic triple threat performer of her talents, steals the show.

Horses, gambling bets, sneezing experts, owners of a frighteningly large number of dogs and simply a hell of a lot of people with budding talent all contribute to the movie's conflicting story and the famous show business line, "The show must go on" in order for Robert Taylor's Broadway producer character to finance his latest hit production, called ironically enough, "Broadway Melody".

As a dancing spectacular showcase for the brilliant talents of Eleanor Powell, the routines featured are no disappointment, notably "Follow in my footsteps", in the company of the champion racehorse on a traveling train, and the sensational George Murphy/Powell dance "I'm Feeling Like a Million". Finally, the charismatic cast is rounded up by Sophie Tucker, as Judy's mother, singing a great rendition of her special song "Some of these days".

In all, like all the movies in the "Melody" series, this isn't exactly "Singin' in the Rain", but it certainly did a lot for the audiences of the Depression era, hungry for the lavish, fun musicals, and is certainly quite a surprising pleasant musical piece for your own enjoyment.

Rating: 8/10


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