Broadway to Hollywood (1933)

88-89 mins | Drama | 15 September 1933

Cinematographers:

Norbert Brodine, William Daniels

Production Designer:

Stan Rogers

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Show World and March of Time . Although the viewed print did not contain any Technicolor scenes, reviews and other production sources state that footage taken from an unreleased 1929 two-strip Technicolor M-G-M musical called March of Time was used in this production. According to contemporary sources, the studio scrapped the costly earlier musical, which was conceived as an all-star revue in the vain of their The Hollywood Revue of 1929 , before releasing it. An Oct 1931 HR news item indicates that M-G-M began developing ideas for a revamped version of the 1929 film that year and states that Byron Morgan worked with Madeleine Ruthven on an early draft of the script. The exact nature of their contribution to the final screenplay, if any, is not known. By late Nov 1931, however, the studio had once again shelved the project. Var reported that other parts of the 1929 film were to be "clipped" for exhibition as shorts. Modern sources contend that a German version of March of Time was released and featured Buster Keaton. Keaton, however, was not seen in Broadway to Hollywood . Players from the earlier film, who are seen briefly in the 1933 film, include Fay Templeton, Josephine Sable, Marie Dressler, Joe Weber, Louis Mann, Barney Fagan, Lew Fields, William Collier and De Wolf Hopper. Var disputes that these actors made the final cut of the film, but in the copyright cutting continuity, they are indentified as participants in a musical revue scene. Whether these ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Show World and March of Time . Although the viewed print did not contain any Technicolor scenes, reviews and other production sources state that footage taken from an unreleased 1929 two-strip Technicolor M-G-M musical called March of Time was used in this production. According to contemporary sources, the studio scrapped the costly earlier musical, which was conceived as an all-star revue in the vain of their The Hollywood Revue of 1929 , before releasing it. An Oct 1931 HR news item indicates that M-G-M began developing ideas for a revamped version of the 1929 film that year and states that Byron Morgan worked with Madeleine Ruthven on an early draft of the script. The exact nature of their contribution to the final screenplay, if any, is not known. By late Nov 1931, however, the studio had once again shelved the project. Var reported that other parts of the 1929 film were to be "clipped" for exhibition as shorts. Modern sources contend that a German version of March of Time was released and featured Buster Keaton. Keaton, however, was not seen in Broadway to Hollywood . Players from the earlier film, who are seen briefly in the 1933 film, include Fay Templeton, Josephine Sable, Marie Dressler, Joe Weber, Louis Mann, Barney Fagan, Lew Fields, William Collier and De Wolf Hopper. Var disputes that these actors made the final cut of the film, but in the copyright cutting continuity, they are indentified as participants in a musical revue scene. Whether these actors were playing themselves in the scene, or were fictional characters, is not known. The character of "Joe Weber," who appears in a few scenes in the film, was not played by Weber, as noted by the Var review.
       According to a May 1933 HR news item, after studio executives had rejected numerous story ideas and treatments, writers Harlan Thompson and Zelda Sears were hired to "salvage" the original project by "writing a story that will utilize three reels of the filmusical." A later HR news item states that Sears was working with credited writer Edgar Allan Woolf on the screenplay. The exact nature of Thompson's and Sears's contribution is not known. IP lists Moss Hart as the author of the film. His participation in the project has not been confirmed. No songs were wholly presented in the picture, but parts of "Bedelia," words by William Jerome and music by Jean Schwartz, and "Hot Time in the Old Town," words by Joe Hayden and music by Theodore Metz, were heard in the picture. HR announced that Otto Kruger was to play the lead in the production, and that M-G-M was "dickering" with Warner Bros. for Aline MacMahon. Neither of these actors appears in the final film, however. Nelson Eddy made his screen debut in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
21 Jul 33
p. 6.
Film Daily
21 Sep 33
p. 3.
HF
3 Jun 33
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 31
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 33
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 33
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Aug 33
p. 34.
Motion Picture Daily
2 Sep 33
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Sep 33
p. 38.
New York Times
2 Sep 33
p. 14.
Variety
5 Sep 33
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dir of retakes
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
MUSIC
Mus arr
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief elec
Chief grip
Chief propman
Still photog
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
March of Time
Show World
Release Date:
15 September 1933
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 1 September 1933
Production Date:
7 June--early July 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 August 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4104
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
88-89
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1880's, the veteran "song and dance" team of Lulu and Ted Hackett enjoy modest success on the East Coast vaudeville circuit. Although hurt and angered by Ted's chronic philandering, Lulu maintains her marital devotion and does her best to rear their son, Ted, Jr., while constantly touring. Soon the Two Hacketts become the Three Hacketts, and little Ted, Jr., a talented dancer, becomes a star attraction. Many years later, Ted, Jr. meets pretty Anne Ainsley, an equally gifted dancer on the vaudeville circuit, and falls in love with her. At Anne's urging, Ted, Jr. negotiates with Broadway producer Joe Weber to perform in his next musical revue, demanding that his parents also be cast as a condition of his contract. Anxious to sign the young dancer, Weber agrees, and Ted, Jr. tells his parents that the Three Hacketts will soon be making their Broadway debut. Although insulted by the size of the roles that Weber offers them, Lulu and Ted accept the parts so that Ted, Jr., who has sworn never to break up the trio, will get his big opportunity. However, on opening night, Lulu and Ted are told that their small roles must be cut even further, and Ted, already envious of his son's success, refuses to continue with the show. After Ted, Jr. and Anne marry, Lulu and Ted return to the vaudeville circuit and revive their now-dated routine. While Ted, Jr. and Anne tour with their Broadway show and enjoy increasing success, Ted and Lulu struggle to find engagements and finally are fired. Eventually, however, Ted, Jr., succumbs to his father's legacy of philandering and ... +


