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Seeking copy of Hollywood Revuew of 1929

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"Glorifying the American Girl" and "The Great Gabbo" are two 1929 musicals that are public domain that exist in pretty good quality on the DVD set "Classic Musicals 50 Movie Pack". "Reaching for the Moon" from 1930 is also on the set as is 1930's "Dixiana". There's a lot of junk in this set, but it is worth it to get some of the early sound musicals. Both 1929 films were originally shot in Technicolor, but only exist in the commercial market in black and white. This version of Glorifying the American Girl is the censored version that was put on TV in the 1950's. A Technicolor uncensored version exists at UCLA. Why someone won't put that version on DVD I do not know. The production code coming into effect in 1934 caused the dicing and slicing of many of the early musicals, especially after the advent of TV when these early talkies were used as daytime and late night television filler.


As for what Barrios says about Syncopation in his book on early sound musicals, "A Song in the Dark", I couldn't see any loss in continuity in the storyline of my copy of Syncopation. It seems like a complete film. However, remember Barrios wrote this book back in 1995, and many films have been found that were thought lost in the past 13 years.

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Well yes of course you're right.... I finally have a copy of SWEET KITTY BELLAIRS on the way... the early musicals seems even harder to track down than many silent films...


THE GREAT GABBO is a fascinating film with excellent performance by Erich von Stroheim and Betty Compson....

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Thelma---this film on the schedule totally rocks, though I'd like to see more!!! Fortunately, there are tons of early talkies on the schedule in August...but of course..I'd love to see more!!! Keep 'em coming, TCM!!!

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I dig those classic movie packs, and don't agree that there is a lot of junk on there, of course many B films, but as you point out so well, many cool early musicals as well! I did the B flicks from later eras as well!

I also have a copy of SYNCOPATION which seems, as far as I can tell, complete. But you never know.

DREDNM!!!! Dude, you have that early musical on the way??? I'm thinking TRADE my man!!! Get in touch with me!

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I can't thank you all and TCM enough for helping to get The Hollywood Revue of 1929 back on the air in August! We need to band together and cast our votes in groups and large numbers for early talkies and pre-Code musicals as well. Take care, Matt


(I'm the guy who started this thread way back when!!!)

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I vaguely remember a snippet of Hollywood Revue of 1929 on That's Entertainment III about ten years ago. Was this the one with a bizarre rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" with everyone singing in raincoats in front of a matte painting of Noah's Ark?


Strange, that movie keeps coming back to me though I've never seen it. I've seen several documentaries and a piece of the film will come up. Then just yesterday I was reading "Inside Oscar" and they mentioned and now here on this message board it shows up again.


I think this movie is haunting me.


Message was edited by: Selk

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Parts of the movie were shot in color and all of those portions survive. This is a rather unique situation for a 1929 film, many of which were shot in two strip Technicolor but now only survive in black and white if at all. The finale, "Singin in the Rain", with the entire cast is in color, and there are a couple of other sequences that are also in color. One of these color scenes is the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet with John Gilbert and Norma Shearer in the title roles. The entire film is cut up into 13 parts of roughly 9 minutes each and is on youtube if you want to preview.


To me, the strangest thing about this film was how they had Jack Benny playing a lecherous traveling salesman type. Benny is perfect as the emcee of the show, by the way.

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This film was mentioned in the book "Inside Oscar" which reveals that this film was shot late at night after all the actors had finished their work for the day. That musical number seems stiff

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........the book "Inside Oscar" which reveals that this film was shot late at night after all the actors had finished their work for the day. That musical number seems stiff.....


Yeah, well, for someone like me for instance, the pleasure is in us having it PERIOD, regardless of the flaws. I believe almost all the early talkies, most particularly the musicals, are somewhat stilted. I believe it goes with the territory, and becomes part of the charm.

Not like it's some kind of original idea, but my typical "motif" while watching these early ones is to watch them in tandem with "Singing In The Rain". It humorously keeps the focus on the "tech" problems they had in an affectionate way.

I guess I could better explain it like this; I would love to drive one of those 1927 LaSalles, just to get "the aura". But I do understand going in, that I'd be riding a clutch with no AC, radio, etc, etc.

For me it's part of the package.

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No, no don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the film is bad because the musical number is stiff, I am just looking at it from the standpoint of what I am use to. The numbers are stiff because they hired people who weren't use to singing and dancing. I see it as a time capsule experience as an unformed experiment, an early example of the use of sound.


When I saw The Jazz Singer I got past the fact that the voices and the music didn't synch up because I realize that it was the first successful experiment. I don't expect that it would be crystal clear.

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Conrad Nagel, interviewed for the book "The Real Tinsel," recalled, "Everybody thought Harry Rapf was crazy for making it"!!


