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Stars Over Broadway

(1935 b 89')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A promoter helps a young singer become a star, first in crooning and then in opera, while falling in love with another singer.

Al McGillevray (Pat O'Brien) declines a job as small-time, gives song-plugger Off-key Cramer (Frank McHugh) his boxing ticket, and says good-bye. Suicide looms as he gives his suit to a singing porter; but he decides to make Jan King (James Melton) a singing star. Al takes Jan to music professor Minotti (William Ricciardi) and pays him for six lessons a week while living in a poor apartment. Jan gets to try out at the Metropolitan opera, and Minotti tells Al he'll be singing at the met in five years. Al can't wait and enters Jan in a talent contest, but he leaves because of the announcer's wise-cracking. In a club Joan Garrett (Jane Froman) sings a torch song, "You Let Me Down." Singer Nora Wyman (Jean Muir) tells Al she took third prize in the contest and wants to be a singer, asking him to be her manager; but Al doesn't think she is cut out for show business and puts her off. Al gets Jan a chance to sing at a noisy restaurant, and he soon becomes a star.

Nora comes to Al's swank office, saying she sings solo in a church and asking him to manage her. Jan invites Nora to the Sky Club. Al dances with Nora, and Jan and Joan sing "At Your Service, Madame" with Jan playing a waiter. Nora tells Al she wants glamour, and she wants to see Jan; but he goes off with Joan. Al promises to bring Minotti to hear Nora sing, and she kisses him goodnight. Jan skips his lessons with Minotti, goes to lunch with Nora, and misses rehearsal. At the Sky Club Nora tells Al that Jan is drinking too much. Off-key and Molly are engaged. Jan is passed out drunk and can't perform. Later he tells Al women are great while they last, and Al tells him he is washed up. Al tells Minotti he tore up Jan's contract. In church Nora sings "Ave Maria." After Al tells Nora no, she walks in front of a car. Al visits her to let her know Minotti thinks her voice is great; but Al says he ruined Jan's voice. Al wants Nora for himself, because he loves her.

Al gives Minotti a check to take Jan to Italy for opera training. A few years later Jan is singing Aida at the Met. Nora wishes him luck. Al comes in to see Jan, who thanks him. Al and Nora watch from the wings as Jan sings. Nora asks Al why he ran off and says she is not in love with Jan. She wants to be Al's wife, and he kisses her.

This show displays operatic singing talent while Al struggles with the dilemma between quick success and high art. He loves a purity he sees in Nora and is afraid she will be corrupted the way Jan was for a while. The story ends on a high note with Jan beginning an opera career, while Al and Nora get together to marry.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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