Oxford Calling

The Barrymores are back, y'all... In 1936, MGM established a branch of its studio in Britain, starting out at the Denham Studios in London. In 1938 three of its biggest stars made A Yank At Oxford there: Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, and Maureen O'Sullivan, supported by a lady who would became rather infamous later. Lee (Robert Taylor) … Continue reading Oxford Calling

Broadway Plays the Ponies

The Broadway Melody of 1936 made a star out of Eleanor Powell, and in 1937 she was at it again with The Broadway Melody of 1938, which, unfortunately, was a flaccid follow-up to its predecessor. This time Powell is the daughter of a horse rancher who wants to break into show business, and once again Robert … Continue reading Broadway Plays the Ponies

Back To Broadway

In 1929, The Broadway Melody officially opened the era of the MGM musical. In 1935, The Broadway Melody of 1936 kicked things up a notch or five. It also is credited by some as the movie that saved MGM. Starring Eleanor Powell and Robert Taylor, The Broadway Melody of 1936 is at once typical and eye-popping. It's bigger, sparklier, and … Continue reading Back To Broadway

Norma’s Almost-Swan Song

Way up north... Quebecois Norma Shearer was an unlikely film star, at least in the sense that she didn't fit the mold of the perfect movie goddess. She had short legs, one of her eyes had a slight cast, and the critics regularly poked fun at her delivery. On the other hand, in regards to … Continue reading Norma’s Almost-Swan Song