This is the first musical to win a Best Picture Oscar and often is considered the granddaddy of all MGM musicals. Anita Page and Bessie Love star as two sisters in love with the same man. Year: 1929 Director: Harry Beaumon... more »t Starring: Charles King, Anita Page, Bessie Love,DVD Features:
"This wonderful movie was made in both silent and talkie versions in 1928, and released the following year.Bessie Love and the beautiful Anita Page star as two sisters trying to make it big on the NY stage, and both in love with the same man. Charles King,(1889-1944), a fairly well-known hoofer and song man of the era, plays Eddie. He does well in this movie, but it has been recorded elsewhere that he had great problems remembering his lines. Miss Page, 18 at the time, gives a stellar performance as a typical Jazz Age baby, but yet very naive and innocent.There was much of Miss Page in real life as she was here in this movie. Love is great as the scared-of-nothing older sister. The unbilled costume designer gives the ultimate fey performance everytime he appears. Jed Prouty is good as the stuttering Uncle Jed. Unfortunately, a lot of the men are very heavily and overly made up. The music is great, except for overkill of "You Were Meant for Me"(originally written for Anita Page by Nacio Herb Brown) and "Broadway Melody." 20's wisecrack remarks abound, especially well delivered by Mary Doran, who plays Flo. A great, great movie to be seen again and again. Because it is from 1929 is one of its charms. It is never outdated."
The First of the Hollywood Musicals
Daniel G. Berk | West Bloomfield, Michigan | 07/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this was the second film to win the best picture Academy Award, it was, in fact, a film of a number of firsts. It was the first all talking, all singing musical. Bessie Love, a name we certainly don't hear today, was nominated as best actress. She lost to Mary Pickford (Coquette).The film is somewhat dated, but don't forget it is over 70 years old. However, that notwithstanding, two songs, the title song and You Were Meant for Me, still hold up well. It is worth watching for for at least its historic value."
The Sounds of Broadway!
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 07/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Claimed by some as "The worst film to ever win best picture" I couldn't disagree more. "The Broadway Melody" carried a lot of importance with it in the world of cinema. It was the first complete "talkie". Flooded with music and dance.
"The Broadway Melody" tells the story of the Mahoney sisters, Queenis (Anita Page) and Hank (Bessie Love) who go to New York with the idea in their head they'll make it on Broadway with the help of Hank's boyfriend, Eddie Kearns (Charles King). But, as the film goes on we find outt hat both sisters are in love in Eddie, and Eddie feels the same way towards them, and everybody better get their feelings straight before and after the curtain closes on broadway!
I have to admit, even though slammed by many people as dull, too old-fashion, too cliche, and just plain boring, I enjoyed the film and for more reasons then it's techinical achievements. The film has a charm to it that has been forever lost in today's Hollywood. I would only recommend that serious movie lovers watch this film, other people will have no appreciation for it. This not the worst film to ever win the best picture award. And even if it didn't win the award I would still enjoy this film.
The only reason I'm giving this film 4 stars instead of 5 is that the dance numbers seem flat. There is no pizazz to it. Watch other musicals of the 30's like "Whoopee" made in 1930. Watch "42nd Street" or the Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers musicals. They all seem to have more "glitz and glamour" to them. "The Braodway Melody" number is awfully flat. But, they make up for it with "The Wedding of the Painted Doll" number. But even in this piece, the dancing is not amazing. The songs in the film however are, which happened to be written by the team of Freed & Brown, if you're having trouble placing them, they wrote "Temptation" along with, "The Broadway Melody" & "You Were Meant For Me" are enjoyable to listen to.
The story to the film is by Edmund Goulding, who directed "Grand Hotel" with Greta Garbo, which won best picture in 1932.
Bottom-line:Although it was the first musical to ever win the best picture award and was the first complete "talkie", the film has more to enjoy then this. It is a charming film that works more as a drama than a musical."
Fascinating, charming antique!
Jery Tillotson | New York, NY United States | 03/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some reviewers here have slammed this musical because it's "dated, old, stilted, stagey." For God's sake, this movie was made nearly a century ago! Of course it looks stagy and stilted and old-fashioned. But in l928, when this movie was being filmed, this was all revolutionary. And it's still fantastic fun. To me, Anita Page is fabulous. She should definitely have emerged as a super-star but according to her, Louis B. Mayer wanted to play footsie-wootsie (a polite way of saying you know what) and she refused to. End of starring roles. I love studying the fashions, the fresh and original music, the lingo, that young, naive air of the Jazz Age. Watch this one and then watch "The Jazz Singer." Both are utter joys. Watch them with an unbiased mind and accept "Melody" for what it must have been back in l928 (released l929)and the incredible impact it on audiences back then."
A FASCINATING CURIO.
scotsladdie | 11/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Invaribly dated with old-fashioned notions, sets, acting techniques - and most everything else antiqued - this film is nevertheless a fascinating historical milestone of the cinema. This was the film which is credited for starting the popularity of the backstage movie musical in the early sound era. Seen today, BROADWAY MELODY is a quaint curio filled with crude staging, hefty, lumbering chorines, and hackneyed situations - but, in its day it was (rather unbelievably) considered fresh, daring and exciting. In 1929, its success was phenomenal. Made at he cost of a mere $280,000, it took in more than 4 MILLION in profits -- (average theatre admission then was 35 cents!). It was both the first sound and musical film to win an AA for best picture; with Bessie Love winning a best actress nomination - the Oscar went, rather undeservedly, to Mary Pickford for her ridiculous performance in COQUETTE."