Musical Monday: Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

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:
Broadway Melody of 1940 – Musical #83

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Ian Hunter, Frank Morgan, Lynn Carver, Florence Rice, Ann Morriss, Trixie Firschke, Irving Bacon (uncredited), Herman Bing (uncredited), Gladys Blake (uncredited), Mel Blanc (uncredited), Joe Yule (uncredited), Hal Le Sueur (uncredited), Douglas McPhail (uncredited), Charlotte Arren (uncredited)

Plot:
Producer Bob Casey (Morgan) sees down on their luck dance team Johnny Brett (Astaire) and King Shaw (Murphy) and is interested in Johnny. However, due to a mix-up in names, he hires King Shaw to star alongside top Broadway star Clare Bennett (Powell) in her next show. King’s work ethic is lacking, and Johnny has to help cover up for his faults.

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Musical Monday: Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)

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:
Cowboy From Brooklyn (1938) – Musical #192

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Lloyd Bacon

Starring:
Dick Powell, Pat O’Brien, Priscilla Lane, Dick Foran, Ann Sheridan, Johnnie Davis, Ronald Reagan, Emma Dunn, Dennie Moore, Candy Candido, Granville Bates, Harry Barris, James Stephenson, Hobart Cavanaugh, Elisabeth Risdon, Rosella Towne, Mary Field, Jeffrey Lynn, John Ridgely, Mary Boley, William B. Davidson

Plot:
While traveling to Hollywood from New York, singer Elly Jordan (Powell) is stranded in Wyoming. He gets a job as a performer on a ranch resort run by Jane Hardy (Lane). Elly is built up as a singing cowboy, but the only problem is that he’s terrified of all animals.

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Musical Monday: The Goldwyn Follies (1938)

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:
Goldwyn Follies (1938) – Musical #237

Studio:
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Director:
George Marshall

Starring:
Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds, The Ritz Brothers, Vera Zorina, Kenny Baker, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Phil Baker, Helen Jepson, Jerome Cowan, Nydia Westman, Ella Logan, Bobby Clark, Joseph Crehan (uncredited), Alan Ladd (uncredited)
Themselves: Alfred Newman, American Ballet of the Metropolitan Opera
The Goldwyn Girls: Vivian Austin, Lynne Berkeley, Marjorie Deanne, Betty Douglas, Judith Ford, Anne Graham, Jane Hamilton, Evelyn Terry, Gloria Youngblood

Plot:
Hollywood film producer Oliver Merlin (Menjou) recent pictures have bombed at the box office. Merlin overhears Hazel Dawes (Leeds) criticizing his movie as unrealistic. He hires her, dubbing Hazel “Miss Humanity” to help give his films the human point of view.

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Musical Monday: Zou Zou (1934)

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:
Zou Zou (1934) – Musical #609

Studio:
Productions Arys

Director: Marc Allégret

Starring:
Josephine Baker, Jean Gabin, Pierre Larquey, Yvette Lebon, Illa Meery, Palau, Madeleine Guitty

Plot:
Zou Zou (Baker) and Jean (Gabin) were children adopted by Papa Melé (Larquey) and grew up as performers in the circus that he ran. As adults, Jean works as an electrician and Zou Zou, who is in love with Jean, works at a laundry. When Jean is accused of murder, Zou Zou becomes a star in a musical show to earn enough money to help clear his name.

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Watching 1939: The Family Next Door (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  The Family Next Door (1939)

Release date:  March 31, 1939

Cast: 
Hugh Herbert, Ruth Donnelly, Joy Hodges, Eddie Quillan, Juanita Quigley, Benny Bartlett, James Bush, Thomas Beck, Cecil Cunningham, Frances Robinson, Delmar Watson (uncredited)

Studio:  Universal Studios

Director:  Joseph Santley

Plot:
Frazzled plumber George Pierce (Herbert) doesn’t make quite enough for his family. His wife, Rose (Donnelly) worries that their lack of money will prevent their oldest daughter Laura (Hodges) from catching a wealthy husband. The family’s home is badly in need of repair and their furniture is old. In an effort to look like they are in the social scene, Rose rents fancy furniture for their home to throw a party, and also invests in a construction deal her son Sammy (Quillan) is in. Rose’s cupid plans for Laura backfire, the land Sammy was sold is faulty, and her two youngest children (Quigley, Barlett) are constantly in trouble.

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Musical Monday: The Singing Kid (1936)

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:
The Singing Kid – Musical #613

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
William Keighley

Starring:
Al Jolson, Sybil Jason, Beverly Roberts, Edward Everette Horton, Allen Jenkins, Lyle Talbot, Mary Treen (uncredited), Grady Sutton (uncredited), Milton Kibbee (uncredited), Hattie McDaniel (uncredited), Dennis O’Keefe (uncredited)
Himself: Cab Calloway, The Yacht Club Boys, Wini Shaw

Plot:
Singer and performer Al Jackson (Jolson) loses both his singing voice and all of his money, due to a tax mix-up. Al leaves the city and heads to the country for a rest. He meets Ruth Haines (Roberts) and her niece Sybil (Jason), who rent him their country home. Ruth is an aspiring playwright, who Al falls for while trying to help with her career. Sybil wins over Al’s friends (Horton, Jenkins).

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Musical Monday: Les Girls (1957)

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:
Les Girls – Musical #80

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
George Cukor

Starring:
Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, Taina Elg, Jacques Bergerac, Leslie Phillips, Henry Daniel, Patrick Macnee, Barrie Chase (uncredited)

Plot:
Performer Sybil Wren (Kendall) is on trial for libel after she releases a tell-all book. While on the stand, she tells the story of her days with the traveling act Les Girls, led by Barry Nichols (Kelly) and co-starring with two other dancers Joy Henderson (Gaynor) and Angèle Ducros (Elg). Sybil’s book accuses Angèle of having an affair with Barry, while Angèle accuses Sybil of the same. Each person retrospectively tells their side of the story.

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