|Broadway Melody of 1936|
|Directed by||Roy Del Ruth|
|Written by||Harry W. Conn|
|Produced by||John W. Considine Jr.|
|Edited by||Blanche Sewell|
|Music by||Nacio Herb Brown|
|Distributed by||Loew's, Inc.|
Broadway Melody of 1936 is a musical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1935. In New York, the film opened at the Capitol Theatre, the site of many prestigious MGM premieres. It was a follow-up of sorts to the successful The Broadway Melody, which had been released in 1929, although, there is no story connection with the earlier film beyond the title and some music.
The film was written by Harry W. Conn, Moss Hart, Jack McGowan and Sid Silvers. It was directed by Roy Del Ruth and starred Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor, June Knight, Frances Langford, Sid Silvers, Buddy Ebsen and Vilma Ebsen (in their film debut). It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Irene Foster (Eleanor Powell) tries to convince her high school sweetheart, Broadway producer Robert Gordon (Robert Taylor), to give her a chance to star in his new musical, but he is too busy with the rich widow (June Knight) backing his show. Irene tries to show Gordon that she has the talent to succeed, but he will not hire her. Things become complicated when she begins impersonating a French dancer, who was actually the invention of a gossip columnist (Jack Benny, parodying Walter Winchell).
This was Powell's first leading role, and her first film for MGM. She would appear in the next two entries in the Broadway Melody series: Broadway Melody of 1938 and Broadway Melody of 1940. (These films were not related to each other in terms of storyline.) This also marked Ebsen's film debut. Though she was dubbed in this film by Marjorie Lane, Eleanor recorded "You Are My Lucky Star" with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (Victor 25158).
Don Wilson, Jack Benny's regular announcer on The Jack Benny Program, is not credited in Broadway Melody of 1936, but his presence in the movie is evident at the beginning where he is the radio show host.
The film was nominated for three Oscars at the 8th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Writing (Original Story), and Best Dance Direction, winning the last one. As this film is the second in a film series (though not a direct continuation), it could be viewed as the first "sequel" to ever be nominated for Best Picture.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
According to MGM records, the film earned $1,655,000 in the US and Canada and $1,216,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $691,000.