The Broadway Melody

Title: The Broadway Melody
Year: 1929
Length: 110 minutes
Director: Harry Beaumont
Writers: Edmund Goulding, Norman Houston, Sarah Y. Mason & James Gleason
Starring: Charles King, Anita Page, Bessie Love
Music: Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed
Distinctions: Oscar for Best Picture; (unofficial) Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Actress (Love)

My reaction
Synopsis: a sister act tries to make it on broadway
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Concept: Terrible. It wasn’t even cliche yet, and it’s still terrible.
Story: Terrible.
Characters: Bad.
Dialog: Bad.
Pacing: Terrible.
Cinematography: Bad. It doesn’t help that the picture is cropped for the DVD, so that it’s 4:3 instead of 6:5. Notice anything missing from that tap dancing image above?
Special effects/design: Bad.
Acting: Bad.
Music: Indifferent. There are a handful of musical numbers that have nothing to do with the plot and feature none of the cast, and those bits are fine. The rest of the music ranges from mediocre to completely awful. I hope that Page’s and Love’s characters are meant to be bad performers, but I don’t really think that was the intention.
Subjective Rating: 2/10 (Terrible). Everyone says this is a bad movie, but I had just assumed that that’s because they go in expecting a Best Picture winner. I went in expecting crap, and it managed to be worse than I could have possibly imagined. I give it a 2/10 instead of a 1 simply because of the aforementioned Unrelated Musical Numbers (~5-10 minutes of screen time).
Objective Rating: 0.7/4 (Very bad).


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