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Syncopation (1929 film)

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Syncopation is a 1929 American musical film directed by Bert Glennon and starring Barbara Bennett, Bobby Watson, and Ian Hunter, although top billing went to Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians

This was the second film produced by RKO Radio Pictures, but the first released by the studio, as the company's first produced film, Street Girl, was not released until August 1929 The film was made at the company's New York City studios3 and is based on the novel Stepping High by Gene Markey The film was heavily marketed on its release, being the first film to be broadcast over the radio, as well as being RKO's first sound musical,4 and was a significant success5

This film was the first made in the RCA Photophone sound-on-film process, and was an important test for Radio Corporation of America, which had invested heavily in the newly created RKO


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Songs
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 External links


Benny and Flo are a husband and wife dance team, Sloane and Darrel, traveling around the country as part of a revue The revue gets picked up and taken to New York City, to be on Broadway However, it quickly folds, and the two are forced to look for other employment They eventually find work in a nightclub, becoming famous

While performing at the nightclub, Flo becomes entranced by a young, sophisticated millionaire playboy, Winston Swayed by his sweet words, Flo leaves Benny, and finds another dancing partner, who she pairs with in another revue, this one financed by Winston However, her new act is a flop, and when Winston offers to take her to Europe, but is unwilling to marry her, she realizes the mistake she's made She repents and returns to Benny, who takes her back and re-establishes their act, going back on the road


  • Barbara Bennett as Fleurette "Flo"
  • Bobby Watson as Benny
  • Ian Hunter as Winston
  • Morton Downey as Lew
  • Osgood Perkins as Hummel
  • Mackenzie Ward as Henry
  • Verree Teasdale as Rita
  • Dorothy Lee as Peggy
  • Leon Barte as Artino
  • Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians as Themselves
  • Tom Brown as Bellboy uncredited


  • "Jericho" – Leo Robin, Richard Myers46
  • "Mine Alone" – Herman Ruby, Richard Myers46
  • "Do Something" – Bud Green, Sammy Stept46
  • "I'll Always Be in Love With You" – Bud Green, Sammy Stept46


  • Syncopation was shot in New York City When the film opened at the New York Hippodrome, it had a run of two weeks, during which time it broke the records for that theater for a film6
  • Syncopation marked Dorothy Lee's screen debut7
  • Although they had top billing, Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians only appeared in two scenes in the film6
  • RKO would only release 12 films in 1929, its inaugural year, and this was its first release6


  1. ^ "Syncopation: Detail View" American Film Institute Retrieved June 3, 2014 
  2. ^ "FILM WORLD" The West Australian Perth: National Library of Australia 19 October 1934 p 2 Retrieved 19 April 2014 
  3. ^ Barrios p83
  4. ^ a b c d e "AllMovie Guide: Syncopation" Answerscom Retrieved April 2, 2014 
  5. ^ Barrios p83-84
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Jewell, Richard B; Harbin, Vernon 1982 The RKO Story New York: Arlington House p 20 ISBN 0-517-546566 
  7. ^ Parish, James Robert The Glamour Girls Rainbow Books p 41 ISBN 0895080028 


  • Barrios, Richard A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film Oxford University Press, 2010

External linksedit

  • Syncopation on Internet Movie Database
  • Syncopation at the TCM Movie Database
  • Syncopation at SilentEra
  • Syncopation at AllMovie

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