The Broadway Melody

Director: Harry Beaumont
Year Released: 1929
Rating: 1.5

Two broke sisters, Hank (Bessie Love) and Queenie (Anita Page), travel from the West to New York City in the hopes of making it big with their vaudeville act - they stumble a bit in the beginning, and later on Queenie gets in the middle of a love triangle with womanizer Jock (Kenneth Thomson) and singer Eddie (Charles King).  Considering that this is a very early "talkie" a little bit of lenience is required - hey, they were 'working it out' - and some of the songs are nice to listen to, but the comedic timing is quite ... off (the stuttering Uncle Jed is supposed to be funny, I think) and I've seen much better acting in high school productions (granted some of the kids did end up going on to earn their Bachelor of Fine Arts at some prestigious universities).  People at the time may have been 'astounded' by what the medium could do - listen to people talk! and sing! and argue! - and it's historically significant for winning the Best Picture at the Oscars (William Wellman's silent Wings took the prize the year before), but if you skip forward just a couple of years and put this up against, for example, some of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers pictures ... there's really no comparison (Hollywood was a relatively fast learner).