Broadway Melody of 1936, The (1935): MGM’s Second Chapter to the Popular Film Series

Based on Moss Hart’s story, The Browday Melody of 1936, the second in the musical series of The Broadway Melody, which began in 1929 and won the Best Picture Oscar, is directed by Roy Del Ruth.

The musical stars comedian Jack Benny as a Walter Winchell type of newspaper journalist, feuding with a Broadway producer (Robert Taylor), with dancer Eleanor Powell as the ambitious small-town girl in the middle.

The main reason to see this musical, which is considered the best of the four in the franchise, are Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown’s ‘s songs, including “Broadway Rhythm,” “You Are My Lucky Stars,” “I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin’,” “On a Sunday Afternoon,” “Sing Before Breakfast.”

The movie, which opened at the Capitol Theater in New York on September 18, 1935, was a big hit.

MGM made four “Broadway Melody films between 1929 and 1940; the last one starred Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. The young and handsome Robert Taylor, then in his second year at MGM, appeared in the second and third, “Broadway Melody of 1938,” released in September 1937.

Among the film’s highlights, other than Powell’s dazzling dancing are the young Buddy Ebsen, Frances Langford, and the comedy segments with Una Merkel and Sid Silvers

Oscar Nominations: 3

Picture (produced by John W. Considine Jr.)
Original Story: Moss Hart
Dance Direction: David Gould

Oscar Awards: 1

Dance Direction

Oscar Context

The Broadway Melody of 1936 competed with eleven other films: Alice Adams, Captain Blood, David Copperfield, The Informer, Les Miserables, Lives of a Bengal Lancer, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Mutiny on the Bounty, which won, Naughty Marietta, Ruggles of Red Gap, and Top Hat.

The Writing Oscar went to Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur for “The Scoundrel.”

The previous musical, “Broadway Melody,” was the first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar, for 1928-9.