Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Broadway Melody (1929)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Broadway Melody (1929)

In director Harry Beaumont's Best Picture (or Best Production)-winning backstage dance/musical - the first musical and sound feature to win the top award - a series of Broadway Melody sequels followed that stretched out to 1940 (the final film starred Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell). The films included: Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), and Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940):

  • the story was about the romantic adventures of two vaudevillian sisters from the Midwestern "sticks" who were searching for stardom on Broadway, and known for their sister act as "The Mahoney Sisters": the older, more energetic and business-smart Harriet "Hank" (Bessie Love) and her grown-up younger and more naive pretty blonde sister Queenie (Anita Page)
  • housed in a theatrical hotel on 46th Street in NYC, the two sisters were being promoted as performers by amorous song-and-dance man and songwriter Eddie Kearns (Charles King); Eddie had summoned his home-town girlfriend Hank and her formerly-overlooked-sister to the city to audition for a revue (‘Zanfield’s Dollies’) that included his latest song ("Broadway Melody"), being produced by famed Broadway producer Francis Zanfield (Eddie Kane) (an obvious takeoff on Flo Ziegfeld)
  • a love triangle developed between "Hank", Queenie, and Eddie, and although "Hank" was engaged to be married to Eddie, Eddie began to fall in love with Queenie, who didn't want to hurt her older sister's feelings
  • after auditions, Queenie (due to her beauty) was selected to fill a slot in the revue for one of the injured showgirls, and she was soon to be seduced by the wealth of the notorious, mean and selfish playboy Mr. Jacques "Jock" Warriner (Kenneth Thompson) (an obvious takeoff on Jack Warner); both Eddie and "Hank" became worried
  • a second love triangle developed, between Queenie, Eddie, and "Jock"; although Queenie was paired with the dishonorable "Jock" and acted as if she had been bought off, she still retained strong feelings for Eddie; eventually, Eddie and Queenie confessed their love for each other ("You Were Meant For Me"), but then, Queenie returned to "Jock" to save her sister from heartbreak
Eddie and Queenie - Falling in Love (Behind Hank's Back)
  • when "Hank" realized her sister's love for Eddie, she berated him and then released her claim on him ("I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on Earth!"), urged him to fight for Queenie ("You're a coward! You're afraid of Jacques Warriner! Or, you'd go out and fight for her! But, you're just yella!"), and asserted that she had only used Eddie for career advancement into the revue. In the highly emotional self-sacrificial scene, "Hank" revealed her upset and depth of character, intermittently both sobbing and laughing
  • Eddie pursued "Jock" to the Park Avenue apartment that the lothario had bought for Queenie (along with providing her with a diamond bracelet, a fur coat and a Rolls Royce), and physically confronted "Jock" - to defend Queenie from "Jock's" unwanted advances
  • after being socked in the face, Eddie left with Queenie and they were subsequently married. Queenie announced an end to her show-business career, so she could settle down on Long Island in a new home. She invited her sister "Hank" to live with them, but "Hank" had other plans with a new cheap blonde chorus girl partner Flo (Mary Doran), and vowed to be on the Broadway stage within six months after touring out West
  • the various musical numbers, including: "You Were Meant For Me," the title tune: "Broadway Melody," and "The Wedding of the Painted Doll" (originally shot in two-strip Technicolor)
Musical Numbers
"The Wedding of the Painted Doll"
"Broadway Melody"

Eddie with Hank and Queenie

Hank and Queenie

Eddie to Queenie "You Were Meant For Me"

Queenie with Jacques ("Jock") Warriner (Kenneth Thompson)


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