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Conrad Nagel, representing the Hollywood movie community, and Jack Benny, representing the Broadway stage community, act as the interlocutors of a musical comedy revue. A plethora of chorus boys and girls are featured front and center in some of the song and dance numbers, and provide back-up to some other acts. But the revue primarily is a vehicle to highlight a cavalcade of Hollywood movie and Broadway stage stars. One early running gag has both Nagel and Benny playing straight man to Cliff Edwards, who just wants a nice introduction to his act. Edwards would return later to be featured along with the Brox Sisters in one of the highlights of the second act, a production number around the song "Singin' in Rain", complete with rain soaked stage. A reprise of the song with the entire cast acts as the revue's finale.Written by
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to have any acting nominations. See more »
After Cliff Edwards' opening number, one of the chorus girls in the background is chatting away with the girl next to her, when a sudden cut appears, and the same girl is now stone still (apparently the director told her in between to stop talking, and pay attention). See more »
Some sources list the original running time of "Hollywood Revue of 1929" as 130 minutes. At least two sequences in the original roadshow version are missing from current prints: an opening recitation by the showgirls who are seen posing in the "Hollywood Revue" sign after the opening credits, and the appearance of Nils Asther, who assisted Jack Benny in introducing the final "Orange Blossom" number. See more »
MGM's stupendously batty all star early talkie extravaganza from 1929 is a gloriously overproduced jamboree of jumping about, vaudeville comedy, tap-dancing, Minstrel antics, embarrassing and tedious comedy, and best of all - some two-color technicolor spotlights allowing for some standout moments. It is all so mad, a complete variety show more than a Follies with an endless parade of the 20s big names trying to be themselves and allow us into their glamorous lives for a few minutes. With wonderfully tinny sound, yelling, reprises galore of terrible songs - YOUR MOTHER AND MINE in particular... an underwater goddess grotto, harem aerobics, Buster Keaton being a caterpillar, people waving their arms about, annoying Ukulele Ike trilling and a finale on Noah's Ark...well yes it is The Hollywood Revue. If you love The Dawn Of Sound era and are fascinated with the Art Deco of the Vaudeville 20s then this film is a major treat. The jewel box and pearls sequence is Erte heaven. Many scenes are introduced by Jack Benny who often appears before some of the most beautiful glittering diamanté and velvet stage curtains you could imagine. Like a toy-box of musical madness, THE Hollywood REVUE OF 1929 is hilarious and annoying by turns but well worth the effort to sit through. A companion piece to GLORIFYING THE American GIRL of 1929 and KING OF JAZZ of 1930. My best tip to get friends to watch it is to play it at your next party as musical wallpaper. No sound, just the imagery playing to your own DVD collection....This is the sort of wonderful visual confection that nightclubs should play on a big wall screen. It is completely insane and unstoppable in its desire to pelt the viewer with musical silliness.. especially towards the end with trios of singing (yelling) stars leaping across the stage yowling at the camera in fantastic costumes. Marie Dressler must have nearly killed herself competing for facial contortion rights against younger and more agile stars.
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