Per Wikipedia:


The "Hollywood Revuew of 1929" includes performances by once and future stars, including Joan Crawford singing and dancing on stage.


Segments feature: Lionel Barrymore, Marion Davies, John Gilbert, Buster Keaton, Marie Dressler, Anita Page, Norma Shearer, and the comedy team of Karl Dane and George K. Arthur.


Highlights of the film are musical performances (including the debut of "Singin' in the Rain") performed initially by Cliff Edwards ("Ukelele Ike'") and later performed at the end of the film by the entire cast) and a comedy routine starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as inept magicians.


The only major M-G-M stars missing from the revue are: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, and Lon Chaney, Sr. (although Chaney is referred to by name in one of the songs performed).


The film was popular with audiences and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture!




The circulating print of The Hollywood Revue of 1929 runs as follows:




The Palace of Minstrel sung and danced by a minstrel chorus

Masters of Ceremonies Jack Benny introduces Conrad Nagel. Cliff Edwards interferes

Got a Feeling for You sung by Joan Crawford

"Old Folks at Home" sung by chorus

Old Black Joe sung by chorus

Low-Down Rhythm sung and danced by June Purcell

Your Mother and Mine sung by Charles King

You Were Meant for Me "sung" by Conrad Nagel (whose voice was dubbed by Charles King) to Anita Page

Nobody but You sung by Cliff Edwards

Your Mother and Mine played by Jack Benny on his violin

Cut Up comedy skit featuring William Haines ripping up Jack Benny's suit

I Never Knew I Could Do a Thing Like That sung by Bessie Love

For I'm the Queen sung by Marie Dressler, assisted by Polly Moran

Magic Act introduced by Jack Benny, featuring Laurel and Hardy as magicians in a comedy skit

Military March with Marion Davies singing "Oh, What a Man" and "Tommy Atkins on Parade" followed by military drill and dancing. The Brox Sisters conclude this number singing "Strike Up the Band"




Intermission -- During this five-minute break, the orchestra is seen playing to the tunes of "Nobody But You", "Your Mother and Mine" and "I've Got A Feeling for You" in front of the closed curtain.




The Pearl Ballet sung by James Burrows, danced by Beth Laemmle and the Albertina Rasch ballet

The Dance of the Sea, an "underwater" dance performed by Buster Keaton

Lon Chaney's Gonna Get You If You Don't Watch Out sung by Gus Edwards

The Adagio Dance with the Natova Company

Romeo and Juliet (in Technicolor) with John Gilbert and Norma Shearer, with Lionel Barrymore as director

Singin' in the Rain introduced by Cliff Edwards

Charlie, Gus, and Ike with Charles King, Gus Edwards, and Cliff Edwards

Marie, Polly, and Bess with Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, and Bessie Love

Orange Blossom Time (in Technicolor) sung by Charles King to Myrtle McLaughlin, danced by the Albertina Rasch Ballet

Singin' in the Rain (finale) (in Technicolor), sung by entire cast

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Sounds like the film was put together to showcase the roster of stars they had under contract and to feature familiar songs of the day and show off the new innovation in technicolor.

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Joan Crawford remarked on "The Hollywood Revue of 1929":


"Revue was one of those let's-throw-everyone-on-the-lot-into-a musical things, but I did a good song-and-dance number."!



Joan Crawford sings and dances!




Many of the faces in this cast were doomed by sound, so one can only imagine the trepidation of these stars, although they perform with spirit.

Few of them survive in memory today, Joan Crawford among the exceptions.

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I want to express my thanks and appreciation to TCM for putting this rarely seen old talkie on the menu. There is a lot of enthusiasm on this thread! Let's keep it going and make it a meeting place for the "1920's society/club"! There are many good titles on the agenda, and many more possibilities as well.


Well if were talking 1920's films there is one coming up tomorrow Wednesday May 21st at 7:00am as part of the Robert Montgomery birthday tribute.


*Their Own Desire - 1929* Stars Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer. I think it's been quite a while since TCM dusted this one off and put it on the schedule. Fans of the two leads should enjoy it and though it's been a long time since I've seen it I think it portrays some interesting aspects of 1920's high society. This film has some pre-code moments and if you let your eyes drift during the pool scene it might be more revealing than you think. This one isn't on DVD either.

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I had to write to say that I really enjoy this thread. Not only is everyone positive and supportive of each other but we all would love to have a 1920's Roaring Twenties themed month. Special thanks go to Thelmatodd for her efforts to get the idea to the tcm programmers. I think this idea would be a great way to get tcm to dust off some of the early talkies that haven't been shown since tcm began in the mid 1990's; it would also be wonderful if tcm could get some films from the other companies on loan.

I sure hope that tcm is listening.

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