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Matt Hough

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David Butler’s Lullaby of Broadway offers Doris Day at the peak of her singing and dancing best with a clutch of classic show tunes that she handles to perfection.



Lullaby of Broadway (1951)



Released: 26 Dec 1951
Rated: Passed
Runtime: 92 min




Director: David Butler
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance



Cast: Doris Day, Gene Nelson, S.Z. Sakall
Writer(s): Earl Baldwin



Plot: A showgirl returns to her New York home to visit her alcoholic mother, where she catches the eye of a Broadway producer.



IMDB rating: 6.7
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: Warner Archive
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC



Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English 2.0...

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roxy1927

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vincent parisi
Wonder if Nelson dubbed his own taps or had somebody else do it like Kelly.
 

roxy1927

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I'm surprised there is this problem in this film. I find most tap dubbing superb. But with your review this is a must get for me.
 

Frankie_A

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Kudos, Mark! Great review. In line with the old adage, "you learn something new everyday," this is the first time I've heard of dubbing taps audio. And Roxy...
Wonder if Nelson dubbed his own taps or had somebody else do it like Kelly.
...are you saying that Nelson had someone else dub his taps, possibly Kelly, OR Nelson had his taps dubbed like Kelly had his taps dubbed? And if it's the latter that mean -- are talking about Gene Kelly? Did Gene Kelly have his taps audio dubbed? Now THAT would be a shocking revelation, even at my old age!

And being a former projections before video murdered celluloid, I have no problem with cue marks! In fact, when they are not there,. I miss them, ESPECIALLY technicolor's very unique cues.
 
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roxy1927

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I was asking if Nelson dubbed his own taps. Gwen Verdon claimed in some interview years ago she and somebody else(maybe Haney) dubbed Kelly's taps in the Singin' in the Rain number. Remember she was working at Metro at the time. She's in the Turner/Lamas Merry Widow. I know incredible. Marnie Nixon did not only do all that singing dubbing in WSS she claimed she dubbed some of Wood's words in the final scene. Hermes Pan dubbed Ginger's tapping in her movies with Astaire. Who knows after all these years but sleight of hand in these studio movies was much more common than we think.

Andre Previn recounts in his book No Minor Chords he was watching an Astaire movie on TV with the woman he was with at the time. He told her the taps were dubbed (I assume by Astaire himself.) She absolutely refused to believe him but he said it was true.
 
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GlennF

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Yes, taps were dubbed all the time. It was the only way you could record them and get a clean, consistent sound. Doesn't mean the person wasn't doing the dancing, or tapping at the time, but the sound would not be acceptable. Think of what incredible skill it takes to match your tap sounds to something that has already been filmed. That is amazing!
 

Will Krupp

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Did Gene Kelly have his taps audio dubbed? Now THAT would be a shocking revelation, even at my old age!

Who knows after all these years but sleight of hand in these studio movies was much more common than we think.

Andre Previn recounts in his book No Minor Chords he was watching an Astaire movie on TV with the woman he was with at the time. He told her the taps were dubbed (I assume by Astaire himself.) She absolutely refused to believe him but he said it was true.

ALL taps were post dubbed in those movies (whether by the dancer himself or, in a case like Ginger, by someone else) because there was no sound recorded on set at the time of filming. It would have been impossible. In fact, they used to set up bleachers on the side of Eleanor Powell's dance numbers so that anyone on the lot could come watch the filming and cheer her on if they wanted (Eleanor reacted well to an audience.) It was fine because the sound wasn't being recorded live.
 
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OLDTIMER

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I have no problem with cue marks! In fact, when they are not there,. I miss them, ESPECIALLY technicolor's very unique cues.
I know it's off-subject, but cue marks could be theme on their own. There's the old European square ones, and the tails of prints near the end of their lives with a plethora of various home made cues!
 

Paul Penna

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Here's a sidelight on the film from watching my copy of the 2005 Warner DVD single last night. In a rehearsal room scene at 51:30, Gene Nelson says to the pianist, "You think you can handle this, buddy?" Pianist replies, "Oh, I think I can."

A bit part player in his only scene having a pretty extraneous line of dialog with the star struck me as unusual, as did the possibility that "buddy" could also be a proper nickname. IMDb didn't have an uncredited listing for the part, either named or unnamed. I also thought about the fact that the song "Somebody Loves Me" was the only one of Buddy DeSylva's in the film, and I wondered if this might be a cameo, but that turned out to be a stretch since DeSylva died in 1950.

Then I checked the AFI database list for the film, which included this: "A HR [Hollywood Reporter] news item reported that pianist Buddy Cole would enact a speaking part in this film, but his appearance in the picture has not been confirmed."

Photos of a middle-aged Cole I've found online make it seem very plausible he's the guy in Lullaby. Cole recorded a few jazz organ albums under his own name, but was primarily an active Hollywood studio musician for films as well as records and TV.
 

Joel Arndt

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Here's a sidelight on the film from watching my copy of the 2005 Warner DVD single last night. In a rehearsal room scene at 51:30, Gene Nelson says to the pianist, "You think you can handle this, buddy?" Pianist replies, "Oh, I think I can."

A bit part player in his only scene having a pretty extraneous line of dialog with the star struck me as unusual, as did the possibility that "buddy" could also be a proper nickname. IMDb didn't have an uncredited listing for the part, either named or unnamed. I also thought about the fact that the song "Somebody Loves Me" was the only one of Buddy DeSylva's in the film, and I wondered if this might be a cameo, but that turned out to be a stretch since DeSylva died in 1950.

Then I checked the AFI database list for the film, which included this: "A HR [Hollywood Reporter] news item reported that pianist Buddy Cole would enact a speaking part in this film, but his appearance in the picture has not been confirmed."

Photos of a middle-aged Cole I've found online make it seem very plausible he's the guy in Lullaby. Cole recorded a few jazz organ albums under his own name, but was primarily an active Hollywood studio musician for films as well as records and TV.
Interesting and I would say very plausible as he worked on Warner's Young Man With a Horn the year before. Your post made me Google Mr. Cole and sadly he passed away very young, just shy of turning 48.
 

Harold Chasen

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Great review, Matt - love the Follies reference!

[For those not aware, in 1971, Gene Nelson was part of the original cast of the Broadway musical Follies. In the show, older characters like Nelson's were paired with the ghosts of their younger selves.]

When I first saw the Lullaby of Broadway, I was struck by Gladys George as the mother of Doris Day's character. In both the writing and the playing, the depiction of an alcoholic has-been seemed more serious and accurate than I was expecting from a light 1951 musical. Then I looked up Gladys George, and learned that there was a lot of her biography put into the role. I was also surprised to learn that she was the same actress who played Lute Mae in Flamingo Road in 1949. She seems to have declined quite a lot in the short time between the two roles.
 

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