Hank and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Hank, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Hank recognizes that Eddie is in love with Queenie.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In addition to its many historical firsts, The Broadway Melody (1929) is a full-throttle pre-Code film, its backstage milieu featuring scantily clad chorines, an overtly gay costume designer and an unmistakably lesbian wardrobe mistress. See more »
The guitar player in the song "Broadway Melody" cannot be heard playing until he tilts his guitar slightly (possibly towards the mic). See more »
Hank, did you see Queenie? What's the matter Hank, aren't ya happy? Wasn't Queenie great? Aren't ya proud of her?
Oh, of course, Eddie. I'm glad to see her make good. Oh, but, gee, we ain't never had to get by on our legs before.
Oh, that don't mean nothin', Hank. Those guys are not going to pay ten bucks to look at your face; this is Broadway!
Yeah, "Broad's way!"
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OK, it's very simple. If you want to watch and enjoy this film, you have to put yourself back into 1929. If you're not willing to do that, don't waste your time. If you *are* willing to do that, it's a pretty good film. If the sound or picture seems ancient-- well, not in 1929! If the plot seems old hat-- well, not in 1929! You really do have to put yourself mentally into the time-frame of the time. This was really pretty damn good for 1929.
Of course, part of the enjoyment, today, of watching such a film, is indeed the time-warp you get. It really is interesting to see the movie people groping to find their way in the new era of talkies. Some have mentioned the odd silent-movie-style story-boards that open the scenes. Or the way that the players sometimes get out of focus when they get out of range of the camera. There were some other limitations of the time that I found interesting. Very interesting to note all the silence, when the characters are not speaking, especially when they are just emoting. Today, of course, every such scene would have orchestral back-up music, to tell you how to feel, but obviously nobody had thought of that yet. Or the way that they hadn't really invented the modern notion of a Musical, where people burst into song for no reason. In the one scene here where somebody seems to spontaneously burst into a song describing his feelings to someone else... at the end of the song he explains that he wrote it just for her (thus, it wasn't spontaneous after all).
All in all, not a *great* film, but enjoyable. I gave it six stars, plus an extra one for the historic interest. My one real gripe: I did think that the actress who played Queenie was just terrible. Too often she just didn't sound natural, she sounded like she was reading lines.
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