7.4/10
1,605
46 user 15 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Directors: Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Roberta (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
Royal Wedding (1951)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom and Ellen Bowen are a brother and sister dance act whose show closes in New York. Their agent books them in London for the same period as the Royal Wedding. They travel by ship where ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford
Swing Time (1936)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The vocals for Carmen D'Antonio were dubbed by Lois Hodnott. 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

Referenced in La La Land (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Played during the Trixie Firschke juggling act
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Familiar Backstage Story with One of the Greatest Dance Sequences Ever
22 August 2006 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

While George Murphy was a fine dancer, he always seemed to lose the girl. There is no spoiler involved in revealing that Murphy lost Judy Garland to Gene Kelly in "For Me and My Gal" and Eleanor Powell to Fred Astaire in "Broadway Melody of 1940." Murphy just had the secondary role in both films, and second leads do not win in romantic triangles, especially in dance musicals against the likes of Astaire and Kelly. The plots of the two Murphy films are somewhat similar. Both films are set against show business backgrounds, dance teams trying to make it big, and two men vying for the affections of the same girl. However, unlike "For Me and My Gal," with a singer, who was only a serviceable dancer, Judy Garland, in the female lead, "Broadway Melody" stars Eleanor Powell. With Powell, Fred Astaire, and George Murphy, "Broadway Melody" has three strong dancing leads and boasts some of the best dance sequences to come out of the MGM lot.

Books could be written about the talents and charms of Eleanor Powell. She could tap, she could do ballet, she could do acrobatics, she could match Astaire step for step on the dance floor, and she had a smile that could light up Broadway during a blackout. The fluidity of her body movements, whether dancing alone or with a partner, made her among the finest dancers of her generation. She was in the top tier with Astaire, Kelly, Charisse, and Miller. If only she had made more films or had starred with Astaire in the RKO series in place of another famous partner, what a legacy she would have left.

However, we still have much evidence of Powell's gifts and beauty, and her skill reached its peak in her extended and exuberant dancing to Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" with Fred Astaire in this film. Few other dance numbers on film equal this sequence. Perhaps Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain," Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse's "Dancing in the Dark" from "The Band Wagon," and the opening ballet from "West Side Story" remain in memory as vividly as Astaire and Powell energetically tapping and spinning across the floor to Porter's great song. "Broadway Melody of 1940," if for no other reason, is a classic for this dance routine, which never fails to excite even after dozens of repeat viewings.

A mildly entertaining story, charismatic leads, superb black and white cinematography, enormous sets, and one of the greatest dance routines ever committed to celluloid make "Broadway Melody of 1940" a must-see movie for lovers of screen musicals.


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?