Broadway Melody [1929]

"100% All Talking! 100% All Singing! 100% All Dancing!" If the math is slightly off, the now-legendary ad campaign for The Broadway Melody can be excused. After all, sound had just come in, and a full-scale musical film was still a novelty. This tuneful 1929 production became a smash hit and won the Best Picture Academy Award® in the second Oscar® ceremony. The story is a creaky tale of two sisters bringing their act to Broadway, but the fun is in the Roaring Twenties lingo and the showbiz melodrama. This is an era when a gal could become the toast of Broadway by standing, motionless, on a stage pedestal ("Those guys aren't gonna pay 10 bucks to look at your face--this is Broadway!"). The tunes include the standard "You Were Meant for Me"; most of the dramatic weight is handled by the peppy silent star Bessie Love, who was Oscar-nominated. --Robert Horton

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