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 <email@example.com>
Leading man Charles King was imported from the New York stage, as were many other theater actors once the dawn of sound rocked Hollywood. King had achieved success on Broadway as far back as 1908, most recently in "Hit the Deck" (1927) and "Present Arms" (1928). 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 »
[Instructions to the piano player]
Now, give us a pick-up for an introduction and a couple of choruses. And swell to the finish. But you follow us, not us you.
See more »
A silent version was also produced. However, Max Glücksmann in Argentina exhibited the sound version with Spanish language subtitles. It is unclear whether the subtitles were added by MGM itself or by the Federico Valle company in Argentina. See more »
Still Works All Right As Light Entertainment, But That's All
This old musical still works all right as light entertainment, although it's certainly not nearly as spectacular as it apparently seemed to be in its own time. It has likable characters and a story with just enough to keep your attention, which make up for the often creaky pace, bad dialogue, and routine acting. It's also worth watching for Bessie Love, who gives a good performance as an endearing older sister character, which in most places still holds up pretty well.
Because sound movies were still a novelty, it's loaded with singing and dancing numbers that probably seemed impressive to its original audiences. Some of them are still entertaining, while others really just slow things down. For the most part, the script is bad and the acting (aside from Love) is pretty routine, both of which stand out much more now. For example, there is a stretch in the middle of the movie where the characters have essentially the same conversation several times in a row. You still like the characters, but only Love makes hers fully lifelike and sympathetic, at least whenever the weak script gives her any chance to do so. The overall effectiveness of the movie has faded, just as most of today's flashy but empty movies will look dull in 75 years. But at least "Broadway Melody" will probably hold up a little better over time, because it has an innocent energy that most such films today lack.
So, while it is only going to be of interest to those of us who already enjoy older movies, "Broadway Melody" is still decent light entertainment that is mostly pleasant to watch. There are many better films from the era, but if you like old movies and you're looking for something to do for an hour and a half, you could do a lot worse, too.
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