6.2/10
176
12 user 3 critic

On with the Show! (1929)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 13 July 1929 (USA)
A musical advertised as the first 100% natural color, all-singing production. The plot concerns a wide-eyed former hatcheck girl who takes the place of a rebellious star.

Director:

Alan Crosland

Writers:

Humphrey Pearson (based on the play "Shoestring" by), Robert Lord (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Lake ... Harold
Betty Compson ... Nita
Joe E. Brown ... Joe Beaton
Sally O'Neil ... Kitty (as Sally O'Neill)
William Bakewell ... Jimmy
Louise Fazenda ... Sarah
Sam Hardy ... Jerry
Harry Gribbon Harry Gribbon ... Joe
Lee Moran ... Pete
Wheeler Oakman ... Durant
Fairbanks Twins ... Twins
Purnell Pratt ... Sam Bloom (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson ... Dad
Ethel Waters ... Ethel
Otto Hoffman ... Bart
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Storyline

A musical advertised as the first 100% natural color, all-singing production. The plot concerns a wide-eyed former hatcheck girl who takes the place of a rebellious star.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The First 100% Natural Color, Talking, Singing and Dancing Picture. A riot of colors and comedy! More stars than the galaxy! (Print Ad- Syracuse Journal,((Syracuse, NY)) 28 September 1929)

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 July 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comediantes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Apparatus)

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Approximately one minute of the original Technicolor footage was recently discovered and preserved. The scene involves Jerry (Sam Hardy) going onstage in costume. See more »


Soundtracks

Lift the Juleps to Your Two Lips
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Grant Clarke
Sung by Henry Fink, Josephine Huston, and Chorus
Danced by the Four Covans
See more »

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User Reviews

Film Buffs Only
29 August 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

On With the Show! (1929)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

This early sound film from Warner was actually the first full sound musical to be show in color but sadly the color version (2-strip Technicolor) is now lost. What remains is the B&W version, although recently one-minute worth of color footage was found. This film is clearly Warner's reply to MGM's THE Broadway MELODY as we get all the backstage drama of a show currently going on. We'll see a musical act or comic team and then we see what's going on backstage. This routine carries from start to finish as we get involved with various stories ranging from a boy needing to send money to his sick mother to an actor trying to steal scenes from another. Fans of history in terms of movies will probably want to check this out but all others should stay clear as it hasn't aged too well (and I'm not sure it would have been considered good in 1929). The movie is very dated in terms of production and being an early talkie we also have to put up with some pretty bad audio. I'm not sure if the color version would have helped things but I'm going to guess it would have at least given us some pretty things to look at. I've never been a fan of Crosland's and that includes his most popular film THE JAZZ SINGER. His direction here is a lot more upbeat as he at least keeps the camera moving and doesn't just settle on one set up and shot. Betty Compson is good in her role and a somewhat laid back Joe E. Brown is as well. The majority of the acting is pretty bad here but the dance and music numbers usually make up for it. It's also worth noting that the black actors in the film are played by blacks and not just whites in blackface. Another thing that does keep the film moving are some nice pre-code images from backstage with the women undressing and walking around in skimpy outfits. With that said, there's not enough here to warrant a 102-minute running time and by the half way part you'll be squirming in your chair making this a rather hard film to sit through.


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