Hollywood Musicals You Missed

Seventy Noteworthy Films from the 1930s

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About the Book

Pre-World War II Hollywood musicals weren’t only about Astaire and Rogers, Mickey and Judy, Busby Berkeley, Bing Crosby, or Shirley Temple. The early musical developed through tangents that reflected larger trends in film and American culture at large. Here is a survey of select titles with a variety of influences: outsized songwriter personalities, hubbub over “hillbilly” and cowboy stereotypes, the emergence of swing, and the brief parade of opera stars to celluloid. Featured movies range from the smash hit Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), to obscurities such as Are You There? (1930) and Swing, Sister, Swing (1938), to the high-grossing but now forgotten Mountain Music (1937), and It’s Great to Be Alive (1933), a zesty pre-Code musical/science-fiction/comedy mishmash. Also included are some of the not-so-memorable pictures made by some of the decade’s greatest musical stars.

About the Author(s)

Edwin M. Bradley is the associate curator of film at the Flint (Michigan) Institute of Arts and an archivist for the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. This is his fourth book on early cinema history.

Bibliographic Details

Edwin M. Bradley
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 306
Bibliographic Info: 45 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7358-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3993-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Songs of the Dawn 5
2. They Don’t Write ’Em Like That Anymore 41
3. A Hillbilly ­Sym-Funny 76
4. Where the Tenors and the Baritones Play 106
5. Invasion of the Opera Singers, or: End of an Aria 146
6. The Teenagers Are Restless 189
7. Big Stars, Short Memories 219
Chapter Notes 261
Bibliography 279
Index 283