Harry Beaumont was a prolific, versatile director during the 1920s and '30s who worked for some of the biggest production companies in Hollywood including Fox, Goldwyn, Metro, Warner Brothers, and MGM. As a young man, he left school to join a stock company, eventually ending up on the New York vaudeville stage. In 1912, he began working for Edison films, where he played a variety of roles in many shorts and at least two serials. At that time, he also collaborated on several scripts. In 1915, Beaumont made his directorial debut; one year later he began working for Essanay studios, but soon moved on to various other studios. Because he was efficient and dependable, he was in high demand, especially in the 1920s when he reached the pinnacle of his career by being allowed to direct major feature films such as Main Street (1923) and John Barrymore's Beau Brummel (1924). After directing a silent "musical," Our Dancing Daughters (1928), featuring Joan Crawford doing the Charleston, MGM assigned Beaumont to direct their very first sound musical, The Broadway Melody, in 1929. The show won an Academy Award as Best Picture that year. Although Beaumont continued directing for MGM until the late '40s, his sound films were never able to reach the level of popularity of his silent films.