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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

Although this film was produced in two-strip Technicolor, all existing prints are black-and-white. See more »

Connections

Featured in Broadway: The American Musical (2004) 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

 
Betty Compson more than makes up for sound, photography
4 August 2009 | by Michael MorrisonSee all my reviews

When I saw "On With the Show" on Turner Classic Movies, I was very disappointed in the poor quality of the picture and the sound, but was very pleased by some clever dialog, although realizing some of it was not so clever, and I was absolutely in awe of the performance of Betty Compson.

She was not only lovely just to look at, in her big scene near the end, she stole the show.

She was more than charming -- she was adorable.

Joe E. Brown's presence in a movie is usually enough to make me skip it but here he is toned down considerably, is not so silly, and he performs an eccentric dance with a surprising athleticism. I actually liked him in "On With the Show."

Sally O'Neil was surprising. She sounded at first like some precocious child, with little-girlish voice, but when this caterpillar bursts out of her cocoon, she is a star.

One other aspect of this film is almost unique for its time: The cast is integrated. Right there on stage are black dancers with white dancers, although to be accurate there is not interaction between white and black. Still, it was a start.

Ethel Waters made what was apparently her film debut, and surely was an immediate hit since she was already a star in other media.

A 21st century viewer of "On With the Show" must consider context, remember the times in which it was made, during the changeover from silents to talkies, to be able to appreciate it fully.

There were lots of great individual talents involved, and a viewer should try to ignore the poor framing of the scenes and the poor quality of the sound, at least some of which might be because of the age or even generation of the print.

But appreciate the historicity as well as the talent, and you will enjoy "On With the Show" as much as I did.


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