Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Two Girls on Broadway (1940)

Earlier this evening I enjoyed watching an MGM "B" musical, TWO GIRLS ON BROADWAY, which starred Lana Turner, Joan Blondell, and George Murphy.

This film was a remake of THE BROADWAY MELODY (1929), the first musical -- and second film -- ever to win the Academy Award as Best Picture. Turner and Blondell are sisters who head to Broadway when Blondell's fiance (Murphy) lands them all jobs. Matters grow complicated when Turner and Murphy meet for the first time and fall for each other, leaving Blondell out in the cold personally and professionally.

The story is nothing much, but it's fun to watch young Turner, who was on her way up through the MGM star system at the time. Thanks to MGM's training and her own natural grace, Turner proves to be quite a proficient dancer, doing a fine job keeping up with Murphy's hoofing; it's rather a shame the studio didn't continue to develop her dancing ability and use her in more musicals. Turner also has a very well-done comedic drunk scene, and she looks beautiful in a wardrobe by Dolly Tree.

Blondell looks quite pretty and is moving as the self-sacrificing older sister. The cast also includes Kent Taylor as a Broadway Lothario and Wallace Ford as a newspaper columnist.

This black-and-white movie is over in a flash, running just 74 minutes; it's not the best of MGM's "B" movies, but it's fun and worth watching if you like Turner or MGM films of the era.

TWO GIRLS ON BROADWAY was directed by S. Sylvan Simon, who also directed Turner in DANCING CO-ED (1939) and THESE GLAMOUR GIRLS (1939).

TWO GIRLS ON BROADWAY has not had a DVD or VHS release. It can be seen on TCM, which has the trailer available here.

Summer 2010 Update: TWO GIRLS ON BROADWAY has now been released on DVD-R format from the Warner Archive.


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