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  • I've always enjoyed this movie and consider it one of the better musicals of the 1940's. There has been quite a bit of interest in the Ross Sisters as they have popped up all over the internet due to their performance in Broadway Rhythm. They were billed as Aggie, Maggie, and Elmira but their real names were Vicki, Dixie, and Betsy. They hailed from Colorado City, Texas and were daughters of dirt farmers during the dust bowl days. They trained on their own and began working theaters and fairs in the Midwest. Pooling their money, they bought a trailer and moved to New Jersey to a trailer park about a mile from the George Washington bridge on Route 6. They earned minor roles in a George Kaufman play, Count Me In, and went on to Broadway Rhythm then Pickadilly Hayride at the Prince of Wales Theater in London. They were summoned before the King and Queen for a command performance on Nov. 4, 1946.
  • A pleasing enough entertainment, working primarily as a pageant of various MGM specialty acts - impressionists, contortionists, nightclub acts, tap-dancers, as well as the standard musical theatrical numbers. The film isn't a musical in the traditional sense, as all the musical numbers are in the contest of an actual performance (some done toward the camera). It's much more in the tradition of a 1960s-70s variety TV show.

    There is a connecting plot, though only the slimmest possible. For me, the movie dragged whenever it stopped the music for a little story updating. George Murphy doesn't really dance much here - just briefly toward the beginning and end - and he does an OK piano medley in the middle. Ginny Simms isn't much of a screen presence, but has a great voice used to advantage. Close your eyes while she's singing and you won't miss much onscreen, other than the costumes.

    The highlights are in the supporting cast; great numbers from Lena Horne, Tommy Dorsey, Hazel Scott, and Nancy Walker (though you really have to wait for hers; she's a bit underused here). Really nice work from Gloria DeHaven and Kenny Bowers in their couple of tunes, as well as Walter Long's tap-dancing. The singing-contortionist Ross Sisters are something to see, but the impressionist got on my nerves after a while. (Some of his subjects will not register with viewers unfamiliar with the era; there's a couple of topical jokes elsewhere in the film also.)

    And Charles Winninger is a pleasure to watch in a diversion for him; I've rarely seen him in musical roles.

    In short, worth seeing for most of the musical segments; the rest is unremarkable.

    7 of 10
  • What's not to like about this film of the early musical genre? Although it lacks any very big star names for the time, it's a fun and entertaining variety show put on film. I'll give something more on that genre later. There are a lot of acts with a lot of talent – all very good. As most musicals of its genre to that time, it doesn't have much of a plot. And, it apparently underwent considerable changes in the original plans and casting. The hit songs are repeats from 1943 or earlier. But, I decided to chance it for two reasons. First, all the usual musicals of the early genre were of the stage revue type. They usually were very entertaining, and they often had performers that one may not have seen before. Second, the film has Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra.

    I will always try a movie that has any of the big name swing bands in it. I grew up with that music in the 1940s and 50s, before rock 'n roll; and the swing era had so many super talented musicians and bands that it showcased. Since it made the vocalists so popular, we've not had another time (other than classical or pops concerts) in which the music makers have been in the spotlight. And yet, swing era music lives on more than any other genre as background and theme music in movies.

    So, the cast in this one is quite good and all the technical aspects of the show are fine. Tommy Dorsey has a decent role with some good lines beside his playing and leading his band. I think he's one of the better of the band leaders at acting too. Lena Horne has two dazzling numbers in "Brazilian Boogie Woogie," and "Somebody Loves Me." Ginny Simms sings three romantic songs: "Amour, Amour," "Irresistible You," and "All the Things You Are." Gloria DeHaven has a couple of nice songs and dances. Walter B. Long is one of those unknowns who only appeared in two films – but here he does some dazzling dancing. Another person I might not have heard play was Hazel Scott, an outstanding classical and jazz pianist, born in Trinidad. She really makes the piano sing and dance in this movie. A number of other people sing and dance their way through this film with lots of fun. Of course, that includes George Murphy in the lead as Broadway producer Johnny Demming, and his pop, Sam, played by old-hand actor and terrific performer Charles Winninger. One other act in this film was very interesting and entertaining – again something one would only see in a stage revue or show like this. The Ross sisters – Aggie, Elmira and Maggie, do a nice song and dance number – I think it's called "Potato Salad" that include some fantastic acrobatics on their part. They all three must have been triple-joined.

