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Broadway to Hollywood

Broadway to Hollywood(1933)

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The working titles of this film were Show World and March of Time. Although the viewed print did not contain any Technicolor scenes, reviews and other production sources state that footage taken from an unreleased 1929 two-strip Technicolor M-G-M musical called March of Time was used in this production. According to contemporary sources, the studio scrapped the costly earlier musical, which was conceived as an all-star revue in the vain of their The Hollywood Revue of 1929, before releasing it. An October 1931 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that M-G-M began developing ideas for a revamped version of the 1929 film that year and states that Byron Morgan worked with Madeleine Ruthven on an early draft of the script. The exact nature of their contribution to the final screenplay, if any, is not known. By late November 1931, however, the studio had once again shelved the project. Variety reported that other parts of the 1929 film were to be "clipped" for exhibition as shorts. Modern sources contend that a German version of March of Time was released and featured Buster Keaton. Keaton, however, was not seen in Broadway to Hollywood. Players from the earlier film, who are seen briefly in the 1933 film, include Fay Templeton, Josephine Sable, Marie Dressler, Joe Weber, Louis Mann, Barney Fagan, Lew Fields, William Collier and De Wolf Hopper. Variety disputes that these actors made the final cut of the film, but in the copyright cutting continuity, they are indentified as participants in a musical revue scene. Whether these actors were playing themselves in the scene, or were fictional characters, is not known. The character of "Joe Weber," who appears in a few scenes in the film, was not played by Weber, as noted by the Variety review.
       According to a May 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item, after studio executives had rejected numerous story ideas and treatments, writers Harlan Thompson and Zelda Sears were hired to "salvage" the original project by "writing a story that will utilize three reels of the filmusical." A later Hollywood Reporter news item states that Sears was working with credited writer Edgar Allan Woolf on the screenplay. The exact nature of Thompson's and Sears's contribution is not known. International Photographer lists Moss Hart as the author of the film. His participation in the project has not been confirmed. No songs were wholly presented in the picture, but parts of "Bedelia," words by William Jerome and music by Jean Schwartz, and "Hot Time in the Old Town," words by Joe Hayden and music by Theodore Metz, were heard in the picture. Hollywood Reporter announced that Otto Kruger was to play the lead in the production, and that M-G-M was "dickering" with Warner Bros. for Aline MacMahon. Neither of these actors appears in the final film, however. Nelson Eddy made his screen debut in the film.