This classic musical tale centers on the topsy-turvy West Coast trip of an aspiring singer-saxophonist (Dick Powell) who seizes upon a golden opportunity and unwittingly lands himself in the middle of a backstage controversy involving a Hollywood starlet. Directed by the great Busby Berkeley, the energetic comedy is perhaps best known for the toe-tapping performances by Benny Goodman and his legendary swing band.
American director/choreographer Busby Berkeley made his stage debut at five, acting in the company of his performing family. During World War I, Berkeley served as a field artillery lieutenant, where he learned the intricacies of drilling and disciplining large groups of people. During the 1920s, Berkeley was a dance director for nearly two dozen Broadway musicals, including such hits as A Connecticut Yankee. As a choreographer, Berkeley was less concerned with the terpsichorean skill of his chorus girls as he was with their ability to form themselves into attractive geometric patterns. His musical numbers were among the largest and best-regimented on Broadway. The only way they’d get any larger was if Berkeley moved to films, which he did the moment films learned to talk. His earliest movie gigs were on Sam Goldwyn’s Eddie Cantor musicals, where he began developing such techniques as “individualizing” each chorus girl with a loving close-up, and moving his dancers all over the stage… read more