Lullaby of Broadway

1951 [english]

Comedy / Musical / Romance

Lullaby of Broadway

1951 [english]

Comedy / Musical / Romance

80%
6.7

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80% - Audience
6.7

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Synopsis

Pretty Melinda Howard has been abroad singing with a musical troupe. She decides to return home to surprise her mother whom she thinks is a successful Broadway star with a mansion in Manhattan. She doesn't know that her mother is actually a burnt-out cabaret singer with a love for whiskey. When she arrives at the mansion, she is taken in by the two servants who are friends of her mother's The house actually belongs to Adolph Hubbell, a kind-hearted Broadway producer who also gets drawn into the charade. Hubbell takes a shine to Melinda and agrees to star her in his next show. Melinda also finds romance with a handsome hoofer who's also in the show. All is going well for Melinda except that she wants to see her mother who keeps putting off their reunion. —Daniel Bubbeo.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Dec 01, 2021 at 12:58 AM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird grade 7 / 10

    Charming fluffy fun

    'Lullaby of Broadway' had a lot of promise. Gene Nelson, a very talented dancer, Doris Day (my main reason for seeing it), a singer and actress personally can't get enough of, a fantastic poster, Technicolor and the involvement of veterans like SZ Sakall, Gladys George and Florence Bates.While 'Lullaby of Broadway' could have been better overall as a film, none of the above disappoint. Three things let it down. The story is silly and uninspired, livened up by the songs and most of the staging of them. Some of it feels under-directed in some non-musical scenes and even in a couple of numbers, especially "You're Dependable", which needed a good deal of reigning in but instead makes Billy De Wolfe and Anne Triola to over-compensate.De Wolfe and Triola do resort to mugging often, and it grates rather than entertains with some of the vaudevillian humour feeling 30+ years out of date. Triola is especially hammy, a very large slice of ham where subtlety completely eludes her.However, the Technicolor is just glorious, with gorgeous colours. The clothes are also a feast for the eye. 'Lullaby of Broadway' benefits too from very memorable songs, particularly the title song, "Zip! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "Just One of Those Things". Most are choreographed well, with a breath-taking routine for "Zip! Went the Strings of My Heart" that is one of the best routines ever seen in any musical with Doris Day.The script is light and fluffy but also amiable and witty, while there is enough zippy pacing to make up for the mostly underwhelming story.Day captivates in her acting, which is natural and fresh, and especially her sublime singing. Nelson is an effectively likable leading man and proves himself a fine dancer. SZ Sakall plays his usual role but does it well, charming, cuddly and never irritating, while Florence Bates and Gladys George bring both humour and class to their supporting roles (although George also has a few scenes she has some memorably funny and truthful lines).In conclusion, good if not great fun. 7/10 Bethany Cox


