Oscar Vault Monday – The Hollywood Revue of 1929, 1929 (dir. Charles Reisner)
This is such a strange film. It was MGM’s second feature-length musical and one of the studio’s earliest sound films. Unlike most MGM musicals, this film really has no overarching plot. Like the title suggests, it’s just a revue – a series of skits, songs and dance numbers by basically everyone on the MGM lot (the only major MGM stars of the era missing are Lon Chaney, Ramon Navarro and Greta Garbo). The film was only nominated for Best Picture and the other films up for the top prize that year were Alibi, In Old Arizona, The Patriot (now a lost film) and winner The Broadway Melody (also an MGM musical).
From The Warner Archive: Hollywood Party
The Warner Archive recently released a bizarre little pre-code gem called Hollywood Party. The film was a Jimmy Durante vehicle that supposedly had eight directors (including Alan Dwan and Sam Wood, though none were credited) and is basically a fantastic mishmash of MGM’s comedy stars. The film was released in on June 1st, 1934 – making it one of the last films before Hollywood its began strict enforcement of the Hays Code. On June 13th, 1934 an amendment to the Hays Code was adopted, establishing the Production Code Administration and requiring all films released on or after July 1, 1934, to obtain a certificate of approval before being released.