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The Broadway Melody (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 6 June 1929 (USA)
A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Edmund Goulding (story), Sarah Y. Mason (continuity) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles King ... Eddie Kearns
Anita Page ... Queenie Mahoney
Bessie Love ... Hank Mahoney
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The new wonder of the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Broadway Melody of 1929 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$379,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,808,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,558,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-Strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally planned for Vaudeville stars Rosetta Duncan and Vivian Duncan (aka the Duncan Sisters), but they were unavailable, so Bessie Love and Anita Page won the roles of the Mahoney Sisters. MGM went on to showcase the Duncan Sisters later that year in It's a Great Life (1929), but their act appeared outsized and grotesque on screen, and the vehicle, their only feature film, quickly flopped. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hank Mahoney: Come on, let's get cleaned up before Eddie gets here. I'll run a tub for you.
See more »


Soundtracks

Love Boat
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by James Burrows and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not the worst Best Picture
15 March 2006 | by QanqorSee all my reviews

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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