Monday, November 30, 2009

Cooking up a Storm in Hollywood

Here's another "cooking" shot I came across—although this one is obviously staged by the Warner Brothers press agent. The soon-to-be diners are (left to right) director William Keighley, actors Frank McHugh, James Cagney and Pat O'Brien.

In the mid 1930s by father made three movies for Warner Brothers: "Stars Over Broadway" (1935), "Sing Me a Love Song" (1936) and "Melody for Two" (1937). More about his film career in a later post.

Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh appeared with James Melton in "Stars Over Broadway," a prototypical Hollywood musical of the time, it had something for everyone, from original music by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, to “Carry Me Back to the Lone Prairie,” to the operatic aria “Celeste Aida,” which came as the dramatic climax to the film. The plot was not unusual for the Depression era, with its rags to riches story, bumpy love affairs, lavish nightclub numbers and crackling (for its time) dialogue. A down-on-his luck theatrical agent (O’Brien) discovers a singing hotel porter (Melton) and takes one last shot at the big time. As success carries them both to the top, the agent watches sadly as too much high life threatens to ruin his ‘investment’. (Prohibition had ended a few years earlier.) The singer eventually comes to his senses, goes to Europe to study, comes back a changed man, and ends up with a triumphant debut at the Metropolitan Opera.

You can see the trailer for the movie via Turner Classic Movies at What a hoot!

1 comment:

  1. With reference to the theme of James Melton and cooking, I recall eating at a James Melton restaurant somewhere in Fairfield County, CT, in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Although I do not recall going to the Auto Museum, it was my understanding that it was next door or in the close vicinity of the restaurant. Neither the Connecticut restaurant nor the existence of the car museum in CT are mentioned in the internet biographies.
    WEChris 1/07/10