Lord Byron of Broadway (1930)

66 mins | Romance | 28 February 1930

Producer:

Harry Rapf

Cinematographer:

Henry Sharp

Editor:

Anne Bauchens

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The 6 January 1929 [Napa, CA] Napa Journal announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (M-G-M) had purchased screen rights to Nell Martin’s 1928 novel, Lord Byron of Broadway. The 16 February 1929 Motion Picture News indicated that the studio planned to make the screen adaptation an all-musical talking picture. Charles Kaley, a singer, was cast in the leading role of “Roy,” according to the 20 February 1929 [Indianapolis, IN] Indianapolis Star. However, later reports indicated that other actors were still being considered for the role. The 12 March 1929 Los Angeles Evening Post-Record noted that Charles King had been chosen for the part, after William Haines was considered but rejected, ostensibly due to the singing requirements. A news brief in the 13 July 1929 Indianapolis Star stated that Paul Gibbons was cast as Roy, but the 29 August 1929 [Camden, NJ] Morning Post later confirmed that, after sixty screen tests were taken, Charles Kaley was officially announced as the male lead.
       Likewise, a number of actresses were announced in the lead role of “Ardia.” Frances Williams was initially cast, as noted in the 19 June 1929 Variety. The 10 July 1929 Variety stated that Marion Harris was given the part, and also claimed that Milton Ager and Jack Yellen were writing songs for the picture. Later that month, a 31 July 1929 Variety brief reported that production was delayed, as filmmakers were waiting for Marion Harris to gain some weight. Stage actress Ethelind Terry was placed in the role by 28 August 1929, as noted in that day’s Los Angeles ...

