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Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 20 September 1935 (USA)
Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, ... See full summary »

Directors:

Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke (uncredited)

Writers:

Jack McGowan (screen play), Sid Silvers (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Benny ... Bert Keeler
Eleanor Powell ... Irene Foster
Robert Taylor ... Bob Gordon
Una Merkel ... Kitty Corbett
Sid Silvers ... Snoop
Buddy Ebsen ... Ted Burke
June Knight ... Lillian Brent
Vilma Ebsen Vilma Ebsen ... Sally Burke
Nick Long Jr. ... Basil
Robert Wildhack Robert Wildhack ... The Snorer
Paul Harvey ... Managing Editor
Frances Langford ... Frances Langford
Harry Stockwell ... Harry Stockwell
Edit

Storyline

Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, gets this information and is writing about this in his column in an slightly unfriendly way. Gordon's old class mate Irene Forster, a tap dancer from Albany also tries to get the leading role in this show, but Lillian insists in getting this part herself. So Irene Forster, Bert Keeler and Gordon's secretary Kitty start a little game to get Irene the leading role. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You have waited seven years for this! See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

20 September 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Melody of 1935 See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When retakes were needed, director Roy Del Ruth was already working on Thanks a Million (1935), so W.S. Van Dyke directed the retakes. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 6:45, Snoop (Sid Silvers) looks out of the window of Bert Keeler (Jack Benny)'s Manhattan office, checking out a penthouse party on a rooftop below but casting a shadow on an overly-lit scrim meant to simulate panes of window glass between him and a painted backdrop of New York. See more »

Quotes

Sally Burke: Why don't you go back and see Gordon?
Irene Foster: I will not!
Sally Burke: You *came* here to see him, didn't you?
Irene Foster: Yes, but I still have a little pride left.
Ted Burke: So's Gandhi, but he's getting awful thin.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 14,000 feet long print was shown as preview in early August 1935 in several Californian cinemas. It included, at least three additional songs. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jack Benny Program: Musicale (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Broadway Melody
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Harry Stockwell in the first scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lightweight, But Lots of 1930s Musical Charm
31 March 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

The plot of Broadway MELODY OF 1936 is a classic of its kind. Bob Gordon (popular matinée idol Robert Taylor) is producing a Broadway musical--but he runs afoul of actress and financial backer Lilly Brent (June Knight), who sees herself not only as the star of the show but Bob's ladylove as well. When their "romance" is played up by gossip columnist Bert Keeler (Jack Benny) fireworks ensue, and matters are further complicated by the arrival of Bob's old flame Irene Foster (Eleanor Powell) who has come to make her fortune as a dancer on the Great White Way.

The twists and turns of the story are fairly obvious and the outcome is a foregone conclusion--like many Hollywood musicals of the mid-1930s the story really exists as an excuse for comic turns and musical numbers--but the film has a great deal of charm and catches a host of performers moving up to stardom. The big news here is Eleanor Powell and Jack Benny, both fairly new to film and both somewhat stiff in front of the camera... but whatever their faults in this film there's no denying that Powell clearly poised to become a great musical star or that Benny is a comic genius in the making.

Powell, Taylor, and Benny are backed by a truly solid host of character actors and cameo performers, most notably Sid Silvers, Una Merkle, Frances Langford, and Harry Stockwell. But most film buffs will be particularly interested in the brother-sister team of Buddy and Vilma Ebsen, a popular vaudeville act; Vilma would soon retire, but Buddy's scruffy look, dunderheaded comedy, and hilariously eccentric dance style would propel him to a series of popular musicals and a very long career indeed. The musical numbers--which include such perennials as "Broadway Melody," "You are My Lucky Star," and "Gotta Feeling You're Fooling"--are all lots of fun to hear and see as well.

When all is said and done, Broadway MELODY OF 1936 is hardly a "classic musical;" it is too disjointed, too cliché in plot and character to measure up to the truly great musicals of the era. But it is quite a bit of fun, and hardcore 1930s musical fans should enjoy it quite a bit.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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