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Broadway (1942 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Screenplay byFelix Jackson
John Bright
Bruce Manning
Based onthe Jed Harris stage production by Philip Dunning & George Abbott (play)
Produced byBruce Manning
StarringGeorge Raft
Pat O'Brien
CinematographyGeorge Barnes
Edited byTed J. Kent
(as Ted Kent)
Music byFrank Skinner
Bruce Manning Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • March 23, 1942 (1942-03-23) (San Francisco)
  • April 17, 1942 (1942-04-17) (New York City)
  • May 8, 1942 (1942-05-08) (Los Angeles)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.1 million[1]

Broadway is a 1942 crime drama musical film directed by William A. Seiter and starring George Raft as himself and Pat O'Brien as a detective.[2] The supporting cast features Janet Blair and Broderick Crawford.[3]

Another fictionalized biographical movie based on Raft's life, The George Raft Story (1961), featured a different actor (Ray Danton) playing Raft.

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George Raft, a Hollywood dancer, returns to Manhattan and recalls working in a nightclub with a bootlegger's girlfriend.



Universal paid $175,000 for the rights[4] to the 1926 play of the same name that had previously been filmed in 1929. On Broadway, Lee Tracy played the dancer, Thomas Jackson played the detective and Paul Porcasi played the nightclub owner. In the 1929 film, Jackson and Porcasi reprised their roles and Glenn Tryon replaced Tracy. Pat O'Brien once played the detective role in a road show.[5]

In February 1941, Universal announced the film for the coming year. Bruce Manning, a writer who had recently been promoted to producer, would produce and George Raft and Broderick Crawford would star. Manning and Felix Young were to write the screenplay.[6]

However, Raft was under contract for three more pictures with Warner Bros., which refused to loan him to Universal. Raft had been refusing roles that he did not like over the course of eight months,[7][8] but an agreement was reached whereby $27,500 would be taken from Raft's salary to allow Warner Bros. to borrow Robert Cummings from Universal.[7] In December 1941, Raft signed on to make the film.[9]

Manning wanted to change the bootlegger characters from the play into foreign agents. He discussed the story with Raft and recognized the similarities between the story of Roy, the dancer played on stage by Tracy, and that of Raft's early career. He kept the characters as bootleggers but changed the story to focus on Raft. He also added a prologue and epilogue in which Raft returns to New York after establishing himself as a movie star.[10]

In February 1942, O'Brien signed on and filming began.[11]


The film was a success with audiences.[12]

The Los Angeles Times called Broadway a "sock melodrama."[13] Filmink said that the film "... isn’t particularly well remembered but it's a lot of fun, with plenty of gunfire and dancing, and was reasonably popular – Raft was best known for his gangster movies, but he was also a half-decent draw in musicals."[14]


  1. ^ "101 Pix Gross in Millions". Variety. 6 January 1943. p. 58.
  2. ^ "Broadway". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "Broadway". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 9, no. 97. Jan 1, 1942. p. 85.
  4. ^ THOMAS F. BRADY (Apr 5, 1942). "A FEW HOLLYWOOD ACHES AND PAINS: Metro Gauges Public Reaction to Ayres Case -- Mr. Raft Protests". New York Times. p. X3.
  5. ^ "'Broadway' tradition is perpetuated". The Washington Post. May 25, 1942. ProQuest 151528200.
  6. ^ "Universal Plans Program Including 61 Major Offerings". Los Angeles Times. Feb 11, 1941. p. A2.
  7. ^ a b Brady, Thomas F. (1942-04-05). "A FEW HOLLYWOOD ACHES AND PAINS". The New York Times. p. 3, Section 8.
  8. ^ T. B. (Jan 11, 1942). "THE HOLLYWOOD SCENE". New York Times. ProQuest 106247892.
  9. ^ "News From Hollywood". Dec 30, 1941. p. 23.
  10. ^ Scheuer, P. K. (Mar 10, 1942). "SCREEN". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 165325181.
  11. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times. Feb 7, 1942. p. 13.
  12. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 100
  13. ^ Scheuer, P. K. (Jun 26, 1942). "'Broadway' packs thrill as remake". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 August 2022, at 04:03
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