Cast & Crew
Ted Lucky Lorimer, a familiar figure in Broadway nightclubs, gets Winnie Wharton an audition as a nightclub singer. With the help of Lucky and piano player Tommy Blake, Winnie is successful, and Lucky appoints himself as her manager, forcing Big Joe Jarvis, the owner, to pay her an exorbitant salary. Winnie rapidly acquires wealth and fame. Tommy loves Winnie, but seeing her obvious love for Lucky, he keeps silent. Lucky, however, does not return her feelings. He is in love with socialite Iris Marvin, but their affair is hindered by their class difference. In order to earn the money that will make him her social equal, Lucky opens a gambling salon. Ronnie, Iris' snobby brother, loses a lot of money and steals the family jewels, which he uses to pay his debt to Lucky. The theft is reported, and when the jewels are found in Lucky's possession, he is arrested. To bail Lucky out of jail, Winnie gives her last money to a dishonest lawyer and is left penniless. Iris, learning that Ronnie is the guilty one, uses her influence to free Lucky and they are married. Tommy tells Lucky that Winnie is broke, and he secretly backs her in a show. Afraid that Lucky will reveal his guilt, Ronnie shoots him. While at Lucky's bedside, Winnie realizes that he and Iris are happy together and agrees to marry loyal Tommy.
Leo F. Forbstein
M. K. Jerome
Benjamin M. Kaye
Arthur L. Todd
Best Dance Direction
Written by George Bricker and directed by Frank McDonald, with choreography by Bobby Connolly (who would be nominated for a Best Dance Direction Academy Award for the Playboy of Paree number), Broadway Hostess went into production on August 9, 1935 in time for a December 7th release. Shaw plays Winnie Wharton, winner of a popularity contest from Ohio, who auditions for a new show, gets the role and becomes a star. She also becomes involved in a love triangle, falling for her manager, "Lucky" Lorimer (Talbot), a gambler who is in love with heiress Iris Marvin (Genevieve Tobin).
Warner Bros. advertised Broadway Hostess with a trailer that proclaimed, "The Lady in Red is Coming Back Again! [a reference to Shaw's biggest song hit, "The Lady in Red".] Starred by Public Request and Popular Acclaim in a Big Warner Bros. Musical Show." In the trailer, Shaw addresses the audience saying, "It was because of you that Warner Bros. gave me the starring role in Broadway Hostess, and I'll do my best to please you always." As Shaw sings "He Was Her Man," the titles read, "The Story of a Famous Torch Singer Who Fell in Love with the Wrong Man. You've Heard These Song Hits on the Radio, Now See Them on the Screen".
The soundtrack, with songs written by the teams of Al Dubin and Joseph Burke and Allie Wrubel and Mort Dixon, gave Shaw the opportunity to sing hits like "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" and "He Was Her Man" but little else. New York Times film critic Andre Sennwald blasted the movie in his December 16, 1935 review. "Sitting through the new film at the Strand is like having to be polite to the boss while he tells an old story badly. [...] [T]he manufacturers of Broadway Hostess have succeeded in rounding up all the clichés of the Broadway comedy-with-music cycle and herding them into one photoplay. With or without malice, the Warner Brothers selected the piece as a vehicle for Miss Winifred Shaw, a sultry torch-singer whose way with a song is rather more considerate than her way with an acting role. Genevieve Tobin, Lyle Talbot, Allen Jenkins, Phil Regan and Spring Byington are also, to put it as gently as possible, among those present. The gentleman who accompanied me to the Strand on Saturday made the most pertinent comment. He suggested that the title be changed to "Show Them No Mercy.""
With reviews like this, it's not surprising that the film did not make Shaw a film star. She eventually retired from films in 1939 and returned to Broadway.
Director: Frank McDonald
Screenplay: George Bricker; Benjamin M. Kaye (story, uncredited)
Cinematography: Arthur Miller
Art Direction: Esdras Hartley
Music: Ray Heindorf, Heinz Roemheld (both uncredited)
Film Editing: Jack Killifer
Cast: Winifred Shaw (Winnie Wharton), Genevieve Tobin (Iris Marvin), Lyle Talbot (Lucky Lorimer), Allen Jenkins (Fishcake Carter), Phil Regan (Tommy Blake), Marie Wilson (Dorothy Dubois), Spring Byington (Mrs. Duncan-Griswald-Wembly-Smythe), Joseph King (Big Joe Jarvis), Donald Ross (Ronnie Marvin), Frank Dawson (Morse - Iris' Butler), Harry Seymour (Club Intime Emcee).
by Lorraine LoBianco
Motion Picture Herald: Volume 20 1935
Sennwald, Andre "The Strand Theatre Presents 'Broadway Hostess'" The New York Times 16 Dec 35
Dance director Bobby Connolly received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the "Playboy from Paree" number in this film, and for his work on the "Latin from Manhattan" number in Go Into Your Dance (see below).
Released in United States 1935
Released in United States 1935