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Broadway Melody of 1936

(1935 b 101')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A Broadway producer discovers his school-friend is his star after machinations by a gossip columnist.

On the radio Bert Keeler (Jack Benny) gives gossip of babies as "blessed events," but his boss wants hot news. Keeler tells his assistant Snoop (Sid Silvers) he needs dirt. Lilian Brent (June Knight) wants to invest in the show of Bob Gordon (Robert Taylor), and she sings "I Got a Feeling You're Foolin'" with him. Irene Foster (Eleanor Powell) comes from Albany to see Gordon and waits along with Keeler and a man who explains snoring. Ted Burke (Buddy Ebsen) sings and dances before breakfast with Sally Burke (Vilma Ebsen) for Irene. Irene tap dances. Gordon receives a high school pin and tells his secretary Kitty Corbet (Una Merkel) to find Irene. Lilian complains to Gordon about Keeler's column. Keeler makes people tremble but thinks he's a reformer. Gordon demands a retraction and slugs Keeler. Kitty asks Snoop to have Keeler help Gordon find Irene, and he writes a column about Irene. Irene imitates Katharine Hepburn in Morning Glory. Gordon hits Keeler again. Gordon auditions Irene but tells her that Broadway is hard. She sings "You Are My Lucky Star." Lilian wants to be Gordon's leading lady; but he is going to the coast to find a star. Snoop hears this, and Kitty can't keep him from telling Keeler.

Keeler makes up a star called La Belle Arlette after a cigar. Gordon returns from Hollywood complaining. Kitty tells him of Arlette. Keeler has Snoop dress as Arlette and play her secretary on the phone while Keeler plays a record for Gordon. Irene brings Ted and Sally to Gordon; they plead for Irene, but Gordon hires them for his show. Gordon tells Irene to go back to Albany, because he won't give her just a bit part. She agrees, and he kisses her. Kitty recognizes Snoop on the telephone while calling Arlette and leaves him a note. Gordon puts Irene on the train; but she gets off and goes with Kitty. Ted sings "On a Sunday Afternoon." Lilian reads Keeler's poem to Gordon. Keeler says he needs a bodyguard. He and Snoop put on catcher's masks, but Gordon hits Keeler in the stomach. Lilian signs a contract with Gordon, as Kitty sends in Irene as Arlette. Keeler reads that Gordon signed Arlette and learns of the note from Kitty.

At a rehearsal Ted tap dances. Keeler's boss tells him that Arlette in Paris is suing. Keeler calls Arlette to come to his office. Irene tells Keeler she wanted to get in Gordon's show. Keeler writes that Arlette is going back to France and shows Irene the cable from Arlette. Irene says Keeler is responsible. He and Irene run into Gordon at a nightclub. Frances Langford sings "Broadway Rhythm" culminating in Irene dancing. Keeler calls in the story that Gordon is wedding Irene.

Keeler is a satire of Winchell, and the clever story by Moss Hart is a variation of the usual unknown becoming a star overnight. The songs, dancing, and comedy provide elegant entertainment.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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