With Singin’ in the Rain, Meet Me in St. Louis, and other musicals from MGM’s Golden Age well entrenched as best-selling video collectibles, the studio has been recycling some older song-and-dance titles of less-than-golden reputation. A couple of the latest batch, Eleanor Powell vehicles in crisply clean black-and-white prints, turn out to be not too tarnished.
Broadway Melody of 1936 holds up as the Deco-est of MGM’s glitzy, backstage ’30s musicals, despite a hokey plot (by Moss Hart, no less) and production numbers that are just as lavishly silly as any Busby Berkeley was doing over at Warner Brothers (if not as much fun). Powell may not read all her lines too convincingly, but when her long legs start to move, the results are riveting, especially in the ”Broadway Rhythm” finale. B-