Broadway Melody of 1936 is a musical released by MGM in 1935. It was a follow up of sorts to the successful The Broadway Melody, which had been released in 1929, although, beyond the title and some music, there is no story connection with the earlier film.
The film was written by Harry W. Conn, Moss Hart, Jack McGowan and Sid Silvers. It was directed by Roy Del Ruth and starred Jack Benny, Eleanor Powell, and Robert Taylor. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In an interview promoting That's Entertainment! III, Ann Miller claimed that MGM was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time Broadway Melody of 1936 was made, and it (along with subsequent Powell films) became so popular the company became profitable again.
Irene Foster (Eleanor Powell) tries to convince her high school sweetheart Broadway producer Robert Gordon (Robert Taylor) to give her chance to star in his new musical, but he is too busy with the rich widow (June Knight) backing his show. Irene tries to show Gordon that she has the talent to succeed, but he will not hire her. Things become complicated when she begins impersonating a French dancer, not realizing that the dancer is the invention of a gossip columnist (Jack Benny).
This was Powell's first leading role, and her first movie for MGM. She would appear in the next two entries in the Broadway Melody series: Broadway Melody of 1938 and Broadway Melody of 1940. (Neither of these films were related to each other in terms of storyline.) This also marked Ebsen's film debut.
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