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Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 20 August 1937 (USA)
Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Jack McGowan (screen play), Jack McGowan (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Steve Raleigh
Eleanor Powell ... Sally Lee
George Murphy ... Sonny Ledford
Binnie Barnes ... Caroline Whipple
Buddy Ebsen ... Peter Trot
Sophie Tucker ... Alice Clayton
Judy Garland ... Betty Clayton
Charles Igor Gorin ... Nicki Papaloopas
Raymond Walburn ... Herman Whipple
Robert Benchley ... Duffy
Willie Howard ... The Waiter
Charley Grapewin ... James K. Blakeley
Robert Wildhack Robert Wildhack ... The Sneezer
Billy Gilbert ... George Papaloopas
Barnett Parker ... Jerry Jason
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Storyline

Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. Sally purchases a horse, she used to train when her parents had a farm before the depression and with two ex-vaudevillians, Sonny Ledford and Peter Trott she trains it to win a race, providing the money Steve needs for his show. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So New It's a Year Ahead!

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

20 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Broadway Melody of 1937 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

George Murphy, the leading male dancer here, never achieved top tier stardom on screen and, like fellow supporting player Ronald Reagan, later ran for public office as a California Republican. Murphy was elected Senator, while Reagan served two terms as governor of The Golden State, followed by two terms as President of The United States. See more »

Goofs

In the number "Follow in My Footsteps" Sally Lee puts her guitar on the bunk, nobody takes it but it can't be seen after the cut. See more »

Quotes

Betty Clayton: [singing] I don't care what happens, let the whole world stop. As far as I'm concerned you'll always be the top. 'Cause you know you made me love you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Memories of Oz (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Got a Pair of New Shoes
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Briefly sung by a chorus and danced to by Eleanor Powell in the finale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice tribute to Clark Gable
20 April 2000 | by CalystaSee all my reviews

My suspicions are running high that the lavish budget and extravagance of "Broadway Melody of 1938" were practice made in order to disguise the age old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney premise "Come on, let's put on a show!", away from the typical country town backyard setting, for Broadway itself in a dressed up version of a simplified recyclable plot.

It's hard to believe that Judy Garland, a dark brunette starry eyed fifteen year old as a supporting novelty prop, hence the almost non-explained entrance into the "Melody" movie, later became a threat to Eleanor Powell, the female equivalent of Fred Astaire. Despite her lack of purpose, as the daughter of a boarding house proprietress for struggling actors, Judy manages to sing up a storm with her first big hits, "Dear Mr Gable", originally sung to the King himself before its inclusion in the film, "Everybody Sing", so popular that one of her films the following year was renamed after the song, sing a bit of "Yours and Mine" in the opening credits, and a dance in a toilet roll crinoline white dress with Buddy Ebsen.

However, "Broadway Melody of 1938" was Judy Garland's earliest feature film foray at MGM, and not surprisingly for a dynamic triple threat performer of her talents, steals the show.

Horses, gambling bets, sneezing experts, owners of a frighteningly large number of dogs and simply a hell of a lot of people with budding talent all contribute to the movie's conflicting story and the famous show business line, "The show must go on" in order for Robert Taylor's Broadway producer character to finance his latest hit production, called ironically enough, "Broadway Melody".

As a dancing spectacular showcase for the brilliant talents of Eleanor Powell, the routines featured are no disappointment, notably "Follow in my footsteps", in the company of the champion racehorse on a traveling train, and the sensational George Murphy/Powell dance "I'm Feeling Like a Million". Finally, the charismatic cast is rounded up by Sophie Tucker, as Judy's mother, singing a great rendition of her special song "Some of these days".

In all, like all the movies in the "Melody" series, this isn't exactly "Singin' in the Rain", but it certainly did a lot for the audiences of the Depression era, hungry for the lavish, fun musicals, and is certainly quite a surprising pleasant musical piece for your own enjoyment.

Rating: 8/10


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