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Broadway Melody of 1940

(1940 b 102')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Two struggling dancers have to break up when one gets a leading role with a dancing star in this musical with songs by Cole Porter.

Dancers Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy) owe money and sing "Please Don't Monkey with Broadway." Johnny thinks producer Bob Casey (Frank Morgan) is a process server and says he is King. Johnny goes to see Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell) sing "I Am the Captain" and tap dance. Casey tells Clare and Bert Matthews (Ian Hunter) that he found a partner for Clare. Bert and Clare love their theatrical careers too much to marry. Casey calls hung-over King and avoids Pearl DeLonge (Ann Morriss), who knows judo. Johnny waits to see Bert, says he is a juggler, and watches a girl (Trixie Firschke) do many tricks. Clare comes in with Bert, who won't see anyone until King comes in. Bert says he wants King alone for Clare. King tells Johnny, who offers to help him.

Casey tells Johnny he lost the part because of the confusion. King gets publicity and is smitten with Clare. She tells Bert that she is having fun with King but cancels her date with King, who goes out anyway. Clare calls King back, and Johnny says he loves her. Southerner Emmy Lou Lee (Lynne Carver) has Casey's ermine coat, but he gets it back when she dances with King. Clare and Johnny tell Bert different reasons why King is late. King kisses Clare; she tells him not to and slaps him after he kisses her again. Clare sees Johnny dancing new steps. Johnny sings "I've Got My Eyes on You" and plays piano. Clare watches Johnny dance and applauds. After lunch Johnny and Clare tap dance. Bert and King are angry that Clare and Johnny came back late. King and Johnny quarrel, and Johnny leaves.

On opening night Casey finally takes his secretary Amy Blake (Florence Rice) in his ermine coat. Johnny finds King drunk. King tries to hit Johnny and passes out. Johnny tries to revive King in the shower. Clare dances to "I Concentrate on You." In masks Johnny dances with Clare. Johnny tells King he fainted after the number and helps him dress. Clare goes to King, who says Johnny left. Clare tells King that Johnny saved his career. Clare finds King tight again and goes after Johnny. During "Begin the Beguine" Clare dances with Johnny. They learn that King was pretending to be drunk, and the three dance.

Top dancing to good music makes this story of dancers entertaining. Casey's reluctance to give away his ermine coat was based on the behavior of agent Doc Shurr.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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