    The popularity of this type of entertainment didn't wane for decades. But it took to new venues. In the 1950s, singing stars left the big bands that 'discovered' them, and began performing on their own. Some would develop their own bands. They toured the country giving concerts. They would usually include other performers and acts – to the give stars a break, if for no other reason. There were crooners like Bing Crosby and Dean Martin, jazz and blues singers like Louis Prima and Lena Horne, pop singers from the swing bands such as Frank Sinatra and Kay Francis, and rock and roll singers such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Early television began to sponsor variety shows, and helped discover more talents – or propel them into the spotlight and fame, as it did Elvis Presley. Ed Sullivan was the king of the variety and review type show on TV for many years. The Ed Sullivan Show (aka, The Toast of the Town) ran for 23 years from 1948 to 1971. It was the longest running variety show broadcast in history. That was a new venue for the revue type of shows.

    I enjoy all types of musicals, and think that the type of entertainment we see in films such as "Broadway Rhythm" just doesn't have a public venue in the 21st century. To see something like this film today, one would have to go to a concert and buy tickets that would cost in the range of $50 to $100 or more. But, here we have it on film, and can watch it in the uncrowded comfort of our homes. I highly recommend "Broadway Rhythm" just for the music and dancing entertainment alone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Treasure this multitalented Technicolor musical-variety extravaganza, featuring Gloria De Haven at her teeny bopper prime, and the lovely Ginny Simms, an equal singing talent, minimally featured by Hollywood, whose singing voice reminds me of Dina Shore's. Gloria was featured in two other musicals that year, but those were in B&W. Here we get to see her and so many others in splashy Technicolor.

    My title is a quote from personable George Murphy, as he argues with stage singer Helen Hoyt(Ginny Simms) about which production she should be starring in. Murphy's character(Johnny), as a stage producer, provides most of the interpersonal friction in this film. Besides his sometimes stormy relation with Ginny, he wants to tell sister Patsy(Gloria) she must finish high school and college before she can think about a career, and argues with his semi-retired father show producer(Charles Winninger) about what shows to produce, and where.

    Ginny and Gloria are the female costars, with underutilized Nancy Walker an occasional presence in comic relief. George Murphy is the male star, with Gloria's boyfriend Ray(Kenny Bowers), Charles Winninger("State Fair"), friend Ben Blue, servant "Rochester" Anderson(Jack Benny's foil) and band leader Tommy Dorsey the other main male characters.Ben and Rochester are present mostly for occasional comic relief. Winninger, Bowers(who looks and acts rather like Joe E. Brown) and Murphy also have comedic, as well as musical skills. Ben and Nancy also do a comical skit and dance involving milk bottles, accompanied by Dorsey's band.Impersonator Dean Murphy adds further to the comedic element with his impersonations of a variety of film and political figures of the time. I didn't catch who he was impersonating in about half the cases, but I clearly detected Joe E. Brown, Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd puppets(his best and longest act), Jimmy Stewart, FDR and wife Eleanor.

    Ginny was 10 years older than Gloria and taller. Thus, she plays the grande dame actress/singer to Gloria's teeny bopper character, who is just trying to get started in show business. The wardrobe department gave Ginny a variety a solid one color outfits. While Dorsey's band and singing group are doing "Irresistible You", she makes her grand entry into a nightspot in a striking all white outfit, including a large ermine stole, which contrasted nicely with her dark hair. In her "Amor" number, she was in an all black traditional Spanish garb, including a large headpiece. She wore a blond wig, again, to contrast with her dress. The accompanying Matadors had capes black on one side and pink on the other, to match her dress and the pink flowers in her hair. She sports a simple blue evening dress while crooning "All the Things You Are" to Murphy in his studio. In her final appearance, she is in a flaming orange gown, reclining in a see-through love seat set on a large float-like circular platform that initially is distantly centered in a dark backdrop, behind a veil curtain. Her float descends and comes forward as she croons "Irresistible You", then "All the Things You Are". She is accompanied by a female chorus in bright contrasting blue and pink outfits. This is a variation on the 'Goddess descending to earth' theme, which was given to a number of singers in the '40s. De Haven did it in "Step Lively"; Rita Hayworth in "Cover Girl", Judy Garland in " 'Till the Clouds Roll By" and Arlene Dahl, in "Three Little Words". This performance differs from the others in that Ginny does not descend on foot and she has a female, rather than a male, chorus awaiting her(because the chorus had just finished a number backing up Winninger and Murphy).

