Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)

102 or 110 mins | Musical | 20 September 1935

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

Blanche Sewell

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

An early working title of the film was Broadway Melody of 1935 . According to HR news items in Dec 1934 and Jan 1935, the film was originally intended to star Clifton Webb, who would have returned to the screen after a ten-year absence. It was also announced that most songs, including original music for Webb, were to be written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Another song, "Summer Breezes," written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II was also to be in the film. "Summer Breezes" was not in the final film; all songs were written by Brown and Freed and, according to an ad for the film, published by Jack Robbins, head of Robbins Music Corp., M-G-M's music publishing division. Max Gordon, called "Broadway's most successful producer" in a HR news item, was said to be advising M-G-M on this and other films, but his exact connection to the film has not been determined.
       A news item in HR on 23 Oct 1934 noted that Sid Silvers as working on a screenplay for the film with Howard Emmett Rogers and that Ned Marin would supervise the production. The extent of Rogers' or Marin's participation in the completed film has not been ascertained. A 18 Dec 1934 HR news item noted that Rian James was finishing the script for Miss Pamela Thorndyke , which was to be combined with John W. Considine's production of Broadway Melody of 1935 , but, the relationship between this script and the completed film has not been determined, and James is not credited elsewhere in connection ... More Less

An early working title of the film was Broadway Melody of 1935 . According to HR news items in Dec 1934 and Jan 1935, the film was originally intended to star Clifton Webb, who would have returned to the screen after a ten-year absence. It was also announced that most songs, including original music for Webb, were to be written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Another song, "Summer Breezes," written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II was also to be in the film. "Summer Breezes" was not in the final film; all songs were written by Brown and Freed and, according to an ad for the film, published by Jack Robbins, head of Robbins Music Corp., M-G-M's music publishing division. Max Gordon, called "Broadway's most successful producer" in a HR news item, was said to be advising M-G-M on this and other films, but his exact connection to the film has not been determined.
       A news item in HR on 23 Oct 1934 noted that Sid Silvers as working on a screenplay for the film with Howard Emmett Rogers and that Ned Marin would supervise the production. The extent of Rogers' or Marin's participation in the completed film has not been ascertained. A 18 Dec 1934 HR news item noted that Rian James was finishing the script for Miss Pamela Thorndyke , which was to be combined with John W. Considine's production of Broadway Melody of 1935 , but, the relationship between this script and the completed film has not been determined, and James is not credited elsewhere in connection with the film. Other pre-production news items in HR note that Allan Jones, Virginia Bruce and Lynne Overman were at one time set to co-star with Eleanor Powell in the picture. Actors mentioned in news items during production but whose participation in the completed film cannot be confirmed include Jeni de Gon, Wanda Perry, Bonnie Bannon, Marion Lange, Diane Cook, Mary Lou Dix, Connie Meyers, Lorna Lowe, Jack Cavanaugh, Allan Wood, Gertrude Astor, Lona Andre, Kay Hughes, May Beatty and Jimmy Grier and His Orchestra. Other news items in HR and DV note that a rough cut of 14,000 feet of the picture was shown in Santa Barbara in early Aug 1935; that W. S. Van Dyke was directing new segments for the film, some of which enhanced Sid Silver's part, in early Aug because Roy Del Ruth was then working on the Twentieth Century-Fox picture Thanks a Million , that M-G-M had a coast-to-coast radio hook-up for the film's official preview on the afternoon of 25 Aug 1935 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, hosted by Jack Benny and Sid Silvers; and that Harry Conn, who wrote additional dialogue for the picture, was one of radio comedian Jack Benny's regular writers and provided material for Benny in the film.
       This film marked the screen debuts of Buddy Ebsen and his sister Vilma. Although most contemporary and modern sources indicate that it was also Eleanor Powell's debut, she had appeared in George White's 1935 Scandals , a Fox film released earlier in late Mar 1935 (see below). Several reviewers referred to Powell as "the female Fred Astaire." This was the second of M-G-M's Broadway Melody films. The first was Harry Beaumont's The Broadway Melody in 1929, the first musical to win an Academy Award for Best Picture (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.0630). The third was Broadway Melody of 1938 , also directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Powell, Robert Taylor, Buddy Ebsen, Judy Garland, and George Murphy, and the fourth and final film was Broadway Melody of 1940 , directed by Norman Taurog, with Powell, Fred Astaire, and George Murphy. Two of the film's songs, "I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'," and "You Are My Lucky Star," were listed in several "hit" song lists for the year. The picture was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Film, and one for Moss Hart's original story. Dave Gould won an Oscar for dance direction for the "I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'" number from this film and the "Straw Hat" number from Fox's Folies Bergère de Paris (see below). The picture was on a number of "top ten" lists, including that of FDY and NYT , and was one of the top ten money-making pictures of the year. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Aug 35
p. 1.
Daily Variety
8 Aug 35
p. 1.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
29 Aug 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 34
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 34
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 35
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 35
pp. 5-24
Motion Picture Daily
27 Aug 35
p. 11.
Motion Picture Daily
11 Sep 35
pp. 3-10.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Sep 35
pp. 20-26, 44
New York American
19 Sep 1935.
---
New York Herald Tribune
19 Sep 1935.
---
New York Times
19 Sep 35
p. 28.
Variety
19 Sep 35
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Addl scene dir
PRODUCERS
Prod asst
WRITERS
Orig story
Script polish
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance numbers created and staged by
Asst to Dave Gould on "I've Got a Feelin' You're F
"Lucky Star" ballet staged by
Setting routine for "Broadway Rhythm" number
PRODUCTION MISC
Press agent
STAND INS
Singing double for Eleanor Powell
SOURCES
SONGS
"You Are My Lucky Star," "I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'," "Sing Before Breakfast," "Broadway Melody," "Broadway Rhythm" and "On a Sunday Afternoon," music and lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 September 1935
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 18 September 1935
Production Date:
29 April--late July 1935
additional scenes early August 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 September 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5803
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
102 or 110
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1157
SYNOPSIS

