Review: ‘Garden of the Moon’

Garden of the Moon is a bright musical, due principally to the sparkling Harry Warren and Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer tunes, an ebullient script and the exceptionally adept direction of Busby Berkeley.

Garden of the Moon is a bright musical, due principally to the sparkling Harry Warren and Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer tunes, an ebullient script and the exceptionally adept direction of Busby Berkeley.

As usual with musicals, the book [story by H. Bedford-Jones and Barton Browne] is no great shakes. It’s merely the familiar yarn about the unknown band hired as a filler-in at a famous nitery and remaining to establish itself as a name outfit. Love interest is supplied by the feme press agent who falls for the bandleader and contrives a hoax publicity stunt that puts the band over.

Although not given top billing, John Payne has the leading part. As the steel-jacketed, ruthless nitery operator, Pat O’Brien gives a workmanlike performance, but there’s never any subtlety to his playing.

Margaret Lindsay is the not-too-demure press agent who recognizes her pash at the first glance and proceeds to build him up to her size.

Garden of the Moon

Production

Warner. Director Busby Berkeley; Screenplay Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay; Camera Tony Gaudio; Editor George Amy; Music Leo F. Forbstein (dir.)

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Pat O'Brien Margaret Lindsay John Payne Johnnie Davis Melville Cooper Isabel Jeans
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