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Chasing Rainbows

Chasing Rainbows(1930)

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teaser Chasing Rainbows (1930)

Sync sound made the movie musicals possible, and sound's very early years are filled with enthusiastic experiments about the best way to bring the excitement of Broadway to the silver screen. Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929), directed by Charles Reisner, was one of the first, and following its success MGM tapped him again to direct Chasing Rainbows, a backstage musical with more of a plot than Hollywood Revue, but just barely. Eddie Rock (vaudevillian Jack Benny, in his first film role) is manager of a motley group of performers in the show "Goodbye Broadway". Between the roving eye of show star Terry (Charles King) and squabbles between Bonnie (Marie Dressler) and Polly (Polly Moran) it's a wonder the show ever gets off the ground. Like many movies of this era, the original print included now-lost two-strip Technicolor scenes, but what proved even more lasting is the song "Happy Days Are Here Again", which made its debut here and would become Franklin D. Roosevelt's campaign song in 1932.

By Violet LeVoit

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