Broadway Gondolier (1935): Lloyd Bacon’s Musical, Starring Dick Powell and Joan Blondell

Broadway Gondolier, a modest musical comedy directed by Lloyd Bacon, served as star vehicle for Dick Powell and Joan Blondell.

Powell plays Richard “Dick” Purcell, a taxi driver who aspires to become a singer. A theater critic recommends him to a radio producer (Grant Mitchell), and when the producer’s secretary, Alice Hughes (Joan Blondell), hears him sing she falls for him.

She sets up an audition for Dick to sing for the sponsor, Mrs. Flaggenheim (Louise Fazenda), but he’s late and blows his chance. Convinced she must go to Italy to find a good singer, Mrs. Flaggenheim takes Alice with her.

Dick watches gets on board and in Venice, he looks up his NY friend-mentor, professor de Vinci (Adolphe Menjou). Together they get some jobs as gondoliers, allowing Dick to showcase his voice. Mrs. Flaggenheim thinks he’s an authentic Italian, “Ricardo Purcelli,” but Alice recognizes him.

They continue to hide his true identity and in New York, he becomes a radio sensation. But then Alice’s jilted boyfriend threatens him with an ultimatum. Dick must decide if he wants to continue masquerading as Ricardo, or give it all up for Alice.