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The Broadway Melody (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 6 June 1929 (USA)
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:

Writers:

(story), (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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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 pulsating drama of Broadway's bared heart speaks and sings with a voice to stir your soul! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Broadway Melody of 1929  »

Box Office

Budget:

$379,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,808,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|

Color:

| (2-Strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally planned for Rosetta Duncan and Vivian Duncan (aka the Duncan Sisters), but they were unavailable, so Bessie Love and Anita Page won the roles of the Mahoney Sisters. See more »

Quotes

Stage Manager: You were great Mahoney!
Chorus Girl: I'll say you were! You'll be riding in a Rolls Royce by Thursday!
[laughter]
Stage Manager: What a flock of Johns will be waiting at that Stage Door.
Queenie Mahoney: Go on! You can't kid me!
Stage Manager: I'm not kidding you. I may be there myself!
[More laughter]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) 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

Has a Beat of Its Own.
1 April 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The second Best Picture Oscar winner and the very first that used the then-new advent of sound was "The Broadway Melody", a totally under-rated and under-appreciated musical that started a genre which would be dominant well into the late-1960s. It is depression-era New York and two country sisters (Oscar-nominee Anita Page and a very young Bessie Love) come to the city to make it big on Broadway. Of course the competition is stiff and success is not a sure thing by the longest of shots. Page is in love with the star (Charles King) of the show they want to be a part of. King believes he loves Page too, but quickly falls for her younger sister instead. Now the dilemma begins. The problems escalate further as Love becomes a star and begins to run around with socialite Kenneth Thomson (in an appropriately sleazy performance). Will the bright lights of the city destroy Page and Love's relationship forever and what will become of the two men in their lives? "The Broadway Melody" is admittedly a formula-driven film, but it works so much better than most all other soap operas throughout the history of the cinema. The main reason is because of top-notch direction by Oscar nominee Harry Beaumont and the solid performances from the four leads. There is also much dazzle in the production as the sound is revolutionary with lavish dance numbers and many instrumental ensembles. Wonderful cinematography, costume design, set direction and editing complete the film's excellence. Not quite a perfect film, but definitely a worthy Oscar winner that still stands pretty tall nearly 75 years after its initial release. 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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