Best Picture Winners Part 2 (of 87): The Broadway Melody


Title: The Broadway Melody
Year: 1928
Starring: Charles King, Anita King, Bessie Love
Director: Harry Beaumont
Runtime: 1 hr  40 mins

Is It Any Good?: It’s less then good. It doesn’t hold up nearly the way Wings does despite the fact that it has sound. The story is stupid to be frank, and the cliches though not yet cliches are overly irreverent here. Lots of reaction shots, which where troubling considering they took you out of the film. The middle third in which we see some of the show was jarring and just lost me on this movie. Bessie Love is great as Harriet (Hank) Mahoney, otherwise there’s nothing terrific from a performance standpoint. It’s my understanding that this film was shot without sound as well. Which explains the reaction shots, and the overlong beats, however it hurts the film when played with the sound.

Memorable Quote: Eddie Kearns: Those men aren’t going to pay ten bucks to look at your face; this is Broadway!
Competition: Awful. I sat through Alibi  and The Hollywood Revue of 1928 neither was impressive. I wanted to see The Patriot but my understanding is that there are no actual copies remaining so that was off the table unfortunately! The Broadway Melody is one of those films you’re not too made about winning since it was a game-changer. Hollywood’s first real attempt at a musical. Sadly the melodrama, and hammy acting hurt this one, even with some funny moments. Little note here the music on this was written in part by Arthur Freed who would later go on to pen songs for and produce other Oscar fodder like An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain.
Alright part two out of the way. Next up we have one of the first (and best) war films of all-time. Mind you we’re still pre-WWII here. Hope you’ll stay tight for the next part!


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