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Broadway Melody of 1936

Everything revolves about Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor and June Knight, the menace. She's the Park Avenue bankroll ($60,000) for the forthcoming musical comedy [dance direction by Dave Gould]. Columnist Jack Benny had been building up a phoney French comedienne, and so when Taylor fails to recognize his adolescent sweetheart from Albany she (Powell) essays an accent, bizarre make-up and goals everybody with her personality and her stepping as the pseudo-French star.

Cast:
Jack Benny Eleanor Powell Robert Taylor Una Merkel Sid Silvers Buddy Ebsen

Everything revolves about Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor and June Knight, the menace. She’s the Park Avenue bankroll ($60,000) for the forthcoming musical comedy [dance direction by Dave Gould]. Columnist Jack Benny had been building up a phoney French comedienne, and so when Taylor fails to recognize his adolescent sweetheart from Albany she (Powell) essays an accent, bizarre make-up and goals everybody with her personality and her stepping as the pseudo-French star.

Story [by Moss Hart] is a curious hodge-podge of fantasy, realism and just hokum musical comedy. When the Ebsens (Vilma and Buddy) are doing their ‘Sing Before Breakfast’, it’s quite Rene Clair-ish in the whimsical mating of the tempo with the attic time-stepping. In other spots it goes Busby Berkeley with overhead ballet shots, or the sequence in what looks like the Rainbow Room at Radio City.

Songs are all good. ‘Broadway Rhythm’, sung by Frances Langford and with dance specialties by Powell, Nick Long Jr, Knight and the Ebsens, is a corking creation.

1935: Best Dance Direction (‘I’ve Got a Feeling You’re Fooling’).

Nominations: Best Picture, Original Story

Broadway Melody of 1936

Production: M-G-M. Director Roy Del Ruth; Producer John W. Considine Jr; Screenplay Jack McGowan, Sid Silvers, Harry Conn; Camera Charles Rosher; Editor Blanche Sewell; Music Alfred Newman (dir.), Roger Edens (arr.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Merrill Pye, Edwin B. Willis

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: Jack Benny Eleanor Powell Robert Taylor Una Merkel Sid Silvers Buddy Ebsen

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