Sally (1929 film)
|Directed by||John Francis Dillon|
|Written by||Waldemar Young
based on the Broadway musical by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse
|Music by||Jerome Kern
Leonid S. Leonardi
Charles Edgar Schoenbaum (Technicolor)
|Edited by||LeRoy Stone|
|Distributed by||First National Pictures: A Subsidiary of Warner Bros.|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Sally (1929) is the third all talking all-color feature movie ever made (the first was On with the Show 1929). It was photographed in the Technicolor process. Sally was also the sixth feature movie to contain color that had been released by Warner Brothers, the first five were The Desert Song (1929), On with the Show (1929), Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), Paris (1929), and The Show of Shows (1929). (Song of the West was actually completed by June of 1929 but had its release delayed until March of 1930). Although exhibited in a few select theatres in December of 1929, Sally only went into general release on January 12, 1930.
It was based on the Broadway stage hit, Sally, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld (which played at The New Amsterdam Theatre, from 12/21/1920 to 4/22/1922), and retains three of the stage production's Jerome Kern songs ("Look for the Silver Lining", "Sally", and "Wild Rose"), the rest of the music newly written for the film by Al Dubin and Joe Burke. Marilyn Miller, who had played the leading part in the Broadway production, was hired by the Warner Brothers at an extravagant sum (reportedly $1000 an hour for a total of $100,000) to star in the filmed version. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Jack Okey in 1930.
Sally (Marilyn Miller) plays the part of an orphan who had been abandoned as a baby at the Bowling Green telephone exchange. While growing up in an orphanage, she discovered the joy of dancing. In an attempt to save money enough to become a dancer, Sally began working at odd jobs. While working as a waitress, a man named Blair (Alexander Gray) begins coming to her work regularly to see her. They both soon fall for each other. Sally, however, does not know that Blair has been forced into an engagement by his family with a socialite named Marcia (Nora Lane). One day, a theatrical agent shows up at Sally's work (T. Roy Barnes) and gives her a chance to audition for a job. Sally, however, ends up losing her job and the opportunity when she drops a tray of food into Barnes' lap. Eventually, Sally gets another job at the Elm Tree Inn, which is managed by Ford Sterling. Blair drops in one day and immediately takes an interest in Sally. He convinces Sterling to have Sally dance for his customers. While she is performing one day, the theatrical agent (T. Roy Barnes) notices her and convinces Sally to impersonate a famous Russian dancer named Noskerova at a party being given by Maude Turner Gordon. At that engagement, she is found to be an imposter and is asked to leave. Before Sally leaves, however, she hears the announcement of Blair's engagement to Marcia. Undaunted, she proceeds with her life and eventually becomes a star on Broadway. Unfortunately she never forgets Blair and becomes terribly depressed until...
While never technically a "lost" film, Sally was unavailable for public viewing for nearly six decades. It was not until around 1990 when the film was once again available for archival and revival screenings. However, the film survives only in black and white except for a 21⁄2-minute color segment from the Wild Rose musical number, which was discovered in the 1990s and inserted into the print currently in circulation. Sepia-toned black-and-white footage is inserted to replace individual frames which are missing in the color fragment.
- Marilyn Miller as Sally
- Alexander Gray as Blair Farrell
- Joe E. Brown as Grand Duke 'Connie' Constantine
- T. Roy Barnes as Otis Hemingway Hooper
- Pert Kelton as Rosie, Otis' girlfriend
- Ford Sterling as 'Pops' Shendorff
- Maude Turner Gordon as Mrs. Ten Brock
- E. J. Ratcliffe as John Farquar
- Jack Duffy as The Old Roue
- Ethel Stone as Lutie
- Nora Lane as Marcia
- Sally, the Broadway production 1920 at the New Amsterdam Theatre; IBDb.com
- Bradley, Edwin M. (1996). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932. McFarland & Company. pp. 87–90.
- Photoplay, September 1929
- "NY Times: Sally". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- Sally at silentera.com