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The Broadway Melody (1929)

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Edmund Goulding (story), Sarah Y. Mason (continuity) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles King ... Eddie Kearns
Anita Page ... Queenie Mahoney
Bessie Love ... Hank Mahoney
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Storyline

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Each moment of this great motion picture reveals new miracles of the talking screen (Print Ad-The Dispatch,((Lexington, S.C)) 9 September 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1929 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Melody See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$379,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,808,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,558,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-Strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Features Bessie Love's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

The guitar player in the song "Broadway Melody" can not be heard playing until he tilts his guitar slightly (possibly towards the mic). See more »

Quotes

Hank Mahoney: Oh, goodbye Uncle Jed.
Uncle Jed: If you wanna see me, just call me up.
Hank Mahoney: Yeah, fine. You're in the phone book?
Uncle Jed: You-you bet!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The "Wedding of the Painted Doll" musical sequence was originally presented in Technicolor. All color prints of this sequence are lost, so later reissues and DVD release present the sequence in black and white. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Boy Friend
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Bessie Love and Anita Page and Danced by Page and chorus girls
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A "Talkie" In Transition
17 May 2005 | by robmeisterSee all my reviews

To say the least, watching this movie was an interesting experience. For one thing, "The Broadway Melody" predates the Hayes Code, which placed strong restrictions on what could and could not be seen (or heard) in movies. For example, we see numerous shots of Hank and Queenie in various states of undress, including shots of them in their undergarments as they change clothes, and even one of Queenie in the bathtub(!). No, nothing is revealed, but in 1929, it must have been scandalous to see this.

Another interesting aspect of this film is that, despite the fact that it is a "talkie," title cards like those seen in silent films appear throughout. Apparently, MGM wasn't quite sure how to progress the story of the movie as it switched to different sets.

Another thing I noticed was the similarities between some of the characters' names to those of real people. Specifically, "Jock Warriner" sounds like "Jack Warner" (who was head of Warner Bros. Studios) and "Francis Zanfield" is similar to "Florenz Ziegfeld" (of Ziegfeld Follies fame). It would seem the writers didn't have far to go to create some of these characters.

As for the acting, Bessie Love is the best performer in the film. Her character, Hank (yes, a man's name!), is intelligent, strong-willed, determined, and tough-minded, and she deservedly received an Oscar nomination for her performance in this film.

"The Broadway Melody" is a somewhat dated movie (to echo the sentiment of TV Guide), but it is still worthwhile to watch. The script is a little hokey, but the performances (especially from the women) shine through.


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