Cast & Crew
S. Sylvan Simon
Molly Maloney and Eddie Kerns, former vaudeville hoofers, are partners in a dance school in Rome City, Nebraska. Longing to break into the big time, Eddie connives a train ticket to New York to appear on the Chatsworth Linoleum radio show with his singing canaries. The canaries can't sing, but Eddie can, prompting casino owner Buddy Bartell to offer Eddie a job in his show. When the shrewd Eddie also convinces Buddy to audition his fiancée Molly and her sister Pat, the two sisters join Eddie in New York. Eddie's plans go awry, however, when Bartell wants to team Pat and Eddie and offers Molly a job selling cigarettes. Molly, a self-sacrificing sister, swallows her pride and accepts the job so that Pat can have a shot at the big time. Meanwhile, "Chat" Chatsworth, an often-married playboy, becomes interested in Pat and begins to court her. When Molly discovers Chat's marital past from her old friend, gossip columnist Jed Marlowe, she asks Eddie to speak to Pat. Pat finds herself falling in love with Eddie instead of Chat, though, and decides to return home rather than hurt Molly. Molly, unaware of Pat's feelings, stops her from leaving New York. Still trying to spare her sister, Pat then accepts Chat's marriage proposal and runs away to marry him. Alarmed, Eddie confesses his love for Pat to Molly, who orders him to go after her. When he arrives at Chat's apartment, however, the couple have already left to be married. Overhearing Chat's servant Ito notifying the gossip columnist that his employer is to be married for the sixth time, Eddie rushes to City Hall and crashes the ceremony. Pat and Eddie then decide to marry with Molly's blessing, and Molly returns home to Rome City.
S. Sylvan Simon
Hal K. Dawson
J. Anthony Hughes
Charles R. Moore
Ed Peil Sr.
Nacio Herb Brown
Edwin B. Willis
Two Girls on Broadway
The movie is a remake of Broadway Melody of 1929, an MGM hit from the days of early sound films, with Turner, George Murphy and Joan Blondell (in her first MGM picture) forming the love triangle provided in the earlier movie by Anita Page, Charles King and Bessie Love. Only three years into her film career, 20-year-old Turner commanded top billing above her more experienced costars.
The story by now had a familiar ring. The trio of stars play ambitious young performers struggling to make their mark in New York. Eddie and Molly (Murphy and Blondell) are a dance team who are planning to marry when Eddie gets a break in a big Broadway show. Instead of Molly, the producer casts her beautiful younger sister, Pat (Turner) opposite Eddie. To add insult to injury, Molly is given the job of cigarette girl. When Pat and Eddie fall in love, she tries to avoid further hurting Molly by taking up with a wealthy playboy (Kent Taylor), but Molly catches on and gallantly sacrifices her own happiness for her sister's.
Most reviewers of the day realized that the plot took a definite second place to the showcasing of a bright new star. In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther wrote, "With Lana Turner figuring prominently in the doings, it is fairly safe to predict that none of the patrons will bother to inquire where and when they have seen Two Girls on Broadway before. There is an indefinable something about Miss Turner that makes it a matter of small concern."
In retrospect, Two Girls on Broadway seems significant as an indication that, had Turner and MGM determined to concentrate on her musical abilities, she might have had a totally different career. Her ability to dance with "precision and grace," as one reviewer put it, is on display in two numbers written specifically for the film, "My Wonderful One, Let's Dance" by Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed and Roger Edens, and "Broadway's Still Broadway" by Harry Revel and Ted Fetter.
The latter number in particular is given spectacular staging by dance directors Bobby Connolly, recently arrived at MGM after many successes at Warner Bros., Eddie Larkin and Merrill Pye. The song begins with Murphy and Turner as bar patrons; after he serenades her, the crane-borne camera pulls back to reveal an elaborate set of stairs, columns and moving walls. The pair spin through a dizzying succession of steps, including lifts and pirouettes, that place considerable demands on both partners.
The number is suggestive of routines that Hermes Pan had recently choreographed at RKO for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, leading more than one reviewer to think that Turner might be in line to succeed Rogers as Astaire's partner. A writer for The Hollywood Reporter opined that "Lana Turner is the gal Fred Astaire should be dancing with if MGM wants to duplicate the old Astaire-Rogers sizzle." Instead, of course, Turner would veer away from musicals to find her niche in melodrama.
Two Girls on Broadway was Turner's third film in a row for director S. Sylvan Simon, following These Glamour Girls and Dancing Co-Ed (both 1939). The latter film also featured band leader Artie Shaw, with whom Turner entered into a brief and tempestuous marriage during the filming of Two Girls on Broadway. He was her first of seven husbands.
Producer: Jack Cummings
Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Screenplay: Jerome Chodorov, Joseph Fields, from story by Edmund Goulding
Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Film Editing: Blanche Sewell
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Original Music: Roger Edens, Ted Fetter, Harry Revel, George Bassman (uncredited), Chet Forrest (uncredited), David Raskin (uncredited), Robert W. Stringer (uncredited), Bob Wright (uncredited)
Costume Design: Dolly Tree
Cast: Lana Turner (Patricia "Pat" Mahoney), Joan Blondell (Molly Mahoney), George Murphy (Eddie Kerns), Kent Taylor ("Chat" Chatsworth), Richard Lane (Buddy Bartell), Wallace Ford (Jed Marlowe).
BW-74m. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe
Two Girls on Broadway
Two Girls on Broadway was released in Britain under the title Choose Your Partner. This film was a remake of M-G-M's 1929 film The Broadway Melody, which was directed by Harry Beaumont and starred Anita Page, Charles King and Bessie Love (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0630). The film marked Joan Blondell's first picture for M-G-M. Although a 6 April Motion Picture Herald news item noted that two songs were written for the film, Harry Revel and Ted Fetter's "Broadway's Still Broadway" and "Maybe It's the Moon," by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest, the latter song did not appear in the final film.