In the Backstage Blogathon (click on the link for more info and the list of participating blogs) participants pick a film made before 1970 that has something to do with the workings of show biz. This is a blog hop that definitely fits my interests in show business. I'll tell you more about this later which should add more credibility to my championing the 1948 film Give My Regards to Broadway.
Give My Regards to Broadway (1948)
|Dan Dailey, Barbara Lawrence, and Charles Winninger perform a plate juggling|
routine in Give My Regards to Broadway
My Connection to the Film
What surprised me most when I saw this film was how similar the story was to the experience of my own family. My father was just starting out in show business with his own juggling act when this film first came out. Like most performers, he had that dream of being a headline act in a big show. He soon was to meet my mother who was a dancer with show biz dreams of her own. After they partnered in marriage they put together their own dance and juggling package and began playing the still active club and show circuit in the Cleveland, Ohio area in the 1950's.
My dad never gave up his dreams though he did maintain a good job as a bookkeeper and our family had a home and a relatively typical life. As my sister and I grew up we became part of my parents' act, performing on weekends or special engagements whenever we could get the bookings. It was a great life and the show biz bug easily hooked us. We dreamed of becoming performers full time, but never quite took that step.
Later, after my sister and I became adults, she left the act to follow her own pursuits. A few years later I too left to pursue my own show business dream as a solo performer. I worked successfully as a performer for about 15 years, getting married along the way and raising my own brood of kids. As they became school age I too left the show biz life to settle down to a regular job with a normal home life.
Having lived the life and the dream, I can understand the lure of the bright lights and the cheering audiences. It is something that "gets in your blood" as the saying goes. To me the film Give My Regards to Broadway precisely captures the spirit of the dream as well as the security of being tied down to regular life.
Relatively few people who attempt to go into an entertainment career experience huge success. Some of the luckier ones like myself and my family or the fictional Albert the Great and Family are able to enjoy enough of a successful run where we get a taste of the glamorous life. Once that's been tasted I think most of us have a lingering desire to return in some capacity. It's certainly true for me: If I were offered an opportunity to go back to an entertainment career of some sort, I would be tempted. I'd be very tempted.
|A 1967 promo photo for my family's act The Juggling Jacksons|
My father Bob Jackson seated with my sister Joy, me in the center
and my mother Lois Jackson.
If you've seen Give My Regards to Broadway, what did you think of it? What films have you seen that come closest to depicting your own life story or your family background? Have you ever sacrificed a dream for the sake of security or the love of another?
To watch this film online you can find it here.