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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:

The new wonder of the screen! 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

In addition to its many historical firsts, The Broadway Melody (1929) is a full-throttle pre-Code film, its backstage milieu featuring scantily clad chorines, an overtly gay costume designer and an unmistakably lesbian wardrobe mistress. 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

Eddie Kearns: Gee... you were a funny looking thing when I first saw you, with those gangly legs and freckles. But, you certainly turned out to be a beautiful girl!
Queenie Mahoney: Oh, I'll go get some clothes on.
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

Referenced in Wat leven wij gelukkig (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding of the Painted Doll
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung offscreen by James Burrows and danced by chorus girls
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Acting, Good Music
28 February 2004 | by drednmSee all my reviews

This is NOT a bad film. It's a 1929 musical that won an Oscar for best film as well as nominations for direction (Harry Beaumont) and lead actress, Bessie Love. It was the number ONE hit of 1929. Central to this film is Love's great performance as Hank Mahoney, the older sister in a musical act trying to make it on Broadway. The plot is pretty sophisticated for 1929. Bessie Love is in love with a singer (Charles King) who falls for younger sister, gorgeous Anita Page. Rather than hurt her sister, Page starts running around with a scummy playboy (Kenneth Thomson).

The truth comes out and Love backs off in a heart-breaking scene, giving up King and the act, and clears the way for Page and King. Two great songs: The Broadway Melody and You Were Meant for Me, both nicely done by Charles King. Love and Page are also fun in The Boy Friend song, in which Bessie Love gets to cut loose and dance in a full-fledged number. Another song, The Wedding of the Painted Dolls, is truly bizarre, and possibly the most over produced musical number you'll EVER see! But I like the music.

Yes, yes, you've seen all this before, but remember this is a 1929 talkie. The opening number is wonderful, with Charles King introducing The Broadway Melody. That's James Gleason as the music publisher. And keep your eyes on Rosie (no idea who played her) with her swinging beads. Blanche Payson plays "the big woman" in charge of the dressing room, who has a terrific scene with the gay designer (Drew Demorest). Mary Doran, Eddie Kane, Ray Cooke, and Jed Prouty have roles and that's composer Nacio Herb Brown at the piano. I love this film! I love the music. Bessie Love is SO GOOD in this film, you wonder why her talkie career didn't go better. Anita Page is also good and has a couple of terrific dramatic scenes. Charles King is a good singer but his acting was hammy. The three stars also appeared in Hollywood Revue of 1929. And yes, Bessie Love had been in films since the teens and was already a veteran of 15 years when she made this film. Catch her in Intolerance and The Lost World.


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