    In Gloria's best number, she does a song and dance to "Pretty Baby", first with Kenny, later with Winninger. The latter is a daydream sequence in which Winninger imagines he is dancing with Gloria in a gay '90s setting, when he was a young man in vaudeville. Before this, Winninger does a comical trombone duet with Dorsey to "I Love Corny Music". Murphy also gets to do a couple of dances here and there, being an ex-vaudevillian himself.He starts with a beautiful romantic dance with an unnamed partner in a gorgeous yellow gown.

    African Americans have a good presence, with gravely- voiced 'Rochester' as comedian and Hazel Scott playing a classical jazz number on the piano, accompanied by an AA band. Lena Horne is featured in two numbers: the colorful sensual "Brazilian Boogie", which includes quite a few AA extras,some in Carmen-Miranda-like outfits, and the more conventional "Somebody Loves Me", both among her most memorable performances.

    I can't leave out the show stopper: the unique song and contortionist dance/performance by the young Ross Sisters. This has to be seen to be believed! One sister would be sensational enough, but 3 sisters equally talented makes it 3X as amazing. You can also see this on the "That's Entertainment" compendium DVD.

    Although Nancy Walker hardly had the looks and personality of a leading lady, she had tremendous talent as a comedienne, as well as musical and dancing talent. She had several smash hit roles on Broadway in the early '40s, as well as later success on TV. Unfortunately, she only had a couple of roles in Hollywood films, with the best in "Best Foot Forward". We could have used another good skit featuring her in the present film.
  • Ginny Simms was at her best in acting and at the height of her beauty. The movie is worth watching just to see Ginny. Tommy Dorsey was great as usual, wish he had played more tunes. George Murphy, Ben Blue, Rochester, Lena Horne, Nancy Walker all helped make the movie very enjoyable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Another typical Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland like film with a family rehearsing for a show in the barnyard. How many times has this theme been used in Hollywood musicals?

    That being said, the film is long on entertainment. Song and dance man George Murphy is wonderful as the son who feuds with his dad (an excellent Charles Winninger) over which show to produce.

    The supporting cast is great with Ginnie Simms just wonderful in a lead role. Too bad that her career was short circuited by Louis Mayer.

    I just loved Nancy Walker with her long hair and devilish looks. She with Ben Blue dance up a storm in "The Milkman" song-dance segment.

    The guy who did those fabulous imitations of James Stewart, Clark Gable, Ronald Colman and Bette Davis was phenomenal. How can I forget his take-off on FDR as well?

    This is a high entertaining musical even if the theme has been repeated.
  • oldiesdude19565 June 2016
    Just before Murphy and Simms go to see the Palm Reader, the man at the visual machine, with his back to us, when responding to Murphys comment looks quickly back. He looks life Paul Ford of the Music Man and You'll Never Get Rich (Bilko). He looks very young too. The color is fantastic and the opening number is first rate. It is great to see Nancy Walker in her youth. The dancers are superb and the music is great. Ginny Simms looks great coming out of Kay Keysers band. She was also with Abbott and Costello in a movie called "Hit the Ice." Her voice is great and the band compliments her voice. Lorne looks great but the Brazilian number was a little dull. They could have used her better in another dance scene.I give the movie a strong seven.
  • I can hardly believe that Broadway Rhythm started out as Very Warm For May on Broadway, one of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, II's flop musicals. A look at the biography of Jerome Kern by Gerald Bordman tells me that other than it being a backstage story, the plot of Very Warm For May and Broadway Rhythm is completely different. The character names have been changed and almost an entire new score was written for the film.

    The one song retained from Kern's score is one of the best he ever wrote, All The Things You Are. It happens that way sometimes, a flop musical can yield a gem of a hit. Ginny Simms sings it beautifully.

    Don Raye and Gene DePaul wrote the original songs, nothing terribly memorable. Some other material was interpolated among them my favorite George Gershwin song, Somebody Loves Me which guest star Lena Horne sings to perfection. Oddly enough the song Broadway Rhythm isn't heard here or may have wound up on the cutting room floor.

