6.2/10
313
24 user 2 critic

Show of Shows (1929)

It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »

Director:

John G. Adolfi
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Don Juan (1926)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 16th Century Italy, devil-may-care playboy Don Juan runs afoul of the despotic Borgias.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Jane Winton, John Roche, Warner Oland
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man, while being romantically pursued by a cab driver.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three Broadway chorus girls seek rich husbands.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Nancy Welford, Conway Tearle, Winnie Lightner
Certificate: Passed History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A nobleman studying for the priesthood abandons his vocation in 18th Century France when he falls in love with a beautiful, but reluctant, courtesan.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: John Barrymore, Dolores Costello, Warner Oland
Svengali (1931)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Through hypnotism and telepathic mind control, a sinister music maestro controls the singing voice, but not the heart, of the woman he loves.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Donald Crisp
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
Topaze I (1933)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher's name and outstanding reputation in a ... See full summary »

Director: Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Stars: John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Barrymore, Carole Lombard, Walter Connolly
Night Flight (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Clark Gable
Arsène Lupin (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A detective is tasked to capture an elusive thief called Arsene Lupin.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley
Beau Brummel (1924)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

George Bryan Brummel, a British military officer, loves Lady Margery, the betrothed of Lord Alvanley. Despite her own desperate love for Brummel, she submits to family pressure and marries ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Willard Louis
Tempest (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Czarist Russia, a peasant officer, resented by the aristocrats, falls in love with a princess.

Directors: Sam Taylor, Lewis Milestone, and 1 more credit »
Stars: John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Louis Wolheim
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frank Fay ... Master of Ceremonies
William Courtenay William Courtenay ... The Minister - Guillotine Sequence
H.B. Warner ... The Victim - Guillotine Sequence
Hobart Bosworth ... Executioner - Guillotine Sequence
John Barrymore ... Richard III in 'Henry VI Part III'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Akst Harry Akst ... Pianist Accompanying Irene Bordoni
Armida ... Performer in 'Meet My Sister' Number (as Mimi Vendrell)
Johnny Arthur ... Hero - Performer in 'The Pirate'
Mary Astor ... Performer in 'The Pirate' Number
William Bakewell ... Performer in 'Bicycle Built for Two' Number
Richard Barthelmess ... 'Meet My Sister' Presenter
Noah Beery ... Performer in "The Pirate" Number / Soldier (segment "Rifle Execution")
Sally Blane ... Performer in 'Meet My Sister' Number
Monte Blue ... Condemned Man (segment "Rifle Execution")
Irène Bordoni ... Performer in 'Just for One Hour of Love' Number
Edit

Storyline

It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can be heard in a gaudy, grandiose music comedy revue. But also appear actors and actresses from the first 'talkies', stars from Broadway and of course the German shepherd Rin-Tin-Tin. Frank Fay is the host of the more than 70 well-known stars who show various acts. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pre code film | revue | See All (2) »

Taglines:

FROM SHAKESPEARE TO SYNCOPATION! (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express,((Bufalo, NY)) 5 January 1930)

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Parada das Maravilhas See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Apparatus)

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene Sid Silvers does an imitation of Al Jolson. Though Jolson was one of the top stars at Warner Brothers in 1929, he is not among the rest of the studio's lineup in this film. See more »

Quotes

Master of Ceremonies: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm awfully sorry about my being late like this. You see in the last number I was supposed to appear... I was supposed to sing a sort of a sad doughboy song. And, there were - were several people that applied for the position and, eh, I won it. I mean, they wanted a sad singer and after the Warners heard me they said, "Well, he's about as sad as you can get 'em." So, ladies and gentlemen, I was picked! Now, I was to sing the sad number and I-I probably could sing it for ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Fabulous Musicals (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

My Sister
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Ray Perkins
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan
Performed by Alice Day and Marceline Day and chorus, with:
Sally O'Neil and Molly O'Day (Irish sisters)
Sally Blane and Loretta Young (French sisters)
Dolores Costello and Helene Costello (Mexican sisters)
Marion Byron and Ann Sothern (Italian sisters)
Ada Mae Vaughn and Alberta Vaughn (English sisters)
Viola Dana and Shirley Mason (Dutch sisters)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mainly of interest to students of early sound films
28 September 2008 | by calvinnmeSee all my reviews

It is very hard to rate this film. As entertainment value for 21st century viewers, it fails miserably. However, for the student of early sound films and history, it is a jewel. "Show of Shows" was a revue filmed to compete with MGM's successful "Hollywood Revue of 1929", which still survives intact complete with its Technicolor scenes.

The purpose of the all-star revue was to showcase a particular studio's silent stars in speaking roles, and show that they could make the transition. However, Warner Bros. seems to have forgotten this and employs many acts and stars that they didn't even have under long-term contract such as Ben Turpin, Lloyd Hamilton, Beatrice Lillie, and even a marching band. Meanwhile, their biggest talent - Al Jolson - is noticeably absent. Even at a high salary he could not be compelled to join in. Almost every act is overly long and the film plays like a dozen or so Vitaphone shorts strung together with no continuity. The finale is also overly long, but it is really enjoyable with all of its dance numbers.

The highlights of the film are two numbers from Winnie Lightner - "Pingo Pongo" and "Singin in the Bathtub", a couple of numbers with Nick Lucas, John Barrymore performing Shakespeare, and the Chinese Fantasy "Li Po Li" with Nick Lucas and Myrna Loy. This last number is the only part of the film that survives in Technicolor, and it really is quite attractive. Reasonably enough, the players in these good acts were long-term Warner Bros. stars so perhaps the director knew how to play to their strengths since he was familiar with them.

This film acts as a snapshot at an odd point in film history - the year 1929, which was the bridge year between two eras - the silent and sound eras, and the roaring 20's and the Great Depression. Just two years later this same film would have had an entirely different cast, as Warner Bros. would abandon its silent era stars and the stars they hired just to produce the early musicals in favor of those stars that gave Warner Bros. its distinctive urban look and feel - James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Edward G. Robinson, and others.


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed