Every so often, a motion picture comes along that just charms and entertains for every second of its run time. 1935’s Broadway Hostess is one of these films. Frank McDonald (The Purple Gang) directed this tuneful triumph that follows Winnie Wharton (Wini Shaw) as she gets a shot at success when she begins working as a nightclub singer for business impresario Lucky Lorimar (Lyle Talbot). The alliteratively named characters soon encounter hilarious romantic problems aplenty when Winnie falls for Lucky, even though her boss is completely smitten with heiress Iris (Genevieve Tobin) — and she has a suitor of her own.
Before you know it, our heroes find themselves facing bigger problems that making sure the audience is entertained…resulting in plenty of fun. With a soundtrack filled with underrated gems like “Who But You,” “Weary,” and “He Was Her Man,” and a supporting cast that includes Phil Regan, Spring Byington, Allen Jenkins, and Marie Wilson, Broadway Hostess is an absolute delight. Want proof? Here’s Shaw’s outstanding performance of “Her Was Her Man.”
Outstanding. Are you ready to follow the advice of the film’s tagline and “paint the town red with the lady in red?” If so, Broadway Hostess is currently available from the Warner Archive Collection.