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The Roof Garden Revue (1929)

 |  Short, Music  |  May 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 24 users  
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A musical Vitaphone short by Larry Ceballos. The songs include "Over the Garden Wall", It Was the Dawn of Love", and Baily and Barnum singing "Pretty Little Bom Bom Maid From Bombay".


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Cast overview:
Lyda Roberti ...
Bailey and Barnum ...
Themselves - Adagio Dancers
The Larry Ceballos Girls ...
Themselves, Ensemble


A musical Vitaphone short by Larry Ceballos. The songs include "Over the Garden Wall", It Was the Dawn of Love", and Baily and Barnum singing "Pretty Little Bom Bom Maid From Bombay".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Music





Release Date:

May 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Larry Ceballos' Roof Garden Revue  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #2627 See more »


Pretty Little Bom Bom Maid from Bombay
Written by Howard Johnson, Al Sherman and Charles Tobias
Performed by Bailey and Barnum
See more »

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User Reviews

An interesting historical curio...but not a must-see film.
23 January 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A later Vitaphone film, this Warner Brothers short apparently was one created using a very complicated system through which an accompanying record was synchronized with a movie camera. There were several serious setbacks for such a system (such as if a film skipped--it became out of sync for the rest of the film plus the records quickly wore out--and 20 showings was the normal life-span of the re and even though it produced excellent sound, it was eventually replaced. The last of the Vitaphone films were made in 1930, then the studio switched to the standard sound-on-film system.

Considering that this Vitaphone short was made later than many, I was surprised at how thin the sound was for this musical review. Perhaps it was because unlike most Vitaphone shorts, it was bigger in scope. Instead of the usual small band or duo, this featured a song and dance number that looked more like what you'd see in the Gold Diggers movies of the late 29s and early to mid 1930s. Now exactly "Busby Berkeley" in scope, nonetheless this sort of short was important for helping Warner Brothers work out how to film a traditional musical--which they'd do a lot of over the next five years.

Following this big dance number, the short changed gears and featured a more typical act--a duo with a banjo player and singer. They were okay at best to watch--but their style song did seem more suited to the sound system they were using.

Next, instead of a song and dance number, a chorus line of dancers did a Rockettes-like dance. It's interesting how fashions changed over the years, as these women were much larger legged and hipped than you would have seen just a few years later. This isn't a criticism--just an observation about how what is perceived as sexy or beautiful has changed. It's also interesting to see this and compare it to films just a few years later--when the sets became so much more complex and the choreography became even more complicated--though some of their dancing is pretty impressive.

An interesting historical curio, but not one that I would consider a must-see.

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