A reluctantly retired vaudevillian clashes with his producer son who thinks his father's entertainment is passe and audiences need something more sophisticated. Meanwhile the producer's father and sister secretly produce their own show.
Broadway producer Jonnie Demming courts big-name talent for his upcoming musical show, oblivious to the talent all around him, in his family and friends. When Jonnie finally lands Hollywood star Helen Hoyt for his cast, Helen herself tries opening Jonnie's eyes to the talents of his dad and sister. But Jonnie remains adamant. Will his family and friends launch their own show, in competition with Jonnie's?Written by
Dan Navarro <email@example.com>
Impressionist Dean Murphy, impersonating Joe E. Brown, is in a barnyard sketch with Nancy Walker. His armpit sweat varies from shot to shot - very wet, a couple smalls spots, dry and wet again. See more »
Broadway Rhythm provides brief showcase of Lena Horne and Hazel Scott
In my next contribution of comments of African-Americans in films in chronological order for Black History Month, we're now in 1944 with Broadway Rhythm. This movie is the perfect example of how the unwritten rule of black actors not being allowed to perform with their white counterparts of the time unless they're domestics comes into play. Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson plays Eddie here and has scenes with Charles Winninger, Gloria DeHaven, and the star, George Murphy. They're all as the family butler. The one exception is the George and Ira Gershwin number, "Sombody Loves Me", performed by Lena Horne with Eddie being the silent partner in the act. Afterwards, Eddie makes a deal with Winninger for them to be in the show. That scene, along with the Hazel Scott piano swing version of "Minute Waltz" are positioned in such a way that Southern theatres could cut those sequences without hurting the story (as evidenced by their absence in the final production number). By the way, Leon Warwick is the doorman in the Scott sequence and Archie Savage is Horne's dance partner in her other number, "Brazilian Boogie-Woogie". Both of Horne's numbers and Scott's were very entertaining. Leading lady Ginny Simms does fine with the only Kern-Hammerstein song, "All the Things You Are", sang intact from the original play source, "Very Warm For May". I also liked Gloria DeHaven in her numbers and Winninger's duet with Tommy Dorsey on "I Like Corny". The Ross Sisters also provide their own acrobatic charm here. Nancy Walker and Ben Blue are pretty hilarious with the "Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet" number with Dorsey. What I didn't like was Dean Murphy as a farm hand who does celebrity impersonations that I half didn't recognize and didn't think was funny when I did (like his Mortimer Snerd). He definitely should be cut. After Lena's last number the movie could have been over by then and I wouldn't have cared. Having said all that, I do recommend Broadway Rhythm for anyone who loves musicals even with the threadbare plots like the one presented here.
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