  • Reviewed by bkoganbing grade 8 / 10

    It's Still Got That Hi Dee Hi And Boop A Doo

    In a different perspective of the plot for Lady For A Day, Warner Brothers gave Doris Day one of her best musical films in Lullaby Of Broadway. They even tributed Busby Berkeley somewhat in the finale number.The story involves Doris as a young performer who has spent her childhood in the United Kingdom with money sent to her by her mother who she believes is a famous Broadway star. That's in the past tense unfortunately mom who is played by Gladys George now sings in a cheap cabaret in the seamier parts of Greenwich Village.But Doris is such a good kid that everyone tries to keep the illusion going from former vaudeville colleagues Billy DeWolfe and Anne Triola to S.Z. Sakall whom they now work for as butler and maid. She even gets involved with rising new Broadway performer Gene Nelson. But she also innocently almost breaks up S.Z. Sakall's marriage to Florence Bates. Now there's a couple to contemplate about.In her memoirs Doris Day said that S.Z. Sakall in real life was the same lovable uncle type that he played so well in films. And yes no one could resist pinching those cheeks either.Gene Nelson sad to say came along just a half generation too late to become a major film star. He had the moves and he had the talent, possibly he was not a creative individual in the way that Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly was. I think he was in their league as a performer and he'd be as known as they are today if he had that creative talent that they did which is why they've become the legends they are. Maybe Nelson never got the chance they did. Anyway this was his only lead in a major motion picture and it didn't make him a star because musicals were on the downside.Gladys George has only a few scenes, but she really makes them count when she's on screen. One of her more memorable characters in earlier years was the Texas Guinan like performer in The Roaring Twenties who carries a torch for James Cagney. When that film ends she's singing in a dive and her character could be an extension of Panama whom she played in The Roaring Twenties.As often as not for Doris Day films Warner Brothers reached into their trunk catalog and in this case got the title song and another standard written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me. Here though they outdid themselves for Doris and Gene using stuff like Somebody Loves Me and Just One Of Those Things. When you've got George Gershwin and Cole Porter contributing to the score the rest doesn't even matter.Watching the finale number which is the title song, sung by Doris and danced by Gene Nelson and a chorus it plays very similar to the choreographic sequences in Golddiggers of 1935 where Lullaby Of Broadway was introduced. No kaleidoscopic overhead shots that characterized those old Warner Brothers musicals from the Thirties are here, but in all other respects they seem to have copied Mr. Berkeley well.Lullaby Of Broadway has a nice backstage plot, it's a throwback to their musicals of the Depression in many respects and it provides Doris Day with many opportunities to display singing and dancing talents. And it holds up well today.


  • Reviewed by mark.waltz grade 7 / 10

    Have a day on Broadway with Doris!

    When we first heard "Lullaby of Broadway" in "Gold Diggers of 1935", it told the story of Broadway Babies who said goodnight early in the morning. One of them must have been the character played here by Gladys George, "Greenwich Village Gertie" she calls herself, a torch singer in Washington Square who sings such songs as "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town" and "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone". George's character could also be the speakeasy lady she played in "The Roaring Twenties", now a drunken shell of herself whose daughter (Day) thinks that her mother is a great star. Doris comes back from being away in Europe, moves into what she believes is her mother's Beekman Place home (right next to Mame Dennis, of course!), and proceeds to innocently cause scandal for a Hungarian beer manufacturer (S.Z. Sakall) and his imperious wife (Florence Bates). A mix-up over a mink coat causes Bates to think that something more is going on between hubby Sakall and newcomer Day. Then, Doris learns the truth about her mother, reels over the accusations of the press, and prepares to return to Europe.That storyline is more than a lullaby, it is a torch song! But thanks to a light-hearted presentation by Warner Brothers, "Lullaby of Broadway" ends up being one of their better early 50's musicals, not lavish like MGM's crop, but unpretentious and fun. There's a bit of dated comedy (Billy DeWolfe & Anne Triola's routines reek of vaudeville, particularly their song, "You're Dependable") but when Doris sings and Gene dances, the film shines. Doris is a fine dancer too, but for some reason, Gene (who did his own singing in the movie version of "Oklahoma!") is dubbed by a bass singer that doesn't fit his speaking voice. Sakall can sometimes be a bit too cutesy, but Bates is delightfully comic. Her society matron manages to win sympathy because it is obvious that she only gets domineering with Sakall to prevent him from getting involved in creating disaster and truly loves him.As for the musical numbers, Day's "Just One of Those Things" is the stand-out (she looks great in a tux!), while Nelson's athletic dancing in "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" is amazing. There's some special effects thrown into the dancing during "I Like the Way You Say Good Night" (slowing down of the film, like Fred Astaire did in "Easter Parade"), and the mechanical doll number is truly funny as well. The title song lacks strong choreography but has a great opening of only Day's head being seen until the lights come up on her in a beautiful gold dress. It is her personality exploding on screen that the audience can describe, like her first movie song hit, "It's Magic!"


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