Battle of Broadway


1h 24m 1938

Film Details

Also Known As
The Legion Marches On
Release Date
Apr 22, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,600ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Homer C. Bundy, the president of Bundy Steel Company of Bundy, Pennsylvania, is an unassuming man who waxes nostalgic about his life during World War I as a private under his bombastic, vainglorious, but likable sergeant, Big Ben Wheeler, who now is a laborer at Homer's mill. Because the local American Legion post does not have enough money to send a drill team to New York for the national convention, Homer has arranged for his company to finance the trip. After Chesty Webb, Ben's wartime rival, arrives to be Ben's foreman, their fight at a dance hall over a waitress turns into a huge brawl. Rather than reprimand them, Homer asks their help to break up a romance between his son Jack and a showgirl in New York, whom Homer suspects is a gold digger. Ben and Chesty agree, and although each would prefer to accomplish the deed alone, Homer insists that they work together. At the Hotel Palmer in New York, legionnaires from across the country renew acquaintances. Vivacious singer Linda Lee arouses considerable attention as she enters the lobby with her little dog Butch, and as Ben attempts to flirt with her, Chesty hides the dog. The legionnaires frantically search, and after both Ben and Chesty try to outwit each other to return the dog and thus gain Linda's regard, she invites them both to dinner after her show. Meanwhile, Jack visits Ben and Chesty and surmises his father's scheme. With Linda's connivance, Jack leads Ben and Chesty to believe that Linda is the showgirl he wants to marry and pretends that he has just met his real fiancée, Marjorie Clark, a dancer in Linda's show. Chesty and Ben attempt to romance Linda, at Homer's expense. When Homer receives bills for furs, jewelry and dresses, he comes to New York and confronts Linda, with whom he is soon infatuated. His plan to marry Linda himself greatly upsets Ben, Chesty and Jack, who believe she is only after his money. On the planned wedding day, Ben and Chesty put Homer in Halligan's Health Home, an upstate sanitarium, so that they can prove Linda's deception. They try to offer her money, but during their conversation, Homer telephones her and explains the situation. She drives out to him, and when Margorie convinces Ben, Chesty and Jack that Linda really loves Homer, Ben gets the idea that Homer would appreciate it if a busload of legionnaires came up to give him and Linda a "royal" wedding. However, when the bus arrives, Homer thinks that Ben has enlisted the legionnaires to stop the wedding and has the guards attempt to prevent their entrance while he and Linda are married by a judge in a turkish bath steam cabinet. Despite a tremendous brawl, Homer and Linda are wed. During the subsequent parade, Ben's group, marching in terrific disarray from the brawl, wins first prize for the "stark realism" of their dress.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Legion Marches On
Release Date
Apr 22, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,600ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Legion Marches On. It was also known as The Battle of Broadway. Louise Hovick performed in burlesque as Gypsy Rose Lee. Reviewers noted that the film was somewhat inspired by the previous fall's American Legion "debacle" in New York and commented on the Victor McLagen-Brian Donlevy teaming as being of the same sort in which McLagen and Edmund Lowe, as Captain Quirk and Sergeant Flagg, respectively, appeared in the 1926 Fox film What Price Glory and subsequent films. Footage of the 1937 American Legion's convention parade is included in this film. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, in October 1938, a New York State Supreme Court justice signed a "show cause" order to restrain Twentieth Century-Fox from continuing to use the title Battle of Broadway after Mary Orr claimed that she used the same title earlier in a story published in Pictorial Review. No information has been located concerning the disposition of this case.