Because newspaper and radio columnist Bert Keeler is told by his managing editor that he has to stop writing about "Blessed Events" and start digging up dirt, he goes after young Broadway producer and songwriter Bob Gordon. Gordon's new musical, Broadway Rhythm , is getting its backing from heiress Lillian Brent, who also wants to star in the show, and Keeler's column won't leave them alone. Gordon resorts to punching Keeler in the nose several times, but as the paper's circulation, and Keeler's salary, rise he keeps at it. During rehearsals, Bob's childhood sweetheart, Irene Foster, comes to his office, but he doesn't recognize her. She goes away, but when he finds the fraternity pin that he once had given her in his office, he tells his secretary, Kitty Corbett, to find her. She auditions for his show, but, even though he is attracted to her again, he tells her that Broadway isn't for her. She dreams of being a hit in his show, but Bob won't give her a chance and instead buys her ticket to go back home. Meanwhile, Lillian has gotten Bob to agree that if he doesn't find a prominent star for the show within two weeks, she can play the lead. As a gag, Keeler has been planting phony stories about a French musical star named Mlle. La Belle Arlette, and when Kitty uncovers the ruse, she helps Irene assume that identity. As Arlette, Irene wins Bob's enthusiastic approval to star in his show, despite Lillian's anger. Just as Irene's dreams are about to come true, however, Keeler calls, knowing that she is an impostor, and reveals ... +


Because newspaper and radio columnist Bert Keeler is told by his managing editor that he has to stop writing about "Blessed Events" and start digging up dirt, he goes after young Broadway producer and songwriter Bob Gordon. Gordon's new musical, Broadway Rhythm , is getting its backing from heiress Lillian Brent, who also wants to star in the show, and Keeler's column won't leave them alone. Gordon resorts to punching Keeler in the nose several times, but as the paper's circulation, and Keeler's salary, rise he keeps at it. During rehearsals, Bob's childhood sweetheart, Irene Foster, comes to his office, but he doesn't recognize her. She goes away, but when he finds the fraternity pin that he once had given her in his office, he tells his secretary, Kitty Corbett, to find her. She auditions for his show, but, even though he is attracted to her again, he tells her that Broadway isn't for her. She dreams of being a hit in his show, but Bob won't give her a chance and instead buys her ticket to go back home. Meanwhile, Lillian has gotten Bob to agree that if he doesn't find a prominent star for the show within two weeks, she can play the lead. As a gag, Keeler has been planting phony stories about a French musical star named Mlle. La Belle Arlette, and when Kitty uncovers the ruse, she helps Irene assume that identity. As Arlette, Irene wins Bob's enthusiastic approval to star in his show, despite Lillian's anger. Just as Irene's dreams are about to come true, however, Keeler calls, knowing that she is an impostor, and reveals that there is a real Arlette who is planning to sue the paper if the publicity does not stop. Irene convinces him to help her, though, and they go to Bob's cast party. When Arlette never shows up, and Irene dances, Bob realizes they are one and the same and that Broadway is where he and Irene belong. +

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.