Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1929. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Story by Edmund Goulding, continuity by Sarah Y. Mason, dialogue by Norman Houston, James Gleason. Cinematography by John Arnold. Produced by Harry Rapf, Irving Thalberg, Lawrence Weingarten. Music by Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by David Cox. Film Editing by Sam Zimbalist. Academy Awards 1928/1929.
The first talkie to win the Best Picture Academy Award, this film has two Broadway-hopeful sisters who want to make “the big time”, but have to contend with lovelorn men, jealous men, and show business leeches before making it to the top. Bessie Love gives a fantastic performance as the more concerned of the two sisters (you can tell because she has dark hair), who tries to keep her kid sis (Anita Page) in tow but finds it difficult. The musical numbers are a pip even though the story really drags, but all in all it is a curiosity worth taking a look at, if only for its historical significance. The success of the film encouraged MGM to create more Broadway Melody films, the 1938 chapter being the one to introduce a little girl singer named Judy Garland.