Broadway Melody of 1938
MGM, 1937 (BW, 111 minutes, Production No. 988)
A young singer/dancer (Eleanor Powell) goes to New York City in hopes of becoming a Broadway star. Along the way she encounters two vaudeville hopefuls (George Murphy and Buddy Ebsen), and meets a Broadway producer (Robert
Taylor). The producer sees her singing and dancing on the train, and takes her under his wing, getting her a place to stay (Sophie Tucker's boarding house) and trying to work her into a new musical that he's producing. Sophie Tucker's boarding house is a
sort of half-way house for Broadway hopefuls. Sophie is a past performer, and is trying to get her daughter (Judy) onto the stage. All of this leads to the inevitable big show, which is the finale of the movie.
Screenplay by: (original story by and )
Music and lyrics: and
Vocal and orchestral arrangements: and
Filmed: March 1937 - July 1937 (Judy turned 15 during filming)
Released: August 1937
... Steve Raleigh
... Sally Lee
... Sonny Ledford
... Caroline Whipple
... Peter Trot
... Alice Clayton
... Betty Clayton
... Nicki Papaloapas
... Herman Whipple
... James K. Blakely
... the sneezer
... George Papaloapas
... Jerry Jason
... Emma Snipe
(Judy Garland, behind titles)
(from "The Barber of Seville," by Rossini; sung by Charles Igor Gorin)
(sung and danced by Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Buddy Ebsen)
(Judy Garland with Sophie Tucker, Barnett Parker, and Chorus)
(sung and danced by Eleanor Powell and George Murphy)
(danced by Eleanor Powell and George Murphy)
(danced by Judy Garland and Buddy Ebsen)
(Sophie Tucker and Chorus)
(danced by Eleanor Powell)
[cut] (Judy Garland and Chorus)
[cut] (Judy Garland)
[cut] (Eleanor Powell)
[cut] (Charles Igor Gorin)
Judy's second feature film, her first for MGM, Broadway Melody of 1938 was a major turning point in her career. reworked
the lyrics to "You Made Me Love You" into a tribute to Clark Gable, and had Judy sing it at Clark's birthday party. MGM executives were so enchanted with Judy's performance, that they had her repeat the number at various business and social functions. In
the mean time, found a place for her in his current production, and Judy was a hit. People all over the country were sitting up and taking notice of the "little girl with the great big
Singing "Dear Mr. Gable" became a tradition. Gable gave Judy a charm bracelet as a token of his appreciation, and she was often referred to as "Gable's old gal". Judy would sing the number at Gable's birthday parties for
years to come.
Judy recorded "Dear Mr. Gable" for , and it was her first hit record.
was quite taken with Judy, labeling her "America's next red-hot mama." She said, "Not only has she one of the best voices
I've heard, but she understands the value of lyric lines as if she were a grown-up."
later described Judy as "the greatest all-around talent I have ever encountered. She could do anything. All of us who watched
her on the set knew immediately that [she] had that extra something that would make her one of the screen immortals. Her voice could make you laugh or cry almost at the same time. There was never anyone like her."
See for information about the latest releases of home video and sountrack.
"There are individual successes in the film which are more successful than the film itself: ...the amazing precocity of Judy Garland - Metro's challenge to Deanna Durbin. Miss Garland particularly has a long tour-de-force in
which she addresses lyrical apostrophes to a picture of Clark Gable. The idea and words are almost painfully silly, yet Judy falters no more than Miss Shearer doing the balcony scene; she put it over, in fact, with a bang."
- Bosley Crowther, The New York Times, September 3, 1937
"No use getting into the details until Sophie Tucker and Judy Garland are disposed of ... You can hear what the others are saying, but Miss Tucker is the only one you see ... Then she steps back and pushes Judy Garland,
still in her teens, into the camera foreground. Young Miss Garland gives them "Everybody Sing" with a Tucker undertone, and it's worth a letter to the homefolks ... Most of the rest is just filler in between the Tucker and Garland numbers."
- Variety, August 18, 1937
Alice (to Betty): "First it was Donald Duck, and now it's Clark Gable you're crazy about. Now, look here, young lady - you stop thinking about those motion picture actors and you go right to sleep! And mind you - no
dreaming about them, either!"
Betty (to a picture of Clark Gable): "...and I cried all the way home just because you smiled at me for being in your way!"