I’ve learned that the recently discovered Technicolor fragments from the 1929 Warner Bros. musicals On with the Show! and Gold Diggers of Broadway are being shipped to UCLA for restoration and preservation.
The fragment from Gold Diggers of Broadway will be incorporated into a partial restoration of the latter part of the film. The new print will consist of surviving footage and audio materials, plus production and publicity stills.
Additionally, it’s possible that these new findings will be included in the Jazz Singer DVD, which is scheduled to come out next year.
Directed by Roy del Ruth, Gold Diggers of Broadway stars Nancy Welford (who had a very brief film career), and silent film veterans Conway Tearle, Ann Pennington (who also did quite well on Broadway), and Lilyan Tashman, plus Broadway sensation Winnie Lightner. Most of the film is now lost.
The backstage musical On with the Show!, directed by The Jazz Singer’s Alan Crosland, stars Arthur Lake (Dagwood of Columbia’s Blondie series), Betty Compson, Sally O’Neil, Joe E. Brown, and Louise Fazenda. I’ve seen this one and I found it entertaining, though many will probably find the leading players - at best - grating. (I actually found both Compson and O’Neil quite likable, and I particularly enjoyed Fazenda’s brand of over-the-top humor.)