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A Song in the DarkThe Birth of the Musical Film$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

Broadway Babies

Broadway Babies

(p.183) 8 Broadway Babies
A Song in the Dark

Richard Barrios

Oxford University Press

Partly in imitation of the successful Broadway Melody format, backstage musicals became the most popular type of early musical. While Warner Bros.' Gold Diggers of Broadway was a huge success, others veered too closely to the original These included Jolson rival Harry Richman in Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz, Erich von Stroheim in the strange Great Gabbo, and Jolson in Mammy. Other backstage elements included heartbreak, nightclub settings, songwriters, and gangsters. The overabundance of these films contributed to growing audience impatience with musicals in the spring of 1930.

Keywords:   backstage, Gold Diggers, Ziegfeld, nightclubs, Follies, Irving Berlin, von Stroheim, oversaturation

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