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"Broadway Melody" (1929)


FredCDobbs
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This is an extremely good restored clean print of "The Broadway Melody" (1929), now showing.

 

The images are very clean and the sound track is fantastic, with no dust, static, or scratch noise of any kind. This type of sound track had to be run through a modern computer program that could very carefully and selectively block all the "pops" of the scratches and dust.

 

Does anyone know who restored this print?

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Sorry I don't know the answer to the restoration of the print, but wow, I was just going to post about this film!!! Now *this* is what TCM is all about to me!!! 1929, great film!!! I've seen it before, but it's SO great to see films like this, WINGS and SUNRISE in prime time on TCM!!! Way to go!

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I agree. YAY TCM!! A wonderful night at the movies.

 

Notice that when no one is talking in this film, most of the sound track is completely clean with no track noise, except for real background sounds. We can hear details of the clothes rustling.

 

This is the way the film actually sounded when first show in 1929. My earlier copy has a lot of noise, hissing, and scratches on the track.

 

And these two girls, Anita Page and Bessie Love, are so darn cute, with wonderful personalities. Oh how I would like to walk right into this film and never come back.

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Mark,

 

Glad you and Fred are enjoying Broadway Melody. It aired last June on TCM and I saw it for the first time in years. It looked and sounded great. I became a big Bessie Love fan when I initially saw this film years and years ago.

 

Fred,

 

I will try to find out who did the restoration. My hunch is that it was Warners Bros but if I find that to be an error I'll let you know!

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a terrific film, Oscar winner for best film (and director Harry Beaumont?)..... Bessie Love is wonderful in this granddaddy of all musicals. I love the music. Anita Page is also solid, especially in the last half of the film. Charles King is kinda smarmy but he has a good singing voice (and his acting is better in CHASING RAINBOWS the following year). This film was a smash hit and deservedly so.

 

Love's telephone scene became a dramatic standard for emotional phone scenes (Luise Rainer in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD, Shirley Booth in COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA, etc.) and helped earn Love an Oscar nomination and a big comeback at MGM.

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I definitely agree with the programming selection for the night - it was great to see these rare movies shown during prime-time. My opinions on the movies:

Wings: a very good movie

Sunrise (I had already seen this one though): a great movie, one of the best of the silent era

Broadway Melody: entertaining, but kinda weak

 

A commendable job by TCM for this months selections.

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You have to remember that THE BROADWAY MELODY was basically the FIRST big feature-length musical that was not a revue. It broke new ground in creating the now-stereotypical backstage musical that had actors breaking out into song and dance. No one knew how movie audiences of the day would react since there had never been anything quite like it in films. It stunned audience because it was new... all new.

 

IMDb says THE BROADWAY MELODY had a budget of $400,000 and grossed $2.8 MILLION...

 

Director Harry Beaumont was Oscar nominated and the film won as best film.

 

The Duncan Sisters were supposed to star but were busy with a stage tour, so MGM picked Anita Page (one of its leading new players) to play the Vivian Duncan part, and handed Bessie Love (who had been in films since the teens) a whole new career in the Rosetta Duncan part. Bessie Love and the film caused such a sensation that MGM finally DID snag the Duncan Sisters for a BROADWAY MELODY rip-off called IT'S A GREAT LIFE, which barely broke even at the box office. By the time it came out audiences were tired of backstage musicals, and the Duncan Sisters were not film names.

 

The backstage musical really only hit it big again with Warners' 42nd STREET.

 

oh... I have a copy of IT'S A GREAT LIFE and I think it's terrific and the Duncan Sisters should have gotten another shot at movie stardom (but didn't).

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I just want to make a brief mention of James Gleason, for curiosity sake...he received a credit for dialogue...his name was on the window of the opening scene "James Gleason Productions"...and he was briefly in that opening scene as Jimmy. I've always enjoyed seeing James Gleason in his roles as "hard-boiled" detectives. He appears as a detective with his wife, Lucile Gleason, in the "Ex-Mrs. Bradford" also with William Powell and Jean Arthur.

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