The Broadway Melody
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This landmark MGM backstage musical of the early sound era about broken dreams on the Great White Way features a bevy of standards by the songwriting team of Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. Freed later became unit producer of the legendary Freed Unit at MGM, which is the reason many of the tunes from Broadway Melody --""You Were Meant For Me"", "Broadway Melody", ""The Wedding of the Painted Doll""-- later appeared in Freed's seminal MGM musical Singin' in the Rain. The nominal story concerns midwestern sister act The Mahoney Sisters… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although the audible devices worked exceedingly well in most instances, it is questionable whether it would not have been wiser to leave some of the voices to the imagination."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"The staging is wooden, the story insipid, and the dialogue sequences mostly painful, but the film's integration of song, dance, and story was a clear narrative advance over the music pictures being released by Warner Brothers and Fox."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"First musical to win Academy Award reeks of mothballs, but is undeniably the basis of perhaps a hundred others."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The first musical to win the Oscar, Broadway Melody is a weak song-and-dance picture, but at the time the movie was so popular that it launched a whole series"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Mainly a curiosity for film buffs who want to see how musicals erupted in the early days of the talkie."
‑ Christopher Null,
"A tedious musical comedy embedded in a routine story like a fly in celluloid."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The Broadway Melody has not stood the test of time in ways that many of its more artistic contemporaries have."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Mediocre performances and poorly-constructed musical numbers are the low points in this modestly interesting all-talking, all-singing production."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"It is abundantly clear that they had not yet figured out how to stage or shoot musical numbers for the screen."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"The Broadway Melody won the Academy Award for the best picture of 1929, but I am at a total loss to explain how or why."
‑ Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Excellent bits of sound workmanship are that of camera and mike following Page and the heavy along the dance floor to pick up their conversation as they glide."
‑ Sid Silverman, Variety
"The first musical and sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture creaks from old age."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"...cinematic evolution long ago froze The Broadway Melody in Precambrian amber. But while the movie is hopelessly dated now, it was the bee's knees in its day."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Its function as genre blueprint makes for quite the curiosity. More importantly, it also stands up quite well as a solid evening's entertainment."
‑ David Cornelius,
"Interesting only as an early sound curio."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for The Broadway Melody on Rotten Tomatoes