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A Song in the Dark – The Birth of the Musical Film - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film

Richard Barrios


This book chronicles the birth and early years of an art form — the musical film. When sound came to film in the 1920s, musicals led the way as the testing ground upon which sound film proved itself — dauntlessly, intrepidly, sometimes artistically, often ineptly, through works and artists both familiar and forgotten: Al Jolson, the Oscar-winning Broadway Melody, director Ernst Lubitsch, the aberrant Golden Dawn, many more. After immense popularity, the musical market collapsed almost overnight as oversaturated audiences began to feel the effects of the Depression. There was nearly three year ... More

Keywords: musicals, film history, Al Jolson, song and dance, Production Code, Depression, audience, Broadway, coming of sound, Broadway Melody

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard Barrios, author