Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) 720p

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Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Movie Poster
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Run Time:
102 min
IMDB Rating:
7.3 / 10 
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Directors: Norman Taurog [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brent 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.


  • Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Movie Scene 1
  • Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Movie Scene 2
  • Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Movie Scene 1

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Not so deadbeat club

Fred Astaire (Johnny) and George Murphy (King) have a double act that is going nowhere until Murphy is mistakenly given a break to dance in a show as a leading man to star Eleanor Powell (Clare). Frank Morgan (Casey) is the talent scout who recommends the wrong dancer, Murphy, to show director Ian Hunter (Matthews). Given that this musical stars Astaire and Powell, we spend the film waiting for this pair to come together and do their stuff. And they don't disappoint.

Superb technique, quick movement, visually graceful and entertaining to watch?..and that's just George Murphy who is the 3rd best dancer on show! We watch the story unravel but we are really only interested in the musical segments. It is these which elevate my score of the film. The first time Astaire and Powell dance together, we see that they are rivalling one another as demonstrated by their rapport at the end of the sequence. They take turns in giving each other knowing laughs of approval. It's a quality moment. And their finale during Begin the Beguine is an outstanding tap sequence. When George Murphy joins them right at the end for the encore, there is no lapse in the entertainment.

I found Frank Morgan irritating at times, Eleanor Powell's mouth has too many teeth and I find it funny how Astaire manages to cut it as a leading man. Who cares, the film has some great dance moments.

Astaire and Powell Together For the First and Last Time

Great MGM musical starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. Astaire plays Johnny Brett, who's part of a dancing team with King Shaw (future U.S. Senator George Murphy). A producer (a very funny Frank Morgan) discovers Johnny and wants to make him the new partner of Clare Bennett (Powell). But Johnny thinks he's a creditor and gives him the name of his partner instead. So, off of this mix-up, King Shaw gets the job as Clare's partner. From there, a series of somewhat predictable things happen, as the movie is a bit formulaic. The movie's strength is not in its plot, however, it's in the musical numbers. Cole Porter songs, Astaire & Powell dancing, and that MGM gloss they seemed to have a patent on make this a must-see film for fans of classic movies.

A veritable tap-gasm!

George Murphy and Fred Astaire are a dance team that has struggled for five years. Now, one of them is about to be offered the lead in a big Broadway extravaganza--the only problem is that through a mix-up, the wrong guy has been signed for the part. And, that guy is unreliable, a bit selfish and getting a swollen head.

While the plot of this film has quite a few clichés and a few of the dance numbers have flat moments, this is a definite must-see for lovers of dance. The film pairs the best male and female tappers in Hollywood (Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell) and has some very able assistance from George Murphy--one of the few men who could keep up with Fred on the dance floor. The dance numbers are amazing--with tons of energy, grace and athleticism. The two best numbers are the opening on with Fred and George as well as the first number with Fred and Eleanor. In between, Fred actually dances alone on several occasions and these scenes are delights as well. The flat moments I mention included PARTS of the final big number, 'Begin the Begine'--as the operatic warblings and showiness really detracted from the fact that Fred and Eleanor were amazing together. But the wonderful dancing in the rest of the film make it easy to overlook the overly produced parts and it's a joy to watch.
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