Broadway Babies

Broadway Babies, aka Broadway Daddies (UK) and Ragazze d'America (Italy), is a 1929 all-talking Pre-Code black and white American musical film produced and distributed by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred Alice White and Charles Delaney. This was White's first sound film with dialogue.

Broadway Babies
Official poster
Directed byMervyn LeRoy
Produced byRobert North
Screenplay by
Based on"Broadway Musketeers"
by Jay Gelzer
StarringAlice White
Music byLeo F. Forbstein
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byFrank Ware
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date
  • June 30, 1929 (1929-06-30) (sound)
  • July 28, 1929 (1929-07-28) (silent)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States


Chorus girl Delight "Dee" Foster (Alice White) is in love with stage manager Billy Buvanny (Charles Delaney) and he also loves her. They plan to marry until bootlegger Perc Gessant (Fred Kohler) steps in. Dee is led to believe that Billy is in love with another girl, so she agrees to play around with Gessant when he becomes interested in her. When Gessant proposes marriage, Dee accepts. As they are about to be married, rival gangsters shoot Gessant and he ends up dying. Dee is reconciled with Billy and they become engaged.



Broadway Babies was one of the many movie musicals with a Broadway setting that were made at the dawn of the "talkie" era. Such films were called "backstagers", a vogue that evolved during the emergence of sound pictures and from the success of The Jazz Singer (1927) and The Singing Fool (1928), both also Warner Bros.' films.[2] Broadway Babies was also one of a number of similar vehicles created for Alice White; it was White's first all-sound as well as her most successful picture.[3]


Three songs were written for White to perform in Broadway Babies: "Wishing and Waiting for Love" with lyrics by Grant Clarke and music by Harry Akst; "Jig, Jig, Jigaloo", lyrics by Al Bryan, music by George W. Meyer; and "Broadway Baby Dolls", also by Bryan and Meyer.[4] Incidental music included "Give My Regards to Broadway" (George M. Cohan), "Vesti La Giubba" (Ruggero Leoncavallo), and "Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)" (Richard Wagner).


Only sound version of Broadway Babies survives as a 16mm reduction positive in the Library of Congress collection. The film's trailer also survives incomplete.[5][6][7]


  1. "Broadway Babies". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  2. Furia, Philip; Patterson, Laurie (2010). The Songs of Hollywood. Oxford University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-19-979266-5.
  3. Barrios, Richard (1995). A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. Oxford University Press. pp. 191, 207–211. ISBN 978-0-19-508811-3.
  4. Bradley, Edwin M. (2004). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 through 1932. McFarland. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-7864-2029-2.
  5. Bennett, Carl (ed.). "Broadway Babies". Progressive Silent Film List. Retrieved September 12, 2015 via
  6. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress p.22 c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  7. Broadway Babies - Trailer - 1929 - Alice White
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