You Were Meant for Me

The Broadway Melody is a product of its time. It was the very first sound film to win Best Picture at the 2nd Academy Awards. Making Wings the only Silent Era film to win the Oscar. The Broadway Melody is also the first musical to win. There was even an early Technicolor scene that inspired more color in cinema. I think The Broadway Melody mostly won for its technical achievements. Hollywood was so ready for sound that story and/or performances weren’t as important. The Broadway Melody is a fine production on its own, but it hasn’t aged too well.

It centers on a Broadway performance produced by Francis Zanfield. An obvious take on real life theater producer Florenz Ziegfeld (more on him later). The Mahoney Sisters dream of taking their vaudeville act on Broadway. Hank is the older sister dating singer Eddie Kearns and Queenie is her younger more naive sister. Since it’s pre-Code, the sisters are given unnecessary bathing scenes. The Broadway Melody is an early musical that isn’t entirely dominated by music. Songs like the titular “Broadway Melody” or the original “You Were Meant for Me” more or less remain on Broadway.

More attention is arguably given to love triangles centering around Queenie. Despite dating Hank, Eddie is kind of a jerk who turns all of his attention to the younger, more beautiful Queenie. The producer chooses Queenie over Hank and Queenie gains the attention of a playboy named Jock Warriner. I feel bad for Hank, but Bessie Love gives the best performance out of anyone. Enough to earn a Best Actress nomination. The Broadway Melody is dated, but it puts on a good enough show to inspire many more sort of sequels for years to come.

The Broadway Melody

Zanfield’s revue

4 thoughts on “You Were Meant for Me

    1. You’re welcome. I’m actually planning to review all remaining Best Picture winning and/or nominated films that I’ve yet to see in the coming months. I started with The Broadway Melody since I already reviewed Wings a long time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The subsequent follow-ups to the Broadway Melody have held up a little better I think. The original is still a fine film, but as you said much of its content belongs to the era it came out of, and thus didn’t translate well for future viewers.

    Liked by 2 people

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