The Broadway Melody (1929)

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The Broadway Melody (1929)

Directed by Harry Beaumont

Starring: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King

In the world of Best Picture winners The Broadway Melody created some history with a number of firsts. This was the first sound film and first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar. This was also the first time a Best Picture winner had also been nominated for an acting Academy Award. The film also became the first of only a few films to win Best Picture without winning any other Academy Awards. All of this was done at the hands of director Harry Beaumont who received his only Oscar nod for this movie.

The film stars Bessie Love, Anita Page, and Charles King. King was a Vaudeville star who made appearances in seven films, this being the most popular. Bessie Love was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in The Broadway Melody. Her career spanned seven decades and included films like Reds and No Highway in the Sky. Anita Page had a long career playing opposite some of Hollywood’s leading men. This included Clark Gable, Buster Keaton, and Robert Montgomery.

This early talkie follows two young Broadway hopefuls who arrive in New York for their chance at stardom. As Queenie (Page) and Hank (Love) seek out their big break they’re helped along by Eddie (King). He’s a writer and performer who’s hoping that his latest song is the one to catapult him to the big time. As Hank, Queenie, and Eddie search for stardom they’re forced to make tough choices in their personal lives and their careers. InĀ  the end they’re all searching for the perfect Broadway melody.

This is a cute movie that shows Hollywood growing into the talking picture era. The movie is filled with music that recalls the era of stage shows and Vaudeville. Despite dating itself, this is a really great movie with a fun story. The drama in the movie is overdone and accompanied by comedy that really keeps things light. I would recommend this movie to anyone. This is a look at the very early days of Hollywood. I give it 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Approved

Running Time: 100 minutes

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