Two sisters with a vaudeville act are trying to get a place in a big New York show; there are romantic complications, musical numbers and hijinks ensue!
This is one of the highlights of movie history: the first big-budget talking/singing/dancing musical. This movie was so cutting-edge at the time sound was coming into movies that they released in both sound and silent versions, because not all theaters could do sound films yet.
Another interesting thing to note is that unlike a huge number of musicals from about six months after this one was released (June 1929) for about ten years, the Depression was a major plot point; usually the person looking for work is desperate to find and keep a job because they are broke. In this one, the girls are just looking for a better, higher paid and more prestigious place to perform.
The songs and musical numbers are great; there is one, the Wedding of the Painted Doll, that was actually shot in Technicolor (yes, they had a certain amount of color technology ten years before The Wizard of Oz) but that film is lost, so it’s black and white in all the available prints of the film.
To modern sensibilities, this is kind of silly. Heck, at the time it was kind of silly; the point here is not the plot or character development, but rather having a light but interesting story framework for the musical numbers. Which are wonderful, and it’s worth seeing this movie for those alone.
If you haven’t seen it (or even if you have and want to watch it again) we have an extra space on the couch, if you don’t mind sharing with adorable dogs. Come on over and we’ll make some popcorn and watch it again!