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A Song in the DarkThe Birth of the Musical Film$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001

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Broadway Babies

Broadway Babies

Chapter:
(p.183) 8 Broadway Babies
Source:
A Song in the Dark
Author(s):

Richard Barrios

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0009

Partly in imitation of the successful Broadway Melody format, backstage musicals became the most popular type of early musical. While Warner Bros.' Gold Diggers of Broadway was a huge success, others veered too closely to the original These included Jolson rival Harry Richman in Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz, Erich von Stroheim in the strange Great Gabbo, and Jolson in Mammy. Other backstage elements included heartbreak, nightclub settings, songwriters, and gangsters. The overabundance of these films contributed to growing audience impatience with musicals in the spring of 1930.

Keywords:   backstage, Gold Diggers, Ziegfeld, nightclubs, Follies, Irving Berlin, von Stroheim, oversaturation

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