Harriet 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 Harriet, 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 Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jock Warriner, played by Kenneth Thomson, shows his calling card to Queenie twice, of which there is a close-up insert (starting at 0:50:25 on the Warner Home Video DVD, and at 1:22:36). That card has his name imprinted as Jacques Warriner. That French first name translates correctly to James, not Jack. That lessens a claim that the character name refers to studio competitor, Jack Warner. Of course, "Jacques" sounds a lot more like "Jack" than "Jean" does... See more »
The guitar player in the song "Broadway Melody" can not be heard playing until he tilts his guitar slightly (possibly towards the mic). See more »
Even though the occasional subtitle appears like training wheels on a bicycle with The Broadway Melody sound had finally arrived to tell the story of a movie. Though the movies had learned to talk, the players hadn't quite gotten down acting with a microphone instead of exaggerated gestures to make a point.
Everybody was overacting that year, you ought to see Mary Pickford's Best Actress performance in this same year. In fact she beat out Bessie Love who did a very good job as one of the aspiring Mahoney sisters for stardom on the Great White Way.
Bessie Love and Anita Page play the Mahoney Sisters who come to Broadway after being sent for by an old friend Charles King. King's had his eye on Love, but now little sister Page is all grown up. And she's also attracting Broadway wolf, Kenneth Thomson.
Charles King was a popular Broadway leading man of the day, his career going back to 1908 there. Such people as George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, and Vincent Youmans had songs introduced by him. King had a nice singing and dancing act. He never really took to the big screen, but introducing Broadway Melody and You Were Meant For Me should qualify him for some screen immortality.
The plot is your usual backstage story, but the greatness of Broadway Melody was the singing and dancing. The possibilities of the screen musical hadn't been fully explored, it would take Busby Berkeley to do that in a few years. In its numbers Broadway Melody is a photographed stage musical.
But not a bad one at that. And our second Best Picture Oscar.
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