Musical Monday: Meet Me on Broadway (1946)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Meet Me on Broadway (1946) – Musical #648

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Leigh Jason

Starring:
Marjorie Reynolds, Frederick Brady (billed as Fred Brady), Jinx Falkenburg, Spring Byington, Allen Jenkins, Gene Lockhart, Loren Tindall

Plot:
Broadway director Eddie Dolan (Brady) quits the show he’s directing over artistic differences with his producer. His star (and girlfriend) Ann Stallings (Reynolds) and songwriter Deacon McGill (Jenkins) quit with Eddie. Believing he can stage a better show without the involvement of a producer, Eddie searches for a new show. He lands in a small community who is putting on a country club show for charity, headed by Sylvia Kane Storm (Byington) and her son Bob (Tindall). The show may not be as profitable as he thinks.

Trivia:
• Working title was “Song of Broadway”
• Singing talents used in the film:
– Marjorie Reynolds was dubbed by Martha Mears
– Bobbie Canvin dubbed Jinx Falkenburg
– Elva Kellogg dubbed Spring Byington
• Costumes in this film were recycled from TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945), according to MOMA.
• Choreographed by Jack Cole.

Highlights:
• Tap dancing male trio

Notable Songs:
• “Is it Worth It?” performed by Marjorie Reynolds dubbed by Martha Mears
• “No One Seems to Care” performed by Marjorie Reynolds dubbed by Martha Mears, and Bobbie Canvin, dubbed by Jinx Falkenburg

My review:
I’ll admit, it’s tough to write anything too in-depth about “Meet Me on Broadway” (1946), because it’s not much to write home about.

Running at an hour and 18 minutes, the film is about a frustrated film director who leaves his Broadway show to try and put on his own show. He isn’t terrible successful so he grabs the first offer he gets: to go to the country and put on a show to stage a country club musical.

Before seeing “Meet Me on Broadway,” I had never heard of actor Frederick Brady, who is billed as Fred Brady. Primarily a writer, Brady was in 13 films between 1943 and 1950. Of his filmography, I had only seen Stage Door Canteen (1943), Swing Shift Maisie (1943) and An American Romance (1944). That said, though Brady is the star of this film, he has entirely too much screentime and isn’t a favorite.

His pal is reliable character actor Allen Jenkins.

His co-stars are Marjorie Reynolds, who most know from “Holiday Inn.” If you think “Gee, Reynolds she sings like Rita Hayworth!” It’s because they were both dubbed by Martha Mears.

In fact, “Meet Me on Broadway” borrows much from another Rita Hayworth film that was released a year prior, “Tonight and Every Night.” Rhumba costumes, some of choreographer Jack Cole’s dancer routines, and Martha Mears as a vocal artist are all recycled from the film.

With relatively weak stars, it’s the supporting cast that’s the best part of the film: Allan Jenkins and Spring Byington as a retired stage star. I particularly enjoy seeing actor Loren Tindall in this film, who plays Byington’s grown son.

But overall, “Meet Me on Broadway” is forgettable and not very interesting.

Also – for most of the film, we are in a small town, so when were they planning to meet on Broadway? I guess we will never know.

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