    George Murphy plays a Broadway producer and son of an old time vaudeville performer Charles Winninger. Winninger thinks Murphy has gone too high hat and feels that sentimentality and schmaltz will always sell on Broadway. To prove it he and movie star Ginny Simms who Murphy is trying to get to star in a new show he's producing go out and invest their money and produce an old show that Murphy had discarded years ago.

    Broadway Rhythm has a lot of good talent in the cast like Nancy Walker, Ben Blue, Hazel Scott, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Sad that it was all wasted on a very trite backstage story.
  • While this is bright and colorful with some wonderful music this MGM musical is most assuredly not a top of the line production.

    Based on a successful Broadway show, Very Warm for May, that the producers chose to cut to ribbons taking many of the songs out and turning into an ordinary backstage story of a brash blow-hard trying to put on a show.

    A big indicator of the lower expectations that befell the property is the cast. None of the top line Metro stars are on board.

    While originally intended for Judy Garland the lead is now filled by lesser light Ginny Simms. Simms had a beautiful voice and a lovely face but knowing the part was meant for Judy allows the viewer to consider star quality and the impact one performer makes on screen over another. Whereas Judy was always relaxed, natural and alive when the cameras were trained on her Ginny comes across as stiff and uneasy. You can almost see her counting down until the other person in the scene finishes talking so she can say her lines. However when she sings she's more at ease and accessible. This was to be her big chance at above the title screen stardom but the movie was an under performer and after a few more supporting roles, one in Night and Day showed her to good advantage, she went back to the bandstand. She doesn't ruin the film but she doesn't help it much.

    The next performer that indicates the lower expectations of the picture is George Murphy in the lead. A top star in 30's musicals and a fine dancer he had moved down to second leads and B's by this point so his casting in this as opposed to Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire shows the studio didn't firmly believe in the material.

    It's not all bad, the supporting cast has a few saving graces, although Gloria De Haven is arch and annoying. Charles Winninger and Rochester are there with their stock but amusing characters and blessedly Nancy Walker adds spice whenever she shows up on the scene, to bad her part wasn't bigger.

    As was the custom at the time the film has several specialty numbers and they are a very mixed bag.

    The bad: impressionist Dean Murphy while not untalented tries way too hard in his bit. Contortionist sister act The Ross Sisters are remarkably limber but their routine is downright creepy.

    The good: Although I'm not a fan Lena Horne comes across well in her two numbers and the great Hazel Scott tears it up at the piano working her special magic.

    Filmed in rich eye popping Technicolor this is a pleasant diversion but nowhere near the peak of what MGM was capable of at this point. For that see the same year's Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • Hey Gang let's put on a musical! We can use that barn down the road and I know a Hollywood star who's just dying for a launching pad to Broadway. She's read the script and she's sure that it's a winner, much better than that new one that Uncle Johnny wrote. Boy we'll show him won't we?

    There's the story of Broadway Rhythm in a nutshell. With a great cast it might have made a passable time waster. But then great casts usually steer clear of lame scripts. So this movie got a pretty uneven cast. When Tommy Dorsey is a standout in the acting department you know you have to worry. Apparently Gene Kelly and Eleanor Powell were originally slated for this movie, fortunately they took different paths in their careers. The movie would have been much much better, but it might have sandbagged their careers.

    Unfortunately the leads went to George Murphy and Ginny Simms. Simms wears more make-up than a Macdonald's clown and always has a fake TV commercial smile plastered on her kisser. The effect is eerie. She gets to sing one of the finest songs of that era, "All the Things You Are" and it is almost a complete waste. It's her best moment but it certainly isn't the song's.

    Murphy's idea of wooing Ms Simms appears remarkably similar to dickering for a used car. According to the plot he's supposed to be a much better dancer than the youngster he won't give a break to even though he's the son of his father's former partner. To prove that he's such a great dancer, he doesn't dance.

