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When Broadway Went to Hollywood$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199395408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199395408.001.0001

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Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

(p.55) Chapter 3 Irving Berlin
When Broadway Went to Hollywood

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Hollywood musicals of composer and lyricist Irving Berlin. When Berlin began his association with Hollywood, he was not just a writer of (countless) song hits but a maker of musicals. And he took an active interest in every aspect of production, from the concept to the casting. The chapter considers films such as Warner Brothers' Mammy (1930) and United Artists' Puttin' On the Ritz (1930). In Mammy Berlin created a generic Al Jolson number, “Let Me Sing and I'm Happy.” Puttin' On the Ritz gave Berlin more of a showcase, though he contributed only three numbers and had to contend with egocentric star, Harry Richman. Berlin also wrote three Astaire-Rogers films: Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), and Carefree (1938).

Keywords:   composers, lyricists, songwriters, Hollywood musicals, movie musicals, Mammy, Puttin' On the Ritz, Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, Carefree

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