Comet Over Broadway

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Comet Over Broadway
Directed by Busby Berkeley
John Farrow (uncredited)
Produced by Bryan Foy
Hal B. Wallis
Jack L. Warner
Screenplay by Mark Hellinger
Robert Buckner
Faith Baldwin (short story)
Starring Kay Francis
Release date
  • December 3, 1938 (1938-12-03)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Comet over Broadway (1938) is an American film starring Kay Francis and released by Warner Brothers. John Farrow stepped in as director when Busby Berkeley became ill, but Farrow was uncredited on the film.[1]



Eve Appleton (Francis), wife of small-town garage owner Bill Appleton (Litel), has theatrical ambitions. Bill gets into an argument with a visiting actor over her, kills him accidentally, and is sent to prison. Eve, realizing her part in Bill's fate, vows to right matters, and taking her infant daughter, goes away to make her way in the theatre.

Later, Eve is forced to leave her baby girl with her friend Mrs. "Tim" Adams (Gombell). Bert Ballin (Hunter) befriends her and they fall in love, but she moves abroad and becomes a star. Back in America, as the "Toast of Broadway", she is brought back to a realization of her former vows by Joe Grant (Crisp), her hometown lawyer.

Bette Davis[edit]

Following Jezebel, Bette Davis was dismayed to be assigned to Comet Over Broadway, a melodrama in which she would portray a Broadway actress who sacrifices her career to care for her ne'er-do-well husband when he is released from prison. "This was the first nothing script I was given since my court battle in England," Davis later recalled, referring to the lawsuit in which she tried to win her freedom from Warner Bros. after being forced to appear in a series of mediocre films.

"It was heartbreaking to me. After winning a second Academy Award . . . I was asked to appear again in junk." [2] Davis opted to go on suspension and remained on suspension when the studio offered her Garden of the Moon, a Busby Berkeley musical, instead. "I was on suspension for a good part of the year following Jezebel. So much wasted time at a time when I felt my career could from then on become a truly successful one . . . It took a lot of courage to go on suspension. One received no salary . . . I couldn't afford it, nor could I afford, career-wise, to make films such as Comet Over Broadway and Garden of the Moon!" [2]


  1. ^ "Comet Over Broadway". 
  2. ^ a b Stine, Whitney, and Davis, Bette, Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. New York: Hawthorn Books 1974. ISBN 0-8015-5184-6, pp.101-104

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