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A Few Words About A few words about…™ The Broadway Melody of 1940 – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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The Broadway Melody series began in the early sound era, with the first released by M-G-M in February of 1929. There were both silent as well as sound versions.

Nominated in three categories, it won Best Picture of 1930.

By 1935, with Broadway Melody of 1936, it had morphed into an Eleanor Powell film, supported by Jack Benny and Robert Taylor, and was followed by Broadway Melody of 1938 (Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Binnie Barnes, Buddy Ebson, Sophie Tucker and Judy Garland).

The final film in the series was Broadway Melody of 1940, which added Fred Astaire to the mix, and was released eleven years after the first. Another new name was one Cole Porter, a writer of music, who also had his first credit in film in 1929.

Some of the finest film editors have always been women, and here you'll find the name of Blanche Sewell, and M-G-M cutter.

Most will not know the name, but you've seen her work.

Ms Sewell cut the 1936 and 1938 films. She began in the silent era, but might be better known for a few later productions. Here's a short list:

Red-Headed Woman (1932)
Grand Hotel (1932)
Red Dust (1932)
Queen Christina (1933)
Treasure Island (1934)
Born to Dance (1936)
Yellow Jack (1938)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Boom Town (1940)
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Bathing Beauty (1944)
The Pirate (1948)

But most readers will want to know what this Warner Archive release looks and sounds like.

In a word, beautiful.

Not perfect to my eye, but to the rest of the world, beautiful.

A clean, stable, nicely rendered image, with only the tiniest of problems.

A bit of magnetic grain due to digital clean-up, and a bit of missing air in the blacks.

Will anyone care?

Not a all.

A wonderful film, finally receiving a proper release on Blu-ray.


Image – 4.9

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

RichMurphy

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My copy is pre-ordered from Deep Discount and I hope will arrive soon, given the transitioning of Warner Archive (the Blu is nowhere to be found on the current WBShop website or on Amazon, as of today).

I have the Rhino Handmade CD soundtrack, and I always found it interesting that the biggest hit from the film, "Begin the Beguine" was edited out of the opening credit music. It is also notable that a couple of the tracks on that CD were in stereo! Pretty startling to hear given it was recorded 80+ years ago.
 

Garysb

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My copy is pre-ordered from Deep Discount and I hope will arrive soon, given the transitioning of Warner Archive (the Blu is nowhere to be found on the current WBShop website or on Amazon, as of today).
The Warner Archive at the WB Shop is currently showing no preorders. To me this increases speculation that the WB shop will stop selling Warner Archive disks and/or close up altogether as has been rumored but not yet announced.

"The Broadway Melody of 1940" is available to order at Amazon. They currently list it under a partial title as " The Broadway Melody of" leaving off 1940. They also list the cast and director of the "Mortal Storm" Not surprising that you couldn't find it. I am sure Amazon will update listing shortly.

Amazon product


 
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RichMurphy

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The Warner Archive at the WB Shop is currently showing no preorders. To me this increases speculation that the WB shop will stop selling Warner Archive disks and/or close up altogether as has been rumored but not yet announced.

"The Broadway Melody of 1940" is available to order at Amazon. They currently list it under a partial title as " The Broadway Melody of" leaving off 1940. They also list the cast and director of the "Mortal Storm" Not surprising that you couldn't find it. I am sure Amazon will update listing shortly.

Amazon product



Garysb, I tip my hat to your amazing sleuthing skills.
 

DannyLewis

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This is the movie I have been couting the days to have on Blu, since George Feltenstein informed on one of the WAC podcasts they had something starring Astaire and Powell in the works. I knew it had to be that movie and having it submitted to the WAC treatment is simply a dream come true.
 

Robert Harris

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This is the movie I have been couting the days to have on Blu, since George Feltenstein informed on one of the WAC podcasts they had something starring Astaire and Powell in the works. I knew it had to be that movie and having it submitted to the WAC treatment is simply a dream come true.
The treatment was a long time in the works, as the most original elements are far from wonderful. Once that's known, the final results are stunning.
 

Jay_Z_525

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With all of these gorgeous transfers I feel slightly spoiled, and I pick up as many as I can. I do hope these continue- we shall see.

Seeing these, though, is it weird that I wish I hadn’t tossed out my old VHS tapes, taped off local Philly channels? Just for the nostalgia of old, scratchy prints, commercials, and station bumpers.
 
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maxfabien

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When will we see a Blu-ray release of the original "Broadway Melody"? One of the seven remaining Best Picture Oscar winners that hasn't been given the Blu-ray treatment yet.
 

Mike Frezon

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I've never seen this film.

But I cannot tell you how many times I've watched Astaire and Powell dance Begin the Beguine. I'm really surprised my DVDs and Blu-rays of That's Entertainment haven't had my players burn a laser hole through that portion of the discs. I NEVER cease to be amazed at how perfect those two are in sync with each other during that routine. I have showed it off to countless people whenever discussions have turned to filmed dance routines. And will oftentimes just spin up That's Entertainment just to watch that clip.

If I was an Olympic judge giving out scores for synchronized dance routines, I would give it a 15/10.

And that skirt and those legs...!

Sigh.

I am really looking forward to this! :D
 

benbess

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Enjoyed this one a lot. Saw it once before many years ago, but I'd forgotten how many smiles and laughs are in this movie. Fred Astaire has a kind of humble and yet heartfelt humanity about him that's appealing. Eleanor Powell is wonderful in this picture too. Picture quality from this blu-ray is very good. Broadway Melody of 1940 is still a good pick-me-up more than eighty years after it was made.

1940.jpeg
 
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benbess

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It's kinda funny the tagline that Warner Archive has come up with for back of the blu-ray case:

"Absolute Beguiners"



And here's a short clip of the restored movie.

 

Robert Crawford

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Enjoyed this one a lot. Saw it once before many years ago, but I'd forgotten how many smiles and laughs are in this movie. Fred Astaire has a kind of humble and yet heartfelt humanity about him that's appealing. Eleanor Powell is wonderful in this picture too. Picture quality from this blu-ray is very good. Broadway Melody of 1940 is still a good pick-me-up more than eighty years after it was made.

View attachment 124394
I have to admit that Eleanor Powell was my favorite female dancer from that era of musicals. I just liked her dancing style more than others like Ginger Rogers.
 

Matt Hough

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After the smashing dancing in this movie, it's hard to believe that Fred Astaire wasn't signed then and there to an MGM contract. He free-lanced for several years after this (in some B-quality movies like Second Chorus and The Sky's the Limit along with A's at Columbia and Paramount) before signing at MGM.
 

marcco00

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i would have loved to have seen Eleanor Powell and Gene Kelly in 'The Broadway Melody of 1943'

and Eleanor and Dan Dailey in 'For Me and My Gal', but in the end for some reason MGM

decided not to green light those projects for her.......they seemed to lose interest, poor Eleanor.
 

Mike Frezon

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And now since Ben has bumped this thread, I am going to spend part of my Sunday watching the Begin the Beguine segment...yet again! :D

Classic Movies Dance GIF

And I did! :laugh:

I just stare at the two of them and marvel at how they can mimic each other's body movements the way they do in such perfect unison. and they make it look so effortless.

I also watched the Ann Miller-hosted doc on the disc which gives some insight into the pairing.
 
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