    There is some dancing and singing that is worth watching. Most of it comes from Gloria deHaven, who looks gorgeous and natural next to Simms. She may just have inspired the term hot pants with her outfit in one of the scenes from their little musical. Nancy Walker, the comedy relief in "MacMillan and Wife" appears as a wannabe performer and she is a standout especially in her musical number. In an unrelated sighting (to the plot that is) we also see Lena Horne, who is given the number "Brazilian Boogie Woogie". For some that alone will be worth watching. The strangest bit has to be a trio who pop out of nowhere as the kids are negotiating for the barn. They sing like the Andrew Sisters and dance like Chinese acrobats.

    Was it a measure of the times that everybody seems to be under the impression that Spanish is the language of Brazil? Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!
  • mark.waltz6 September 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    The short-lived 1939 Broadway musical "Very Warm For May" seemed to have so much going for it, including an amusing plot line of which only a shell remains here. Of the songs, that shell has been cut down to one sliver: the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II standard, "All the Things You Are", which has become a classic. MGM saw the potential in the shell of the "Let's put a show on in the barn!" theme (which they had done several times with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, not to mention a few forgotten second rate movie musicals), and rumors of different casting ideas began flying around. What came to the screen in 1944 is a colorful but bland variation of the show's book that put George Murphy and Ginny Sims in the leads, and as talented as they are, they just don't have the spark to make the film really work. That gives the supporting players, second leads and guest stars the chance to shine.

    Murphy, having been the second lead in some recent hit MGM musicals ("Broadway Melody of 1940", "Little Nellie Kelly", "For Me and My Gal") is handsome and charming enough, but as a Broadway producer, he seems far from commanding. His need for a leading lady leads him to the ermine wearing Ginny Sims, playing a movie musical star who just happens to saunter by. Murphy seems to be on to her act, telling retired vaudevillian pop Charles Winninger that he wouldn't be interested in casting her, but within minutes, is at her table negotiating a deal. Sims, having been discovered at RKO singing with Kay Kyser's band, is certainly very pretty, and she has a nice singing voice, but it's nothing that creates a movie star, so her one chance at movie stardom outside her featured singer appearances was a sad disappointment for her.

    Feeling neglected, Winninger decides to put on his own show in upstate New York in a barn and this attracts a couple of local talents, including the acrobatic Ross Sisters who after singing in Andrews Sisters style end up doing some very creepy looking dance moves where their whole bodies seem to disconnect from their bones so they can move in any manner they want to. Discovered by movie audiences in "That's Entertainment III" after this film went into obscurity, that sequence has become a cult favorite. Basically repeating his beloved stage role of Captain Andy for modern times, Winninger is completely lovable and thus steals the film acting wise.

    Fresh from her critically acclaimed success in "Best Foot Forward", Nancy Walker steals the scenes as the Patsy Kelly like comic who responds to private school teacher Sara Haden's claims of teaching Greek and Latin to being Scotch and Irish. She gets one novelty number, "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet!", which may not be a great song, but Walker certainly sells it. The Garland/Rooney teaming here goes to Gloria DeHaven and Kenny Bowers (both also from "Best Foot Forward") who may not have the magic of those two but do fairly well with the material given. It's another chance for Lena Horne to make her customary musical cameo, here given two numbers, which sadly could be cut out in the South. Once again, Ben Blue is tossed in for some deadpan offbeat comedy, and once again, it is a matter of taste if you find him funny. The result makes this one of the most disappointing movie musicals of 1944, one with a few highlights, but overall mostly forgettable.
  • Talented Eddie "Rochester" Anderson stars in another fine example of racism at work in America, namely the unwritten rule of black actors not being allowed to perform with their white counterparts unless they are domestic servants. The exception here is the George and Ira Gershwin number "Somebody Loves Me," performed by Lena Horne. Many scenes with black performers, including the Hazel Scott piono swing version of "Minute Waltz," are positioned in such a way that theaters in the South could cut them without losing the storyline.Archie Savage is Horne's dance partnet in "Brazilian Boogie-Woogie," another noteworthy number, and leading lady Ginny Simms does a good job with "All the Things You Are." Nancy Walker and Ben Blue are hilarious in the "Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet" number with Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra.
  • writers_reign29 December 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    As mish-moshes go this is right up there with the cream. Jerome Kern's more than distinguished Broadway career stuttered to a halt in 1939 with a mega-flop that lasted 59 performances. The show was called Very Warm for May and May was a girl's name rather than the month of which should tell you all you need to know. Kern took it on the Jesse Owens and spent his final six years in Hollywood.MGM had purchased the rights to Very Warm For May anticipating it would be a hit. With the rights on their hands they figured the best thing to do would be to disown it; change the title, carve it up, and get a new score. Actually the score wasn't bad, it was, after all, the work of Kern and Oscar Hammmerstein but numbers like All In Fun and In The Heart Of The Dark were completely overshadowed by the one seriously enduring number All The Things You Are. What Metro did was turn it into a vaudeville act assigning the female lead to Louis B. Mayer's girl friend Ginny Sims whose main claim to fame was getting Sinatra fired from MGM - Mayer was unseated while horseriding and Sinatra was heard to say openly 'Mayer fell of Ginny Simms'. For leading man they tapped George Murphy who, as a song-and-dance man made a good Governor. Lena Horne got to sing her usual two numbers in isolation so they could be cut in the South, Nancy Walker made the best of her one number, Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet, Charles Winninger wheeled out his retired hoofer living in the past routine and The Ross Sisters traumatized young children with their acrobatics. If this is the sort of thing you like you'll like this sort of thing.
  • Whomever took a look at the final script for "Broadway Rhythm" must have realized that the only thing that might put this one over would be an abundance of talented performers, since the plot was a mere trifle.

