Broadway Bad (1933)

59 or 61 mins | Drama | 24 February 1933

Director:

Sidney Lanfield

Cinematographer:

George Barnes

Editor:

Paul Weatherwax

Production Designer:

Gordon Wiles

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

A 6 Jul 1932 HCN news item reported that Hamilton MacFadden was originally set to direct this film and that Joan Bennett and John Boles were slated for the leads. According to news items, Fox decided to shelve the project in mid-Sep 1932 before production began. According to a HR news item, Ricardo Cortez replaced Ralph Morgan as the male lead because Fox had signed Cortez for one film before his Paramount contract was to begin, and the film he was originally scheduled to do, The Giant Swing , was shelved. While the screen credits, studio records and credits in reviews call the character played by Francis McDonald "Charley Davis," he is actually called "Tommy Davis" in the film's dialogue. The NYT reviewer, in panning the film, quipped that "the title would be a more accurate description if read backward." Some scenes were shot at the football "bowl" stadium at Yale University, according to a pressbook. Joan Blondell married the cameraman of this film, George Barnes, later in 1933. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA asked for Twentieth Century-Fox to withdraw its application for certification for a re-issue in Oct 1935 because the film did not conform with the tenets of the Production Code. Modern sources add the following addition credits: Orch Hugo Friedhofer; Cast Max Wagner ( Reporter ), Larry Steers ( Business associate ), Matty Roubert ( Newsboy ) and Henry Hall ( Bailiff ... More Less

A 6 Jul 1932 HCN news item reported that Hamilton MacFadden was originally set to direct this film and that Joan Bennett and John Boles were slated for the leads. According to news items, Fox decided to shelve the project in mid-Sep 1932 before production began. According to a HR news item, Ricardo Cortez replaced Ralph Morgan as the male lead because Fox had signed Cortez for one film before his Paramount contract was to begin, and the film he was originally scheduled to do, The Giant Swing , was shelved. While the screen credits, studio records and credits in reviews call the character played by Francis McDonald "Charley Davis," he is actually called "Tommy Davis" in the film's dialogue. The NYT reviewer, in panning the film, quipped that "the title would be a more accurate description if read backward." Some scenes were shot at the football "bowl" stadium at Yale University, according to a pressbook. Joan Blondell married the cameraman of this film, George Barnes, later in 1933. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA asked for Twentieth Century-Fox to withdraw its application for certification for a re-issue in Oct 1935 because the film did not conform with the tenets of the Production Code. Modern sources add the following addition credits: Orch Hugo Friedhofer; Cast Max Wagner ( Reporter ), Larry Steers ( Business associate ), Matty Roubert ( Newsboy ) and Henry Hall ( Bailiff ). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Mar 33
p. 2.
HF
3 Dec 32
p. 16.
Hollywood Citizen-News
6 Jul 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
2 Dec 32
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 32
p. 3.
International Photographer
Jan 33
p. 21.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Mar 33
p. 19, 24
New York Times
6 Mar 33
p. 16.
Variety
7 Mar 33
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Revisions and addl dial
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"Forget the Past," words and music by Sidney Mitchell and Harry Akst
"Little Man," words and music by L. Wolfe Gilbert and James F. Hanley.
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 February 1933
Production Date:
began 2 December 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 February 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3667
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59 or 61
Length(in feet):
5,365
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In varying degrees of undress, the chorus girls of the "Frolics of 1929" gossip that the show's rich backer, brokerage head Craig Cutting, has "given the gate" to his mistress Aileen, one of the dancers, in preference to Antoinette "Tony" Landers, a dancer described as "a nice kid from a nice home." As the girls chat, Tony is being seduced by her boyfriend, Bob North, the scion of a wealthy family, in the empty stadium at Yale, where he goes to college. Sometime later, as Tony prepares to go to her social debut at Craig's party, Aileen confuses and upsets her with taunts about Craig's "dividend checks" and "technique." At the party, Tony learns that the dividend checks Craig has been giving her have not come, as she supposed, from the bonds her mother left her, but instead directly from Craig. She rebukes him for putting her in a position of obligation to him and refuses to succumb to his "technique" after he denies that he expects anything in return. Just then, Bob, whose suspicions have been fueled by Aileen, arrives and, after revealing that Tony is his wife, slaps her face with the cancelled checks, calls her a "dirty little tramp" and leaves. Tony confesses to Craig that she kept the marriage secret so that Bob would not be kicked out of college. When she asks Craig to help straighten out the situation, he refuses to interfere. Craig is named as a corespondent in the divorce proceedings, and when he offers Tony a lawyer to contest the suit so that he can avoid a scandal, she coldly refuses, having become convinced by ... +


In varying degrees of undress, the chorus girls of the "Frolics of 1929" gossip that the show's rich backer, brokerage head Craig Cutting, has "given the gate" to his mistress Aileen, one of the dancers, in preference to Antoinette "Tony" Landers, a dancer described as "a nice kid from a nice home." As the girls chat, Tony is being seduced by her boyfriend, Bob North, the scion of a wealthy family, in the empty stadium at Yale, where he goes to college. Sometime later, as Tony prepares to go to her social debut at Craig's party, Aileen confuses and upsets her with taunts about Craig's "dividend checks" and "technique." At the party, Tony learns that the dividend checks Craig has been giving her have not come, as she supposed, from the bonds her mother left her, but instead directly from Craig. She rebukes him for putting her in a position of obligation to him and refuses to succumb to his "technique" after he denies that he expects anything in return. Just then, Bob, whose suspicions have been fueled by Aileen, arrives and, after revealing that Tony is his wife, slaps her face with the cancelled checks, calls her a "dirty little tramp" and leaves. Tony confesses to Craig that she kept the marriage secret so that Bob would not be kicked out of college. When she asks Craig to help straighten out the situation, he refuses to interfere. Craig is named as a corespondent in the divorce proceedings, and when he offers Tony a lawyer to contest the suit so that he can avoid a scandal, she coldly refuses, having become convinced by the show's producer and press agent that she should cash in on the publicity. Over the next four years, Tony becomes the star of the "Frolics." One night after a show, she meets Craig and after dining with him, lets him think she is heading off for a weekend rendezvous with a mysterious stranger called "Big Fella," with whom gossip has connected her. After leaving Craig, Tony takes a taxi to a modest uptown apartment where she gets into bed with Big Fella, her four-year-old son. Later, Bob, who needs $15,000 to cover a phony check, sees Tony at a club. After she refuses to give him any money, he and an underworld colleague follow her to the uptown apartment and see the child. Terrified that Bob's intolerant father will start court proceedings to take the child, Tony goes for help to Craig, for whom she has developed a fondness. He arranges to send her and her son to Europe, but Bob gets the boy first. At the trial, Bob's lawyer convinces the judge to award the boy to Bob because of Tony's unsavory reputation, but Tony blurts out that Bob is not the father. After a nod from Craig, she testifies untruthfully that he is the father. The trial ends as Bob's lawyer asks for a dismissal, and Craig tells Tony, who embraces her son, that he understands. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.