6.7/10
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14 user 15 critic

Broadway Bill (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 27 December 1934 (USA)
A runaway heiress and her sister's husband join forces to race the latter's fast horse, Broadway Bill.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screen play), Mark Hellinger (based upon a story "Strictly Confidential" by)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warner Baxter ... Dan Brooks
Myrna Loy ... Alice Higgins - aka The Princess
Walter Connolly ... J.L. Higgins
Helen Vinson ... Margaret
Douglass Dumbrille ... Eddie Morgan (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Raymond Walburn ... Col. Pettigrew
Lynne Overman ... Oscar 'Happy' McGuire
Clarence Muse ... Whitey
Margaret Hamilton ... Edna
Frankie Darro ... Ted Williams
George Cooper ... Joe
George Meeker ... Henry Early
Jason Robards Sr. ... Arthur Winslow (as Jason Robards)
Ed Tucker Ed Tucker ... Jimmy Baker
Edmund Breese ... Presiding Judge
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Storyline

Tycoon J.L. Higgins controls his whole family, but one of his sons- in-law, Dan Brooks and his daughter Alice are fed up with that. Brooks quits his job as manager of J.L.'s paper box factory and devotes his life to his racing horse Broadway Bill, but his bank- roll is thin and the luck is against him, he is arrested because of $150 he owes somebody for horse food, but suddenly a planed fraud by somebody else seems to offer him a chance... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The comedy successor to "It Happened One Night"

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vitória Será Tua See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Douglass Dumbrille, Ward Bond and Charles Lane all play the same roles in the remake, Riding High (1950), although the respective character names are different. See more »

Quotes

Dan Brooks: Doesn't anything ever change in this mausoleum?
Alice Higgins: Yes. Bedspreads and underwear.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played by a bugler at a funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Frank Capra Wins The Horse Race
23 June 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A failed racehorse fancier, desperate to emerge from the shadow of his dictatorial father-in-law, pins all his hopes on his magnificent new steed, BROADWAY BILL.

This rather obscure Frank Capra film - made after IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT - has a lot going for it, including fine performances, a well-written story, good production values & a hilarious example of an expertly crafted film montage.

Warner Baxter deserves some credit in being willing to play a flawed and somewhat unlikable fellow. Besides being an alcoholic shyster, he's also physically abusive to those he feels are beneath him. And he's a racist. Despite these major disqualifications, Baxter still displays enough enthusiasm to make the viewer actually care what happens to the lout.

Although it's difficult to fathom why her character adores Baxter so much, it's actually quite easy to see why audiences love Myrna Loy. Beautiful, vivacious, classy, this lady exuded charm for decades. As Baxter's infatuated sister-in-law, she is a pleasure to watch, even though we don't really feel Baxter deserves her.

Playing his role with great dignity, Clarence Muse stands out as Broadway Bill's groom. An actor of enormous competence, Muse perhaps brought more of a well-rounded characterization to his performance than was originally expected. That he could play a role subject to racial slights and still make it something memorable, speaks very well of the actor.

The supporting cast contains a fine collection of character actors: blustery Walter Connolly as Loy's tyrannical, yet tenderhearted, father; Raymond Walburn as a pompous confidence trickster; Lynne Overman as his laconic assistant; Douglass Dumbrille as a race-fixing mobster; and vinegar-faced Margaret Hamilton as Connolly's stern boardinghouse landlady.

Movie mavens should have fun picking out the uncredited appearances of several performers: Clara Blandick as Connolly's overworked secretary; former OUR GANGer Mickey Daniels as a messenger for Connolly; Ward Bond & Charles Lane as a couple of racing touts working for Dumbrille; Herman Bing as a most unfortunate waiter in a fancy restaurant; Irving Bacon as the owner of a sandwich stand; Charles Middleton as a veterinarian; elderly Claude Gillingwater as the ‘richest man in the world' whose impetuous purchase of $2 worth of tickets on Broadway Bill precipitates merry mayhem; and pretty Lucille Ball as a telephone operator.

After filming began Capra discovered that Baxter, although he loved horses, was afraid of them. Some imagination on the part of the director was needed to realistically put Baxter & Bill into the same scenes.


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