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Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

Passed | | Musical | 9 February 1940 (USA)
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
Bert C. Matthews
...
Amy Blake
...
Emmy Lou Lee
Ann Morriss ...
Pearl
Trixie Firschke ...
Juggler
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Storyline

Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brent as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eleanor Powell - Fred Astaire - In The Finest Broadway Melody Of Them All

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway qui danse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay was based on a story by Jack McGowan and Dore Schary. Schary would go on to become head of MGM in the 1950s. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny substitutes for King at the last minute, the costume fits the much smaller Johnny perfectly. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Brett: Nice black coffee for that nice black hangover.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Grand Central Murder (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got My Eye on You
(1939) (uncredited)
(instrumental and choral reprise)
Written by Cole Porter
Sung by offscreen chorus
Danced by Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, and George Murphy
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User Reviews

Tapping on the summit
18 April 2002 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

The greatest thing in all the "That Entertainment" films is the "Begin the Beguine" number from Broadway Melody of 1940". After years of carrying Ginger Rogers, (and her mother), Fred Astaire finally has a partner who can really DANCE! On Ice, it was Sonja Heine. In the water, it was Esther Williams. But on the dance floor, it was Eleanor Powell, the only female dancer ever to become an above the title movie star in her own right. In Broadway Melody of 1936, there is a male dancer, (not prestigious enough to get a turn with Eleanor), who seems to have the same general look and physique of Fred Astaire, who was working for RKO at the time. I think MGM wanted to prove they could find a "Fred Astaire", too. I call this guy "Faux Fred". In Broadway Melody of 1940, Eleanor gets to dance with the real thing, and the result is marvelous.

There is no big production, even thought the set is sumptuous, with a floor that is a flawless mirror. But other than that, it's the two of them, giving it all they had. Their dancing is flawless. It's what makes them different that is really interesting. Fred Astaire danced with his whole body. Most dancers look like puppets, (see James Cagney). It's all they can do to hold their arms out at the side. But Fred used beautiful hand movements, (his hands were as long and lithe as his legs), to frame everything he did. Eleanor Powell is a master of projection. You will notice most famous movie dancers have "big mouths". It enables their smile to light up the screen. Nobody did this more than Eleanor Powell, who made love to the camera while she danced. You can see them reacting to each other during their big number. At one point, Astaire is painting a picture with his fingers and you can see Powell spotting this and getting her hands out there, too. She doesn't want all the eyes to be on Fred. Then Fred notices her huge smile and breaks into a broad grin himself, feeling, no doubt that he doesn't want to be in Eleanor's shade. It just doesn't get better than this.


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