    As a result, the film is full of gifted performers unable to bring much life to this routine musical about a producer quarreling with his father over how to produce their next show and walking out on him. Of course, everything is straightened out by the final reel and the show is a smash hit.

    MGM produced this in velvety Technicolor with all the trimmings but there's no disguising the fact that the witless script is full of flat lines and only occasionally does a song get that MGM treatment.

    George Murphy and Ginny Simms get top billing with Gloria DeHaven, Charles Winninger, Nancy Walker and Ben Blue in good support. Guest star Lena Horne gives the film its most solid moments with two specialty numbers and Hazel Scott does magic with her finger work at the piano. Eddie "Rochester" Anderson provides some comic relief.

    But Murphy gets only one dance routine at the finale and Ginny Simms only gets one memorable song ("All The Things You Are") to warble before the show is over. It all has a slap-dash kind of organization, the story flow stopping every few moments to accommodate another frenzied number.

    The tiresome script is the problem, lacking wit and originality. Six years later, "Summer Stock" with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly (and Gloria DeHaven) did a much better job with similar material and better songs.
  • It's surprising when you watch "Broadway Rhythm" that it's a full-color film. After all, the actors are mostly second-tier and the songs are, for the most part, awful and have nothing to do with the original Broadway production. So why film it in very expensive color film stock? Well, the answer probably lies in the star of the film--Ginny Simms. At the time this film was made, she and studio chief Louis B. Meyer were, according to IMDb, REALLY, REALLY good friends (wink, wink)! The fact that he'd spend so much studio money on color film is less of a surprise than the rest of the film being so incredibly poor.

    George Murphy plays a fat-headed Broadway producer. Although he's successful, he thinks he knows everything--and treats his father and sister like they are idiots. He never trusts them and is very controlling. This comes back to haunt him when he wants to produce his next play, as the actress he wants (Simms) is convinced by his father and sister to star in THEIR production--a sort of homage to the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland films where they produce a HUGE mega-show supposedly in a humble barn.

    The film has a lot of glitz and I am sure a lot of money was spent making it. However, there are too many songs and too many bad songs--which makes the film drag. The only number I liked was the great piano piece. Otherwise, the songs were just limp and forgettable...well, except for the first number when Murphy danced with a woman who looked for all the world like a giant banana!! Very easy to avoid--very hard to watch to the end!
  • 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.
  • Plot is so banal and shopworn I won't mention it here. George Murphy isn't appealing enough to carry a movie as the male lead. And Ginny Simms has so much makeup packed on to her face she must have been personally responsible for 37% of Revlon's profit that year. Yet I still award this movie 3 stars -- one for each of the Ross sisters. Their disturbingly compelling freak show acrobatic act is worth the price of admission. By the end of their shtick they're performing contortions that are so odd I started to wonder what they - or their choreographer or the film-makers - were trying to suggest. Ahem. Lena Horne acquits herself well. As usual, she's the best part in an otherwise terrible movie. That woman was radiant.