In the late 1880's, the veteran "song and dance" team of Lulu and Ted Hackett enjoy modest success on the East Coast vaudeville circuit. Although hurt and angered by Ted's chronic philandering, Lulu maintains her marital devotion and does her best to rear their son, Ted, Jr., while constantly touring. Soon the Two Hacketts become the Three Hacketts, and little Ted, Jr., a talented dancer, becomes a star attraction. Many years later, Ted, Jr. meets pretty Anne Ainsley, an equally gifted dancer on the vaudeville circuit, and falls in love with her. At Anne's urging, Ted, Jr. negotiates with Broadway producer Joe Weber to perform in his next musical revue, demanding that his parents also be cast as a condition of his contract. Anxious to sign the young dancer, Weber agrees, and Ted, Jr. tells his parents that the Three Hacketts will soon be making their Broadway debut. Although insulted by the size of the roles that Weber offers them, Lulu and Ted accept the parts so that Ted, Jr., who has sworn never to break up the trio, will get his big opportunity. However, on opening night, Lulu and Ted are told that their small roles must be cut even further, and Ted, already envious of his son's success, refuses to continue with the show. After Ted, Jr. and Anne marry, Lulu and Ted return to the vaudeville circuit and revive their now-dated routine. While Ted, Jr. and Anne tour with their Broadway show and enjoy increasing success, Ted and Lulu struggle to find engagements and finally are fired. Eventually, however, Ted, Jr., succumbs to his father's legacy of philandering and drives Anne to suicide with his infidelities. Overwhelmed with guilt, Ted, Jr. sinks deep into drink and finally is driven out of show business. A few years later, Ted and Lulu, who have been rearing young Ted III, receive a letter from Ted, Jr. informing them that he has enlisted in the army and will soon be leaving for France. While Ted, Jr. fights overseas, Ted III and his grandparents return to vaudeville, which now is sharing its stages with motion pictures. Many years later, Ted III, an established stage dancer, is offered a part in a Hollywood film. Although reluctant to leave his grandparents behind, Ted III moves to Hollywood and soon becomes a major star. When Ted and Lulu finally are sent to their grandson's palatial home, they discover that Ted III is drinking and carousing with gold diggers. After Ted III is told by his studio's head that he must change his ways or lose his contract, he disappears, causing a costly delay in his latest production. Determined to save his grandson, Ted tracks Ted III to the gold diggers' house and confronts him with his unprofessional, childish behavior. In defiance, Ted III calls his grandfather a pitiful pauper, and Ted collapses with shock. Sobered by his grandfather's collapse, Ted III vows to reform and returns immediately to the studio. As Lulu proudly watches a regenerated Ted III dancing before the cameras, Ted quietly collapses and dies in the chair next to hers. +

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.