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Big City Fantasy (1934)

The first 3 minutes of this Vitaphone Melody Master feature Phil Spitalny's orchestra playing popular music. The band's singer then fantasizes about her experience when she first arrived in... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Phil Spitalny ... Himself
... Themselves
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Storyline

The first 3 minutes of this Vitaphone Melody Master feature Phil Spitalny's orchestra playing popular music. The band's singer then fantasizes about her experience when she first arrived in America, looking for "Uncle Phil." As she wanders through the various ethnic neighborhoods of New York City (the Bowery; Hester Street; Mott Street; Harlem), music associated with each area is heard. She finally hears music from her homeland being played in a restaurant and is united with her relatives. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Musical | Short

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Release Date:

14 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melody Masters (1933-1934 season) #9: Big City Fantasy  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reel #1635 See more »

Connections

References 42nd Street (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

O sole mio
(uncredited)
Music by Eduardo Di Capua
Played during the Mott St. in Little Italy sequence
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User Reviews

 
Musical Charmer
8 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

A VITAPHONE MELODY MASTER Short Subject.

A sweet Hungarian maiden has a musical BIG CITY FANTASY as she searches for her father's cousin in America's grandest metropolis.

This touching little film uses music most effectively to show the young woman's odyssey through the various sections of New York City--Jewish, Italian, African-American, etc. It is a fine example of what could be achieved in a very few minutes of screen time with skill on both sides of the camera.

That's a swing version of Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2' which Phil Spitalny's Orchestra performs during the opening sequence of the film. Movie mavens will remember director Joseph Henabery for his moving performance as Abraham Lincoln in D. W. Griffith's monumental THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915).

Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.


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