Wednesday, November 15, 2017


 Bessie Love and Anita Page are too swell
kids trying to hit the big time in The Broadway Melody

The Broadway Melody (1929) is the first all-talking picture to win the Best Picture Academy Award..but I don't think this story of a couple of young musical sister starlet wannabees would be any film buff's choice for the top movie prize of that year. It is clunky in the manner of many of the early talkies and certainly doesn't compare favorably with the later Warner Brother's classics of this ilk like 42nd Street (1933) or Gold Diggers of 1933

However, it isn't without some retrospective charm. Anita Page and Bessie Love as the sisters aren't Joan Blondell and Ruby Keeler, but they are fairly engaging in their own right. The behind the scenes story is a bit silly (as all the plots in these musicals seem to be to a degree), we do hear Give My Regards to Broadway a few too many times for my taste and some of the comic bits do fall a bit it's a mixed bag. But if you're a Best Picture completest (I guess I fall into that category), just relax and try enjoy this artifact like you're Indiana Jones searching for the Holy Grail or the like if that helps.

For further historical context, I also recommend The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930 by Scott Eyman.

"Don't be such a crab!" An altercation
at auditions in The Broadway Melody


  1. You're nicer than I am. This is easily my least favorite Best Picture winner of the bunch. Happy to cross it off the list, not planning on revisiting it any time soon...or ever.