Mr. Broadway

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Comedy, USA, 1933, 63 min.

Synopsis Broadway columnist Ed Sullivan, known as "Mr. Broadway," speaks with Johnnie Walker, the producer of this film, over the telephone. Ed, who is surprised to learn that the audience is already in the theater, is instructed by Walker to talk directly to the audience, and Ed introduces himself and the film, which he calls "a Broadway travelogue" of nightclubs where celebrities congregate. At the "Paradise," band leader Abe Lyman calls Ed to the microphone, and Ed introduces a number of celebrities. Ed continues on what he calls his "Dawn Patrol" to the "Hollywood," where a gangster named Tony vows to another gangster to kill Ed because of some columns he has written. Ed jots down a story he hears from a woman, then introduces her to a number of celebrities, including Bert Lahr and Jack Benny, who then clown with a waiter. Tony decides not to kill Ed, because, he says, if he kills one columnist, another will soon come along. Ed then leaves to dress for the Central Park Casino, where Ted Husing broadcasts dance music over the radio. Husing describes for his listeners a number of celebrities on the dance floor, including Lupe Velez with Jack Haley, Ernst Lubitsch and a dancing partner Husing does not know, and Johnnie Walker with Josephine Dunn. Ed arrives and sits with Walker and Dunn. Dunn, who is visiting from Hollywood, tells Ed that he is widely read on the coast. After she expresses interest in how Ed gets enough material for his daily column, Ed says that to him everything and everyone holds a story. He tells Dunn that her necklace reminds him of a great story, which he then relates: Two pals, Sam, an old waterfront derelict, and Bob, a naďve younger man whom Sam looks out for, enter a waterfront dive. Once Sam leaves the table, Daisey, an attractive woman, asks Bob to buy her a drink. Bob politely invites her to sit, and she tells him that she came over because he looks like a gentleman. Sam, aware that Daisey is a prostitute, leaves them together after instructing her to give Bob "the works." Bob and Daisey drink together, and when Bob hears a sailor make an indecent remark to a woman, he starts a fight with the sailor. Afterward, Bob tells Daisey that he never should have come to such a place, but she brightly reminds him that if he hadn't, they wouldn't have met. They then go to her apartment. Sometime later, Daisey sees Sam find a very valuable necklace in front of the Waldorf Astoria. Daisey, who feels that it is just as much hers as Sam's, suggests to Bob that with the necklace, they could get away and start over in a new place. Bob objects and says that Sam will share it with them, but Daisey convinces him to get it, because, she says, it is their only chance to be together. Bob goes to the shack where he and Sam stay and looks for the necklace, then demands that Sam give it to him. Sam tries to calm Bob, but Bob kills him when he refuses to give up the "stones." When Bob returns to Daisey, he hears laughter coming from her room and sees another man leave. At first, Daisey denies his accusations about the other man, then says "What of it," and a gunshot rings out. Back at the club, Ed reveals that Bob killed himself and says that he hasn't written the story because a cigarette girl, who has come by their table, is Daisey's daughter, and that she told him the tale. Walker hands Ed a drink under the table, and then Ed invites Walker and Dunn to "Reuben's" for a cup of coffee. On the street, a tramp asks them for money, and Ed bets Walker that the tramp has a great story. When Ed questions him, the tramp reveals that he once had wealth, fame and popularity. Ed asks whether he had been a banker, lawyer, engineer or architect, but the tramp says that his profession was short-lived and reveals that he had been a Broadway columnist.

Directed by Johnnie Walker, Edgar G. Ulmer  

Starring Ed Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Ruth Etting, Bert Lahr, Hal Le Roy, more...

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