Bright Lights

1935

Comedy / Music

2
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 229

heiress vaudeville chorus girl burlesque theatrical troupe

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
May 27, 2022 at 06:15 PM

Director

Top cast

William Demarest as Detective
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
635 MB
1280*960
English 2.0
NR
59.94 fps
1 hr 8 min
P/S 4 / 33
1.15 GB
1440*1080
English 2.0
NR
59.94 fps
1 hr 8 min
P/S 16 / 45

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ron Oliver 10 / 10

Brown's Peak

Dazzled by the BRIGHT LIGHTS of Broadway success, a burlesque actor is blinded as to what's really most important in life.

The film career of Joe E. Brown, Warner's rubber-faced comedian, essentially reached its zenith in this very enjoyable little comedy/drama obviously tailored for Joe's considerable skills. All too soon a change of studios would sidetrack Brown into cheaply made movies which would inevitably dim his celebrity. But here, in this backstage show biz story, his talents may still be enjoyed at full throttle.

Although the movie was directed by Busby Berkeley, it includes none of his celebrated dance extravaganzas, focusing instead on personality rather than pulchritude. The film is fortunate in that Brown, presented as a Broadway star, is genuinely funny when engaging in his slapstick humor. Whether dangerously balancing on a balcony rail as part of his stage act, using his tremendous mouth to great advantage while telling a party story about a 'little mousie,' or engaging in impressive nightclub acrobatic stunts with The Maxellos, Joe is never less than hilarious.

Although the focus is firmly on Brown, he is given able support from the rest of the cast: Ann Dvorak as his patient, long-suffering wife; Joseph Cawthorn as a fatherly theatrical troupe manager; William Gargan as an energetic press agent; and lovely Patricia Ellis as a stage bound heiress. William Demarest appears for a few seconds as a determined detective. Best of all is Arthur Treacher, wonderful as Brown's impeccable new valet.

Movie mavens will recognize sour faced Clarence Wilson as a train station clerk.

Reviewed by lugonian 6 / 10

Casanova of Burlesque

BRIGHT LIGHTS (Warners/First National, 1935), directed by Busby Berkeley, captures the spirit of "from burlesque to Broadway" theme as well as the comedy talents of resident comedian, Joe E. Brown, in what many consider to be virtually a "one man show," as indicated during its opening credits with Brown's face in character make-up visible under the opening and closing credits. For Brown, whose wide mouth was his trademark, many of his comedies were one man shows, and in this case, a role perfected to his style and character classified on screen as "The Shakespeare of Burlesque." Berkeley, best known for his creative dance directions of tap dancing chorus girls doing flower formations, is given an ample opportunity directing a story with a theatrical theme, with little creativeness for musical interludes that are performed on a limited scale.

The story revolves around Joe and Fay Wilson (Joe E. Brown and Ann Dvorak), a husband and wife team working for Oscar Schlemmer (Joseph Cawthorn), manager of a burlesque troupe, "Parisian Belle." Claire Whitmore (Patricia Ellis), a runaway heiress, posing as Miss Brown, sneaks on board a train to avoid a hired detective (William Demarest). Through Joe's help, she soon becomes part of the troupe. Dan Wheeler, press agent, recognizes Whitmore and sees a great opportunity teaming her with Wilson for J.C.Anderson's (Henry O'Neill) Broadway frolics. Although Joe refuses to split up his act with Fay, it is Fay who convinces Joe, though Dan's encouragement, to go on with the deal. The Wilson and Whitmore partnership at the Tivoli Theater proves successful. At first Fay is happy with their newfound success until she finds Joe, whom she affectionately calls "Funny Face," drifting away from her and spending more time with Claire, with whom he appears to have fallen in love.

With score composed by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, songs include: "She Was an Acrobat's Daughter" (sung by Joe E. Brown); "Powder My Back For Me" (sung by chorus); "Toddling Along With You" (sung by Ann Dvorak/ by Mort Dixon and Allie Wrubel); "The Lady in Red" (danced briefly by Joe E. Brown and Patricia Ellis/ by Harry Warren and Al Dubin); "You're an Eyeful of Heaven" (sung by Patricia Ellis/ by Dixon and Wrubel); "Toddling Along With You" (reprised by Ann Dvorak). Although there are indications that the "Playboy of Paris" skit was filmed but ended up on the cutting room floor, all that remains in the finished product is Brown's character, sporting huge mustache and striped shirt, returning to his dressing room following the mentioned act.

Others members of the cast include Clarence Wilson (The Station Agent); Arthur Treacher (Wilbur, the Butler); Gordon Westcott, Tom Kennedy and Joseph Crehan in smaller roles.

Shifting from backstage theme to burlesque, BRIGHT LIGHTS contains a plot quite commonly place during the early sound era of 1929, with Paramount's THE DANCE OF LIFE and APPLAUSE immediately coming to mind. One virtually forgotten is MOLLY AND ME (Tiffany), which happens to be the earlier carnation of BRIGHT LIGHTS starring Belle Bennett and the one and only Joe E. Brown. For this version, there's extensive scenes of Brown reciting the poem, "Mousey" ; playing a dummy in a ventriloquist act participated by William B. Davidson; and Brown taking part of an acrobatic act in a night club sequence. There's a moment where one of the acrobats (The Maxellos) pushes Joe to a point of anger (looking all too real to be taken as part of the act or the movie itself) before suddenly extending out a handshake. Aside from Brown, there's Ann Dvorak as his second half of the act who showcases her ability as both actress and singer. Her dramatic moment towards the story's end is well played. Joseph Cawthorn resumes his familiarity with his accented character who adds more confusion with his broken English. Ranging from comedy to drama, the final half becomes the height of hilarity with Brown's trying efforts to retrieve a letter written to his wife he doesn't want her to read.

While not as noteworthy as other Brown comedies, or Busby Berkeley for that matter, BRIGHT LIGHTS, at 82 minutes, can be seen occasionally on cable TV's Turner Classic Movies. The best description for BRIGHT LIGHTS can be easily said through Brown's catch phrase, "Some fun." (**1/2)

Reviewed by frankebe 9 / 10

A Great Showcase for Joe E. Brown

I love this film. It moves along very briskly—a strong point in its favor; Joe E. Brown is in front of the camera almost continuously, another major point; and most important of all, he does good stuff. Lots of good stuff. Now I've only seen 13 (!) Joe E. Brown Movies, so I don't know what else might be out there, but of those 13 this is by far the best. It is not a belly-laugh hilarious film, but I don't require that of a "comedy". It IS consistently amusing and the movie absolutely showcases Brown's multiple talents. He runs, he jumps, he falls, he tumbles, he swings through the air; he uses his rubbery face; he speaks in funny voices and dialects; he sings; he pantomimes; he dances—and boy does he dance! Twice! Two beautiful eccentric dances. All this in one film. I think nothing else need be said, but try to find a good sharp print with sound that is in-sync with the picture; and if you like gymnastics, pantomimic full-body comedy and crazy dancing, this is your movie. If you don't like those things, maybe you should put on a good Capra classic.

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