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The Broadway Melody (1929)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Musical, Romance

The Broadway Melody (1929) Poster

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

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  • The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • Bessie Love in The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • Bessie Love and Anita Page in The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • Charles King and Bessie Love in The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • J. Emmett Beck and Bessie Love in The Broadway Melody (1929)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

8 April 2005 | van_ferro
| A 1929 Achievement
I had the chance of watching this amazing movie when I bought the DVD version of The Broadway Melody. Although the restoration of the film wasn't that good, it still brought me to a conclusion that the film itself is a landmark achievement in the invention of a new Hollywood genre: the movie musical.

In the strictest sense of the word musical, however, The Broadway Melody is still at tips. It only contains some three songs blurted out of nowhere by the actors, as well as some orchestral music accompanying the movie as musical score. However, this kind of musical, which is still very much understood to be young in 1929's case, is already a rave not only for audiences but also for the critics.

Also, the technical aspects of the film, although are not outstanding enough to win the modern Best Picture, are very much appreciated in 1929's case. If we watch the movie in 1929's style, we can see that indeed it is a great movie. Long shots of dance sequences, great art and set decoration and of course great costumes would fill your eyes, not mentioning the kind of sporadic editing techniques and bright lighting that this movie utilized. This movie, in 1929's opinion, would really win the Best Picture, hands down.

However, what's more interesting with this movie is that, as a contemporary audience watching it, I am so enthralled at the history it had shown me. Remember, this is the transition to sound. It is much amusing to notice the fact that for the first time in my life, I have seen movie title cards (used for denoting various locations in the film) and that it is obvious that the movie utilized the 16-frames-a- minute hand-cranked camera which was common with the silent films of the 1920s, because of the seemingly fast motion (you'd notice it too)that actors made in the movie. Another thing is the static nature of the cameras in this movie. It is explainable since cameras are enclosed in "iceboxes" or camera rooms that are enclosed so as not to be heard by the then all-hearing microphone, that's why, in 2005's opinion, it did not have an imaginative screenplay. However, at this focal points, I can say that history has been shown in this movie and has added a great deal of weight for it to be considered as Academy Award winner for Most Outstanding Production of 1929.

Critic Reviews

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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Altoona PA Sunday 7 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Portland OR 23 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Seattle 16 August 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Cleveland 25 November 1957 on KYW (Channel 3), in Miami 8 February 1958 on WCKT (Channel 7), in Spokane 28 April 1958 on KHQ (Channel 6), in Salt Lake City 31 May 1958 on KTVT (Channel 4), in San Francisco 22 June 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), in Norfolk VA 30 June 1958 on WTAR (Channel 3) and in Phoenix 7 September 1958 on KPHO (Channel 5). Major market telecasts were otherwise few and far between at this time, because of its age, and the relative obscurity of its leading players, as a result of strong resistance by sponsors who looked upon it simply as an outdated curiosity from a bygone era. Today it's in the TCM library and enjoys an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies based primarily on its historical status, now looked upon with and reverence and fascination by new generations of vintage film enthusiasts.


Queenie Mahoney: Gee, this is elegant, ain't it!


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

Alternate Versions

A silent version was also produced. However, Max Glücksmann in Argentina exhibited the sound version with Spanish language subtitles. It is unclear whether the subtitles were added by MGM itself or by the Federico Valle company in Argentina.


Give My Regards to Broadway
(1904) (uncredited)
Written by
George M. Cohan
In the score for the first scene


Plot Summary


Drama | Musical | Romance

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