Broadway Babies


1h 26m 1929
Broadway Babies

Brief Synopsis

A chorus girl can't choose between a party animal and her stage manager.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jun 30, 1929
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
First National Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Broadway Musketeers" by Jay Gelzer in Good Housekeeping (Oct 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,067ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Against the advice of her fellow dancers Florine and Navarre, Delight Foster, a Broadway chorus girl, becomes engaged to Billy Buvanny, the stage manager of her show. Then Percé Gessant, a Canadian, falls in love with her, and when she thinks Billy is unfaithful, Delight decides to marry Percé. Meanwhile he becomes involved with Gus Brand, a gambler and gang leader. On their wedding day, Percé is attending a poker game, while his gunmen hold up Brand and his crowd; en route to the wedding with his bride, Percé is shot by Brand from another car just as Delight informs him she still loves Billy. Percé, dying after a showdown with the gang, with his last words bequeaths his money to Billy and Delight, who use it to finance their own show on Broadway.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jun 30, 1929
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
First National Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Broadway Musketeers" by Jay Gelzer in Good Housekeeping (Oct 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,067ft (9 reels)

Articles

Broadway Babies -


Universal enjoyed a big early talkie hit mixing show biz and gangsters in 1929's Broadway Babies, which launched a number of copycat productions with 'Broadway' in the title. Less than two months later, First National's Broadway Babies also alternated songs with crooked poker games and gangland rubouts. 'Boy Wonder' director Mervyn LeRoy was a veteran of vaudeville, but the film's backstage atmosphere is pure Hollywood. Top billing went to starlet Alice White, a sexy Clara Bow type with a perky smile and a wiggly figure. The backstage story sees the virginal showgirl Delight (White) given romantic advice by her two more worldly friends, cute Florine (Marion Byron from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and Navarre (popular Sally Eilers). Delight drops her fiancé and stage manager Billy (Charles Delaney) in favor of a carefree rumrunner from Detroit, Perc (Fred Kohler). Delight and Perc arrange to be married, but when he runs afoul of an influential gangster, the wedding provides the perfect setup for a mob ambush. Non-singing Alice White is awkwardly dubbed by Belle Mann for the sound version; as with many 1929 shows, a silent version was released as well. Comic relief Tom Dugan relies on a stutter to get laughs, a gag that had to be carried in title cards for the silent version. Jazz-age movies about racy showgirls frequently flirted with on-screen nudity, but Variety noted that the big production Broadway Babies was censor proof, with 'nothing suggestive, not even a gesture.' The concern may reflect mounting exhibitor complaints about risqué content in studio films: The Motion Picture Production Code wouldn't be drafted until the next year.

By Glenn Erickson
Broadway Babies -

Broadway Babies -

Universal enjoyed a big early talkie hit mixing show biz and gangsters in 1929's Broadway Babies, which launched a number of copycat productions with 'Broadway' in the title. Less than two months later, First National's Broadway Babies also alternated songs with crooked poker games and gangland rubouts. 'Boy Wonder' director Mervyn LeRoy was a veteran of vaudeville, but the film's backstage atmosphere is pure Hollywood. Top billing went to starlet Alice White, a sexy Clara Bow type with a perky smile and a wiggly figure. The backstage story sees the virginal showgirl Delight (White) given romantic advice by her two more worldly friends, cute Florine (Marion Byron from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and Navarre (popular Sally Eilers). Delight drops her fiancé and stage manager Billy (Charles Delaney) in favor of a carefree rumrunner from Detroit, Perc (Fred Kohler). Delight and Perc arrange to be married, but when he runs afoul of an influential gangster, the wedding provides the perfect setup for a mob ambush. Non-singing Alice White is awkwardly dubbed by Belle Mann for the sound version; as with many 1929 shows, a silent version was released as well. Comic relief Tom Dugan relies on a stutter to get laughs, a gag that had to be carried in title cards for the silent version. Jazz-age movies about racy showgirls frequently flirted with on-screen nudity, but Variety noted that the big production Broadway Babies was censor proof, with 'nothing suggestive, not even a gesture.' The concern may reflect mounting exhibitor complaints about risqué content in studio films: The Motion Picture Production Code wouldn't be drafted until the next year. By Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia