Applause is a 1929 black-and-white backstage musical talkie, shot at Paramount's Astoria Studios in Astoria, New York, during the early years of sound films. The film is notable as one of the few films of its time to break free from the restrictions of bulky sound technology equipment in order to shoot on location around Manhattan.
Based on a novel by Beth Brown, the film was staged and directed by Rouben Mamoulian, and stars Helen Morgan, Joan Peers, Henry Wadsworth, and Fuller Mellish, Jr. Mae West was originally considered for the part of Kitty Darling, but Paramount decided West's glamorous stage presence would undercut the tackier aspects of the storyline.
The National Board of Review named Applause one of the 10 best films of 1929.
This was Morgan's first all-talking film. She had previously appeared in the sound prologue to the part-talkie version of Show Boat, released by Universal Studios. In the same year, Morgan appeared in Applause, and Glorifying the American Girl.
In 2006, Applause was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".