Broadway Serenade

Overview

Jeanette MacDonald and Lew Ayres make strange bedfellows in the overproduced MGM musical Broadway Serenade. She plays aspiring singer Mary Hale, and he plays her husband, struggling songwriter James Geoffrey Seymour. The couple's vaudeville act breaks up when Mary is hired for a big-time Broadway revue. As she rises to the top of the show-business heap, Seymour hits the skids, having lost his inspiration. On the verge of divorcing Seymour to marry a wealthy producer, Mary finally realizes that her life will be ...
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Overview

Jeanette MacDonald and Lew Ayres make strange bedfellows in the overproduced MGM musical Broadway Serenade. She plays aspiring singer Mary Hale, and he plays her husband, struggling songwriter James Geoffrey Seymour. The couple's vaudeville act breaks up when Mary is hired for a big-time Broadway revue. As she rises to the top of the show-business heap, Seymour hits the skids, having lost his inspiration. On the verge of divorcing Seymour to marry a wealthy producer, Mary finally realizes that her life will be incomplete without her husband by her side. Saving the film from drowning in a sea of cliches are Jeanette MacDonald's musical renditions, not to mention the comedy relief of Frank Morgan and veteran vaudevillian Al Shean.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Broadway Serenade is a bit of a mess of a musical, but it has a number of things worth seeing. First is star Jeanette MacDonald, in the midst of her Nelson Eddy period but clearly happen to be given a movie that frees her from the MacDonald-Eddy formula. She's a bit looser here, a bit easier to get to know, and in altogether superb voice; her "Un Bel Di" is delicious. Undoubtedly, she would have preferred a part that had more meat on it, a script that was not so trite and contrived, but she still makes the most of the situation and carries the film quite nicely. There's also some fine supporting work from Al Shean and Frank Morgan, and some sets and costumes that are to die for. There's also the bizarre climactic concerto sequence, a fascinating train wreck of a production number that is all wrong but which one still can't tear one's eyes away from. Staged by Busby Berkeley, it's pretentious nonsense, but nonetheless striking for that. As indicated, the screenplay is poor, pretty much from beginning to end, and Robert Z. Leonard's so-so direction does nothing to compensate for this. Lew Ayres is weak in the male lead, and there's no chemistry between him and MacDonald. And although individual numbers are quite winning, the score's "hodgepodge" nature prevents it from seeming like a cohesive whole. Watch it for MacDonald and that final number.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/8/2012
  • UPC: 883316450277
  • Original Release: 1939
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Remastered / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 64,461

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanette MacDonald Mary Hale
Lew Ayres James Geoffrey Seymour
Ian Hunter Larry Bryant
Frank Morgan Cornelius Collier, Jr.
Wally Vernon Joey, the jinx
Rita Johnson Judy Tyrrell
Virginia Grey Pearl
Katherine Alexander Harriet Ingalls
Al Shean Herman
Esther Dale Mrs. Olsen
Franklin Pangborn Geen
E. Alyn Warren Everett
Paul Hurst Reynolds
Frank Orth Mr. Fellowes
Esther Howard Mrs. Fellowes
Leon Belasco Squeaker
Kitty McHugh Kitty, the Maid
Kenneth Stevens Singer
William Gargan Bill
Technical Credits
Robert Z. Leonard Director, Producer
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Busby Berkeley Choreography
Seymour Felix Choreography
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Hanns Kraly Original Story
Harold Kress Editor
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Lew Lipton Original Story
Oliver Marsh Cinematographer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Irene Valles Costumes/Costume Designer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Broadway Serenade
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   Trailer
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