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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
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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
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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
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Parada das Maravilhas See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At $850,000 this was the most expensive talking picture made in 1929. See more »

Quotes

Executioner - Guillotine Sequence: Prologue is Dead! On with the Show of Shows!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Barrymore (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Your Love Is All I Crave
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson
Lyrics by Perry Bradford and Al Dubin
Sung by Frank Fay, accompanied on piano by Harry Akst
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peach of Peaches or Lemon of Lemons?
26 July 2013 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to peep through the (heavy) curtains of Time and physically drop into any previous year to properly sample the air, the people, the entertainment, the booze - or the lack of it. I'm afraid that's what we need to be able to do to fully understand this now, because watching often blurry incomprehensible 2D images through gauze requires some patience.

It's 1929, Warner Brothers wanted to produce a revue talking picture starring most of its contracted players, a collection of comedy items, singing and dancing numbers linked by Frank Fay, who for the most part was rather Fey. The hodge-podge he introduced ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, however all worthy of watching now to us archaeologists – when his turn eventually came to sing he was unsurprisingly cringeworthy too. There's almost endless impenetrable comic patter to get through but many good songs lie within, and for the most part with excellent orchestrations from Louis Silvers conducting the always sharp Vitaphone Orchestra. Winnie Lightner, fresh from Goldiggers Of Broadway belted out Ping Pongo and Singing In The Bathtub and these are definitely the highlights – she was allowed to be a highlight, sadly everyone else is shadowy and now of the shadows. The Technicolor section for Li-Po-Li sung by Nick Lucas and danced to by the not so inscrutable Myrna Loy was lost, found, restored – it's completely charming for the supposedly Oriental set as well as for the idiotic song lyrics. The big finale goes on for too long, but as with everything else in here is absolutely fascinating, even in the surviving black & white prints. John Barrymore played Richard III from a scene from Shakespeare's Henry VI, apparently this was well received in 1929…

The film itself was not so well received in 1929 in that it only recovered less than twice its cost – it was expected to do better. It has me glued to the TV every time I put it on, but do you enjoy time travel as much as I do?


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