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The 6 January 1929 [Napa, CA] Napa Journal announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (M-G-M) had purchased screen rights to Nell Martin’s 1928 novel, Lord Byron of Broadway. The 16 February 1929 Motion Picture News indicated that the studio planned to make the screen adaptation an all-musical talking picture. Charles Kaley, a singer, was cast in the leading role of “Roy,” according to the 20 February 1929 [Indianapolis, IN] Indianapolis Star. However, later reports indicated that other actors were still being considered for the role. The 12 March 1929 Los Angeles Evening Post-Record noted that Charles King had been chosen for the part, after William Haines was considered but rejected, ostensibly due to the singing requirements. A news brief in the 13 July 1929 Indianapolis Star stated that Paul Gibbons was cast as Roy, but the 29 August 1929 [Camden, NJ] Morning Post later confirmed that, after sixty screen tests were taken, Charles Kaley was officially announced as the male lead.
       Likewise, a number of actresses were announced in the lead role of “Ardia.” Frances Williams was initially cast, as noted in the 19 June 1929 Variety. The 10 July 1929 Variety stated that Marion Harris was given the part, and also claimed that Milton Ager and Jack Yellen were writing songs for the picture. Later that month, a 31 July 1929 Variety brief reported that production was delayed, as filmmakers were waiting for Marion Harris to gain some weight. Stage actress Ethelind Terry was placed in the role by 28 August 1929, as noted in that day’s Los Angeles Times. Lord Byron of Broadway marked the feature film debut of both Terry and her leading man, Charles Kaley.
       Olga Printzlau was initially brought on to adapt the script, according to the 21 March 1929 Los Angeles Evening Citizen News. The 13 June 1929 Film Daily later identified Crane Wilbur as the director, although Wilbur ultimately served as continuity and dialogue writer, along with Willard Mack. William Nigh was named as the director in a 26 July 1929 Los Angeles Evening Post-Record item.
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin the week of 10 August 1929, according to that day’s issue of Hollywood Filmograph. Shooting took place at M-G-M’s studio in Culver City, CA, and was completed by late October 1929, around the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The 23 October 1929 Variety indicated that producer Harry Rapf had recently viewed a cut of the picture and disapproved of its finale. Re-shoots, including new scenes and dialogue, were planned. Three days later, the 26 October 1929 Motion Picture News reported that a fire at Consolidated Film Laboratories had destroyed the last three days of work on Lord Byron of Broadway, along with footage from several other films. Around this time, actor James Morgan was replaced by Benny Rubin in the role of “Phil.” The 2016 book, Unsung Hollywood Musicals of the Golden Era indicated that director William Nigh was replaced by Harry Beaumont around the time that retakes were ordered.
       Peter Higgins, Mary Doran, and Marjorie Joesting were named as cast members in the 24 July 1929 Variety, 30 August 1929 New York Daily News, and 3 January 1930 [Alton, IL] Alton Evening Telegraph, respectively. Items in the 12 September 1929 Los Angeles Times and 15 September 1929 New York Times claimed that Shannon Day and Jacqueline Logan were given leading roles.
       The two-color Technicolor "Woman in the Shoe" musical number from this film was interpolated into two later M-G-M shorts, Nertsery Rhymes (1933) and Roast Beef and Movies (1934).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Alton Evening Telegraph [Alton, IL]
3 Jan 1930
p. 3
Film Daily
13 Jun 1929
p. 7
Film Daily
9 Mar 1930
---
Hollywood Filmograph
10 Aug 1929
p. 20
Indianapolis Star [Indianapolis, IN]
20 Feb 1929
p. 10
Indianapolis Star [Indianapolis, IN]
13 Jul 1929
p. 10
Los Angeles Evening Express
22 Mar 1929
p. 27
Los Angeles Evening News Citizen
21 Mar 1929
p. 12
Los Angeles Evening Post-Record
12 Mar 1929
p. 5
Los Angeles Evening Post-Record
26 Jul 1929
p. 9
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1929
Section A, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
12 Sep 1929
p. 7
Morning Post [Camden, NJ]
29 Aug 1929
p. 7
Motion Picture News
16 Feb 1929
p. 497
Motion Picture News
26 Oct 1929
p. 20
Napa Journal [Napa, CA]
6 Jan 1929
p. 5
New York Daily News
30 Aug 1929
p. 469
New York Times
28 Jul 1929
---
New York Times
15 Sep 1929
---
New York Times
8 Mar 1930
p. 21
Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph [Pittsburgh, PA]
23 Jun 1929
p. 51
Standard Union [Brooklyn, NY]
7 Nov 1929
p. 8
Variety
19 Jun 1929
p. 45
Variety
10 Jul 1929
p. 33
Variety
17 Jul 1929
p. 62
Variety
24 Jul 1929
p. 49
Variety
31 Jul 1929
p. 48
Variety
23 Oct 1929
p. 21
Variety
6 Nov 1929
p. 39
Variety
12 Mar 1930
p. 33
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
SOUND
Rec eng
DANCE
Dance dir
Ballet staged by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Lord Byron of Broadway by Nell Martin (New York, Rae D. Henkle Co., Inc., 1928).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Only Love Is Real," "A Bundle of Old Love Letters," "Should I?" "The Woman in the Shoe," "When I Met You" and "You're the Bride and I'm the Groom," words by Arthur Freed, music by Nacio Herb Brown; "Love Ain't Nothin' but the Blues," words by Joe Goodwin, music by Louis Alter; "Blue Daughter of Heaven," words and music by Dimitri Tiomkin and Raymond B. Egan, "The Japanese Sandman" [1920] music by Richard A. Whiting, lyrics by Raymond B. Egan.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 February 1930
Production Date:
mid Aug--late Oct or Nov 1930
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
24 February 1930
LP1088
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Sound, also silent
Also si.
Duration(in mins):
66
Length(in feet):
7,200
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Roy, a cafe pianist and songwriter, uses his various romantic attachments as sources for creative inspiration, and when a girl who is infatuated with him shows him a bundle of old love letters, he exploits this material so successfully that he goes on to repeat the process with number of other girls. He finally stages his own vaudeville act with Nancy, a girl he discovers in a piano store. His friend Joe tries to save Roy from his habit of breaking hearts but himself dies as a result of his efforts. Consequently, Roy agrees to marry Nancy and give up his posture of a Broadway Lord ...

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Roy, a cafe pianist and songwriter, uses his various romantic attachments as sources for creative inspiration, and when a girl who is infatuated with him shows him a bundle of old love letters, he exploits this material so successfully that he goes on to repeat the process with number of other girls. He finally stages his own vaudeville act with Nancy, a girl he discovers in a piano store. His friend Joe tries to save Roy from his habit of breaking hearts but himself dies as a result of his efforts. Consequently, Roy agrees to marry Nancy and give up his posture of a Broadway Lord Byron.

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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
with songs, Show business


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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