Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

MGM's third follow-up to its landmark Broadway Melody is short on story, but that's okay, since the plot is merely a clothesline upon which to hang sleek and opulent musical production numbers by Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell -- particularly a breathless and eye-popping gloriously black-and-white six-minute tap dance finale between Astaire and Powell to Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine." The tale itself is a typical backstage contrivance: Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy) are a couple of hoofers working in a dance hall for peanuts. Due to mistaken identity, King gets tapped for the lead in a Broadway show opposite big star Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell) rather than Johnny. But when King drowns his trouble in booze on opening night, Johnny covers for him, taking his place in the show.

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Cast

Fred Astaire
as Johnny Brett
Eleanor Powell
as Clara Bennett
George Murphy
as King Shaw
Frank Morgan
as Bob Casey
Ian Hunter
as Bert C. Matthews
Florence Rice
as Amy Blake
Lynne Carver
as Emmy Lou Lee
Douglas McPhail
as Masked Singer
Irving Bacon
as Soda Jerk
Herman Bing
as Silhouettist
Gladys Blake
as Miss Martin
George Chandler
as Mr. Jones
Joseph Crehan
as Ballroom Manager
James Flavin
as Ballroom Worker
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Critic Reviews for Broadway Melody of 1940

All Critics (3)

... another ridiculous story that justifies itself in the historic one-time-only pairing of MGM's Queen of Tap Powell and the cinematic grace incarnate Fred Astaire.

Full Review… | April 6, 2008
Seanax.com

Audience Reviews for Broadway Melody of 1940

Tired mistaken-identity plot tied to some great Cole Porter songs, including the wonderful tap-dance competition between Astaire & Powell to "Begin the Beguine." Officially the last of MGM's "Broadway Melody" series, although BROADWAY RHYTHM (1944) was supposed to hold that title.

Michael Troudt
Michael Troudt

The through story is pure piffle but it doesn't matter whenever Fred or Eleanor dance which is a great deal of the time. Lush and entertaining.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Along with "Swing Time," "Broadway Melody of 1940" might just be Fred Astaire 's greatest picture. The plot is nothing really to write home about, but it is simply impossible to watch Astaire and Powell dance together and not be happy. Sporting some of the best choreography ever seen in cinema (culminating in the renowned "Begin the Beguine") this is a necessity for any fan of musical theater, or Fred Astaire.

William Zino
William Zino

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