Best Music Movies of 1930
The well-known explorer and hunter Captain Spaulding has just returned from Africa, and is being welcomed home with a lavish party at the estate of influential society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse when a valuable painting goes missing. The intrepid Captain Spaulding attempts to solve the crime with the help of his silly secretary Horatio Jamison, while sparring with the anarchic Signor Emanuel Ravelli and his nutty sidekick The Professor.
The Love Parade
The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.
Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks he's just giving her a ride; but she left a note saying they've eloped! Chasing them are jilted Bob, Henry's nurse Mary (who's been trying to seduce him) and others.
A countess fleeing her husband mistakes a count for her hairdresser at a Monte Carlo casino.
King of Jazz
Made during the early years of the movie musical, this exuberant revue was one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its day. Starring the bandleader Paul Whiteman, then widely celebrated as the King of Jazz, the film drew from Broadway variety shows to present a spectacular array of sketches, performances by such acts as the Rhythm Boys (featuring a young Bing Crosby), and orchestral numbers—all lavishly staged by veteran theater director John Murray Anderson.
Bimbo sings a funny take-off of "Gay Caballero" and the comedy construction is adequate to the situation.
Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Bob is an unfaithful husband. Angela has a plan to win back his affections.
The tale of a young songwriter, the actress who helps him find success, and the vamp who sets her sights on him.
Lora Moore, the club champion, loses a golf match to a woman from another golf club. Then Jerry Downs, a handsome golf pro, and his goofy friend, Jack Martin, show up. Lora takes him on as her golf teacher to work on her putt. She falls for him, but so do several other women. Meanwhile Angie Howard, Lora's friend, chases after Jack. A lot of silliness ensues.
Show Girl in Hollywood
Broadway actress leaves New York to become a star in Hollywood, and succeeds despite sleazy directors and her own ego.
Sally is an orphan who was named by the telephone exchange where she was abandoned as a baby. In the orphanage, she discovered the joy of dancing. Working as a waitress, she serves Blair (Alexander Gray), and they both fall for each other, but Blair is engaged to socialite Marcia. Sally is hired to impersonate a famous Russian dancer named Noskerova, but at that engagement, she is found to be a phoney. Undaunted, she proceeds with her life and has a show on Broadway, but she still thinks of Blair.
Betty Boop (with dog's ears) can't sleep on a scary night, so she sings the title song and meets the gentleman in question...a surreal version of Bimbo.
Follow the Leader
Ed Wynn, a waiter, tries to get hit employers daughter a start on the stage; Ginger Rogers replaces Ethel Merman when Merman is kidnapped.
Paramount on Parade
This 1930 film, a collection of songs and sketches showcasing Paramount Studios' contract stars, credits 11 directors (including Dorothy Arzner, Ernst Lubitsch, Victor Schertzinger and Edmund Goulding). The cast features Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, Fredric March, Jean Arthur, William Powell, Maurice Chevalier, Kay Francis, Buddy Rogers, Jack Oakie, Stuart Erwin and Nancy Carroll.
A hillbilly sleeps; atop his bald head, flies have constructed a playground. Other flies ski-jump off his nose...
The Flame of Love
In Russia, a Chinese dancer gives herself to a duke to save her brother's life.
The Life of the Party
Two gold diggers try a French dressmaker, two Mr. Smiths and Havana.
New York girl has a dull boyfriend and seems destined for a dull marriage when she meets a rich playboy who has money to burn and places to go.
Reaching for the Moon
Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. He then loses his fortune in the market crash and feels he has also lost his girl.
A defendant pleads her case in court and promises to stay out of trouble from now on through singing.
Free and Easy
Gopher City Kansas hosts a beauty contest. The winner, Elvira Plunkett, and her mother go to Hollywood. The Chamber of Commerce also provides Elvira with an agent, Gopher City's own Elmer J. Butz. Elmer likes Elvira and the shy Elvira likes him, but Mrs. Plunkett, a formidable woman, has little use for hapless Elmer. On the train west, they meet movie star Larry Mitchell, who takes a shine to Elvira and helps her meet MGM directors once they get to Tinsel Town. Elmer, meanwhile, wants to help Elvira with her career and he also wants to be her man. Movie stardom does come to the Gopher City entourage, but to whom is a surprise. And who will win the lovely Elvira's hand?
Rain or Shine
Young Mary Rainey takes the reins of her deceased father's failing circus. With the help of the Inimitable Smiley Johnson, she hopes to bring fortune back to her ragtag band of ragged shoeleather performers.
Sailor Bimbo (as Barnacle Bill) jumps ship with his little black book and visits his lady friend, Betty Boop (with dog's ears).
New Moon is the name of the ship crossing the Caspian Sea. A young Lt. Petroff meets the Princess Tanya and they have a ship board romance. Upon arriving at the port of Krasnov, Petroff learns that Tanya is engaged to the old Governor Brusiloff. Petroff, disillusioned, crashes the ball to talk with Tanya. Found by Brusiloff, they invent a story about her lost bracelet. To reward him, and remove him, Brusiloff sends Petroff to the remote, and deadly, Fort Darvaz. Soon, the big battle against overwhelming odds will begin.
