Best Music Movies of 1940
Broadway Melody of 1940
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to, gives him the name of his partner.
Road to Singapore
Bing Crosby an Bob Hope star in the first of the 'Road to' movies as two playboys trying to forget previous romances in Singapore - until they meet Dorothy Lamour...
La Conga Nights
In this comedy, actor Hugh Herbert plays six different roles. Only one of the roles is a man. The story centers around a dizzy music lover, who has grown rich through real estate deals. Also figuring in the story are a cab driver/performer, and a down-on-her-luck, aspiring singer. They meet when she hails his cab as she skips out on her former boarding house because she cannot pay rent.
Strike Up the Band
Jimmy and Mary get a group of kids together to play in a school orchestra. A huge contest between schools is coming up and they have a hard time raising money to go to Chicago for the contest.
Dance, Girl, Dance
Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company disbands, Bubbles gives Judy a thankless job as her stooge. The two eventually clash when both fall for the same man.
One Night in the Tropics
Jim "Lucky" Moore, an insurance salesman, comes up with a novel policy for his friend, Steve: a 'love insurance policy', that will pay out $1-million if Steve does not marry his fiancée, Cynthia. The upcoming marriage is jeopardized by Steve's ex-girlfriend, Mickey, and Cynthia's disapproving Aunt Kitty. The policy is underwritten by a nightclub owner, Roscoe, who sends two enforcers - Abbott and Costello - to ensure that the wedding occurs as planned.
In this light and lovely romantic musical, a Hungarian woman attends a Viennese fair and buys a card from a gypsy fortune teller. It says that she will meet someone important and is destined for a happy marriage. Afterward she gets a job as a baker's assistant. She then meets a handsome army drummer who secretly dreams of becoming a famous composer and conductor. Unfortunately the military forbids the young corporal to create his own music. But then Ilonka secretly sends one of the drummer's waltzes to the Austrian Emperor with his weekly order of pastries. Her act paves the way toward the tuneful and joyous fulfillment of the gypsy's prediction.
The Boys from Syracuse
The action takes place in Ephesus in ancient Asia Minor, and the concerns The efforts of two boys from Syracuse, Anthipholus and his servant Dromio, to find their long-lost twins who, for reason of plot confusion, are also named Anthipholus and Dromio. Complications arise when the wife of the Ephesians, Adriana and her servant Luce, mistake the two strangers for their husband, though the couples eventually get sorted out after Adriana's sister Luciana and the Syracuse Antipholus admit their love
It's a Date
An aspiring actress is offered the lead in a major new play, but discovers that her mother, a more seasoned performer, expects the same part. The situation is further complicated when they both become involved with the same man.
Swinging the Lambeth Walk
Lye edited together “swing” versions of the popular Lambeth Walk (including Django Reinhardt on guitar and Stephane Grapelli on violin), combining them with a particularly diverse range of direct film images, scratched as well as painted. He was particularly pleased with a final guitar solo (with a vibrating horizontal line) and double bass solo (with a stomping vertical line). For this film Lye did not have to include any advertising slogans; friends at the Tourist and Industrial Development Association, shocked to learn that Lye and his family had become destitute, arranged for TIDA to sponsor the film – to the horror of government bureaucrats who could not understand why a popular dance was being treated as a tourist attraction. - Harvard Film Archive