Movies That Could Have Been: The March of Time (1930)

Recently, I had the pleasure of revisiting the That’s Entertainment! trilogy.  As much as I love the first That’s Entertainment!, I love how much rare footage is featured in part three.  One of the movies discussed in part three is an abandoned project from 1930 called The March of Time.  The March of Time was intended to be a follow-up to The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and was set to be shot in two-color Technicolor and feature stars like Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ramon Novarro, and Marie Dressler.  Only unlike The Hollywood Revue of 1929, The March of Time seemed to have more of a central concept — the past, present, and future of entertainment.  A number of musical scenes were shot for the film, but then the project was scrapped and never completed.

I’m sure that if The March of Time had been completed, it’d be thought of as a historical curiosity today, but I kind of wish that it had been completed.  As awkward and creaky as they are, I sort of love early musical efforts.  They’re just so earnest that I can’t help but find them endearing.  Especially in cases like this where lots of top stars of the era were put together in one movie just because it’s interesting to see all those stars together.  I’d also be quite interested in seeing what they thought the future of entertainment would be.

Even though The March of Time was abandoned, some of the filmed scenes eventually ended up being included in other things.  You can find some of these scenes on YouTube, but I want to specifically highlight one scene called The Lock Step featuring The Dodge Twins:

What I want to know is if this number was supposed to be representing the present or the future of entertainment.  Because if this was supposed to be the future, then they were surprisingly accurate in predicting Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock number.


  1. I absolutely love this! I’m crazy about these old and creaky musical bits from early films as well. Thanks for posting this. I’d never heard of this film, didn’t know about these musical numbers being filmed then set aside.

    I’m wondering if the Jailhouse Rock people ever saw this…Hmmmm.

    I’m going to post something about this on my blog with a link to yours. This is such a fun thing to share.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one fascinated by that clip. Ever since I saw it in That’s Entertainment part 3, I’ve been so intrigued with the idea of this movie. This number was so great, I really wish more footage from it would surface somewhere.

  2. I love it! I actually remember your year anniversary post and what you did for that as well-it doesn’t even seem that long ago!
    I really enjoyed your little video; it made me happy. That must have taken alot of work, and it looks great 🙂
    Happy blogversary! Here is to another year of enjoying your posts 🙂

    1. Thank you, I’m glad to hear you liked the video! Where does the time go? It feels like it was just starting this thing up, now it’s already been two years.

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