The Broadway Melody (1929)

broadway melody poster 1929 movie best picture
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Hank is a fun character

Very weak Best Picture

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Broadway Melody

Studio:  MGM

Genre(s):  Musical

Release Date(s):  February 1, 1929

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Oh Queenie…if anyone can make it in this crazy world, we can…or at least you

Queenie (Anita Page) and Hank (Bessie Love) are the Mahoney Sisters and they’ve just blown in to New York City after years of touring.  When Hank’s boyfriend Eddie (Charles King) sets them up for the Zanfield Revue, Queenie becomes the success while Hank is forced into the background.  As Queenie is seduced by the glitz and glamour of Broadway, she finds her and Eddie falling in love…and that can never happen to protect Hank.

Directed by Harry Beaumont, The Broadway Melody was an early talkie musical and is often referred to as The Broadway Melody of 1929.  The movie was the winner of the 2nd Academy Award for Best Picture (then called Best Production) and nominated for Best Actress (Bessie Love) and Best Director.  It became the first picture to win the award with sound since the previous winner Wings was a silent film (and a silent version of this film was also released).


Yeah…great act girls…especially you Queenie

Early “Talkie” pictures are pretty odd and watching The Broadway Melody shows why.  The movie hasn’t quite found the balance yet.  Title cards still occasionally announce the locations and the audio isn’t always balanced, but it isn’t these problems that make The Broadway Melody one of the weaker Best Pictures.

The story of The Broadway Melody is long and sometimes tedious.  The movie obviously panders to the idea that sound was new and is loaded with numbers which allowed movie-goers to see a New York stage show that they might never be able to see.  The romance story isn’t good or realistic…if Eddie is supposed to be charming, he isn’t.  He comes off as slimy while romancing and lusting for Queenie, though it does leave you liking Queenie’s sister Hank who is willing to give up everything for her sister for her jerk of a boyfriend Eddie.


No…you want my sister after dating me…that’s cool.

Anita Page is probably considered the star as Queenie, but Bessie Love plays her spunky sister to better levels.  I also have to say that if the singing and performing by both characters is how it sounds in the movie, audiences who attend the show will be really disappointed…they aren’t that good.

Sound I’m guessing was still a spectacle in itself at this point, and this movie relies heavily on that.  As a result The Broadway Melody hasn’t held up very well.  The visuals, the songs, and the acting aren’t that great.  If the story was good, it would be one thing, but the movie just sputters.  The Broadway Melody’s success led to the unrelated sequels Broadway Melody of 1936, Broadway Melody of 1938, and Broadway Melody of 1940.  A remake called Two Girls on Broadway made in 1940 was a remake of this film.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response