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Hollywood Revue of 1929

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""Hollywood Revue" was one of those let's-throw-everyone-on -the-lot-into a musical things,
but I did a good song and dance number." - Joan Crawford

"Hollywood Revue of 1929" 1929

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Cast: Conrad Nagel, Jack Benny, John Gilbert, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Bessie Love, William Haines, Buster Keaton, Anita Page, Karl Dane, George K. Arthur, Gwen Lee, Ernest Belcher's Dancing Tots, Marie Dressler, Marion Davies, Cliff Edwards, Charles King, Polly Moran, Gus Edwards, Lionel Barrymore, Brox Sisters, the Albertina Rasch Ballet, Natacha Natova and Company, the Rounders, Laurel and Hardy.


Release date - August 14, 1929 (premiere), November 23, 1929 (Nationwide, U.S.A.)

Running time - 82 minutes (13 reels)

Directed by - Charles Reisner

Writing Credits - Al Boasberg, Joseph Farnham and Robert E. Hopkins

Producer - Harry Rapf

Cinematographer(s) - John Arnold, Max Fabian, John M. Nickolaus and Irving Reis.

Costumes - David Cox, Henrietta Frazer and Joe Rapf

Studio - MGM

Movie Synopsis

In an attempt to show off their stabe of stars, MGM gave us Hollywood Revue of 1929 - With the breakaway from silents to talkies, this was the perfect opportunity to showcase their stars. In a singing, dancing and acting extravaganza the monotony of the format gets a little tiresome but it's fun to spot the famous faces. Joan sings "Gotta Feelin' for You," amidst a dance specialty, finishing with the Biltmore Quartet.

Interesting Trivia

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Above: The top stars at MGM at the beginning of the "talkies" era. Notice Joan is in one of the
top bubbles and her life-long buddy, Billy Haines, is on the lower tier.

This film reportedly features every major MGM star of the day with the exception of Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro and Lon Chaney. Joan sings Gotta Feelin' for You, assisted by the Biltmore Quartet and pianist Dave Snell. Her energetic dance number showcases her talent as a flapper. Joan took three days to film her segments. During the Singing in the Rain sequence, filmed in color on June 10, 1929, torrents of studio-made rain were poured on to the performers while they actually recorded the song.

This was the first filmed performance of the song, Singin' in the Rain. This early sequence inspired the opening of Singin' in the Rain (1952), the movie.

As exciting as the onset of sound films were, the natural progression of sound ended the careers of many silent screen stars. Most notably, John Gilbert. The story of his high voice, destroying the reputation he had as a silent heartthrob has become the most known version of his downfall. However, in truth, the poor quality recording equipment used, was the real reason why his voice sounded higher than his natural tone. There has also been talk of sabotage on the studios behalf. Whatever the reason, Hollywood Revue of 1929 was the beginning of the end of John Gilbert's career.

Joan's tap dancing number was the first recorded audible tap dance on the screen.

Academy Award - 1930 - Nominated - Best Picture

The film was shot in 25 days, at a cost of $426,000 - It made a profit of $1,135,000 - The worldwide gross was $2,421,000.


Box Office Receipts (Worldwide): $2,421,000.
Inflation Value in 2007: $29,262,386.32

Photos

Click on images below to see a larger view.

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Movie Posters/Lobby Cards etc...

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Reviews/Comments

aicat says...

My father (Henry Bergeron) was an uncredited dancer in this film. He passed away at 93 and also bragged about the stars he worked with in his Hollywood heyday. Here is a link to Hollywood Revue of 1929 in which he took a part in and also the main website showcasing his career. Click on the picture below to view an impressive website on Henry Bergeron's career and involvement in the "Hollywood Revue of 1929."

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Other Reviews

Mark Hellinger of the New York Daily News said, "If this film doesn't catch on like wildfire, I am Calvin Coolidge's old electric horse. As an example of what the talking film has done to the legitimate theatre, this Hollywood Revue is pretty nearly the last word."

Eleanor Barnes of the Los Angeles News said, "Joan Crawford's popularity with the collegiate crowd is understandable. Joan is the spirit of youth. And her manner of singing, "I've Got A Feeling For You," coupled with her dancing to music furnished by the Biltomore quartet, was a radium drop for the bill."

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