Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Broadway Melody of 1929

I watched The Broadway Melody of 1929 yesterday as part of our Oscar Best Picture winners challenge. It's the second winner and the first talking picture to win. It's also the first musical as we would recognise them (i.e. with the songs moving the plot along and telling the story).

As a piece of cinema history, it's an interesting film. The plot centres on two sisters: Hank and Queenie, who have a Vaudeville act and are trying to make it on Broadway. Hank is engaged to Eddie, who helps get them into a Broadway revue show. With forbidden love, self sacrifice and sibling rivalry, it is well acted, but very dated. If I'm honest, it is not a film that I would particularly want to see again, or really enjoyed. That said, however, it is an interesting film. There are actually only a few songs in the film - it's clear that what made a musical was not really settled in 1929 (unsurprising, given the fact that talking pictures were still a novelty and, due to this, a silent version of the film was also produced). It's worth a watch as a piece of cinema history, but probably wont be many people's cup of tea...



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