No, No, Nanette
A bible publisher is falling in love with a chorus girl and finds himself backing a Broadway show.
Claire Tree is a singer/dancer who goes after what she wants in a straight-forward, no-nonsense manner, so when she finds herself in the New York City hotel-suite, in fashionable Peacock Alley, of Stoddard Channing, she wastes no time.
The Happy Hottentots
Two desperate singers take a job as the singing act in a movie theater between shows. They soon regret their decision.
Come Take a Trip in My Airship
Kitty, a girl black cat, gets a piano delivered to her rooftop apartment by two Bimbo-like piano movers, using a pulley to hoist it up the outside.
The Sap from Syracuse
Ellen Saunders is an heiress on a cruise to Europe being pursued by a day laborer mistaken for a prominent mining engineer. During the cruise, he foils two crooks try to get rid of her.
New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ... well, you get the idea. Scientists revive a man struck by lightning in 1930; he is rechristened "Single O". He is befriended by J-21, who can't marry the girl of his dreams because he isn't "distinguished" enough -- until he is chosen for a 4-month expedition to Mars by a renegade scientist. The Mars J-21, his friend, and stowaway Single O visit is full of scantily clad women doing Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers and worshiping a fat middle-aged man.
Young Man of Manhattan
Two flappers try to get their newspaper reporter boyfriends to pay attention to them.
Puttin' on the Ritz
A vaudeville and nightclub performer becomes successful and forgets who his friends really are.
Oh, for a Man!
Carlotta Manson is a young and beautiful opera star who wants some spice in her personal life. She threatens to forsake opera for a wild, romantic fling. One night, a burglar, Barney McGann breaks into Carlotta's boudoir while she's asleep to steal her jewelery. Carlotta awakes and is facinated with Barney. They date and marry at her Villa in Italy. Soon Barney can't take being married to a diva and leaves her. Carlotta picks herself up and returns to opera. One night as Carlotta is asleep in her boudoir, she is awaken by someone breaking in...
Crying for the Carolines
Spooney Melodies were a series of live-action musical shorts produced by the Leon Schlesinger Studios during the 1930s that capitalized on the popularity of organ music played in Palace-style movie theaters and were intended to be played as the short before the main feature. This short film is the only surviving example of the series, which was something of a precursor to the animated "Merrie Melodies" cartoons that followed later.
Love in the Rough
When a shipping clerk is recruited by his employer to help his golf game, his boss insists he conceal his humble identity at the country club.
The Dogway Melody
An all-dog cast (with human voiceovers) recreates famous scenes from early musical films, particularly The Broadway Melody. The finale is a chorus line of dogs performing "Singing in the Rain" spoofing Cliff Edwards' original version of the song in The Hollywood Revue of 1929. Also spoofed is Al Jolson's performance of "Mammy" in The Jazz Singer.
A circus performer falls in love with the son of a plantation owner in antebellum New Orleans. When the young man's stepmother objects to the wedding, the couple has to decide if they can make their relationship work.
A Lady's Morals
Romantic biography of Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind and her famous affairs.
A Vitaphone Varieties short. Features costumed children in a cavern-like land of make-believe where they sing and tap-dance. Marjorie Kane sings an introductory song. A very young Judy Garland, in one of her earliest surviving film appearances, performs the song "The Land of Let's Pretend" as part of the vaudeville act "The Gumm Sisters".
Safety in Numbers
Before handing over a large inheritance, a guardian hires three chorus girls to educate his charge about the "underside" of big-city life.
A Night in a Dormitory
The adventures of a schoolgirl in a nightclub as related by her to her dormitory sisters.
Story of a football hero whose temper and drinking threaten his spot on the team, and his romantic life. His naive comical roommate remains his steadfast supporter.
A series of 19 musical and comedy "vaudeville" sketches presented in the form of a live television broadcast hosted by Tommy Handley (as himself).
The Lottery Bride
Sundered lovers meet again amid tragic irony at a mining camp in northern Norway.
Children of Pleasure
A successful songwriter, dazzled by high society, falls for a society girl who is just playing around.
In this light-hearted musical, an early color film, a successful actress tires of the bustle and hustle of her tawdry life and settles down to what she thinks is the blissful mundaneness of married life. Unfortunately, the actual drudgery of wifedom takes her by surprise and domestic turmoil ensues.
Call of the Flesh
A student nun falls in love with a Mexican singer starring in a cafe next door to her convent.
Mammy features Al Jolson as the star of a travelling minstrel show, appearing in a small Southern town. Jolson falls in love with an actress in the troupe (Lois Moran), but she loves another. One of Jolson's fellow minstrels (Lowell Sherman) is shot backstage, and it is assumed thanks to several plot convolutions that Jolson is guilty of the deed.
In the Good Old Summertime
In this one, we get simple variations of people heading off to a May Day celebration, carrying a Maypole and a hippopotamus to serve as the Queen of the May.
My Gal Sal
This Screen Song version of Paul Dresser's ballad is given a very soapy interpretation by a basso and then a barbershop group.