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Chasing Rainbows (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 23 February 1930 (USA)
The road-show troupe of a top Broadway show go cross-country while taking the audience along on the on-stage scenes as well as what happens and is happening back stage of the production. ... See full summary »


Charles Reisner


Robert E. Hopkins (story "Road Show") (as Robert Hopkins), Bess Meredyth (story "Road Show") | 5 more credits »




Cast overview:
Bessie Love ... Carlie Seymour
Charles King ... Terry Fay
Jack Benny ... Eddie Rock
George K. Arthur ... Lester
Polly Moran ... Polly
Gwen Lee ... Peggy
Nita Martan Nita Martan ... Daphne Wayne
Eddie Phillips ... Don Cordova
Marie Dressler ... Bonnie
Youcca Troubetzkov ... Lanning
Learn more

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The road-show troupe of a top Broadway show go cross-country while taking the audience along on the on-stage scenes as well as what happens and is happening back stage of the production. The spectacular dancing ensembles and colorful costumes and pulchritude on-stage offers a contrasting background to the drabness of the backstage, where joy, sorrow, tragedies, deception, and romance are intertwined. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Screen's Greatest ALL-TALKING Comedy-Drama! (original poster) See more »



Did You Know?


Completed in 1929, but not released until 1930. See more »


Bonnie: In five minutes, I'll have you as sober as I am.
[stumbles into clothes rack, knocking it over]
See more »


References King of Jazz (1930) See more »


My Dynamic Personality
Written by Fred Fisher, Edward Ward and Reggie Montgomery
Performed by Marie Dressler
See more »

User Reviews

Hard to adequately score considering the film's current condition...
18 November 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It's really not fair to give a numerical score to this film, as it's NOT the "Chasing Rainbows" of 1930. That's because the Two-Color Technicolor portions of the film are missing and Turner Classic Movies substituted stills for the missing scenes! It's a crude way to try to reassemble the film--far from ideal, that's for sure.

"Chasing Rainbows" is a musical featuring Bessie Love and Charles King (who'd just starred together in the Oscar winning "Broadway Melody"). In addition to being a musical, Jack Benny (in one of his first films) as well as Polly Moran and Marie Dressler (both of which made a short series of comedies together following this film) are on hand to provide some comedy. Those familiar with Benny's 1940s-50s persona might have a hard time recognizing him, as here he is nothing like his radio and TV self. I'd seen him in a couple early shorts, so seeing him as a fast-talking sort of guy didn't surprise me.

The film finds Benny the leader of a touring Broadway-style review. Although Love and King are good friends, you have a strong impression that they are destined to be much more. But, in the meantime, dumb 'ol King's head is turned by a new leading lady (Nita Martan). You just KNOW that Nita is 100% bad and Bessie is a sweetheart, but it sure takes King a long time to recognize this. In fact, he is a bit too stupid to be real! In the meantime, there are lots of song and dance numbers, comedic interludes (which aren't all that funny) and various backstage vignettes. In fact, the plot isn't always all that important--it's more an excuse to feature the other acts.

As I said above, it's very hard to score this movie. It is rather old fashioned and derivative (an awful lot like "Broadway Melody") but good for 1929/1930. But the fact that it's missing so much of the film make it great viewing for total film nuts (like me) but not so great for everyone else. As I LOVE films from this era and don't mind the very dated style, I could highly recommend it to people like me....all six of us! By the way, this film was apparently made in 1929 and not released until 1930. Believe it or not, this is actually pretty easy to tell as sound technology improved quickly during the late 20s-early 30s and the film looks and sounds more like a 1929 production.

By the way, if you DO see this film, get a load of Bessie's laughing sequence--she sounds positively demented! It's easy to see it's an early talkie, as later directors never would have done the scene that way.

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Release Date:

23 February 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Road Show See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TCM Print) (incomplete)

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)


Color (Technicolor) (two sequences)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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