SYNCOPATION was produced under the FBO banner (Joe Kennedy) but released as the first RKO film. It's typical of the early talkies in that the actors muff lines but keep right on going. The musical numbers are surprisingly good and fit in nicely with the backstage theme.
The stars are a little awkward here. Bobby Watson plays Benny to Barbara Bennett's Flo. They are a dance team trying to hit the big time. After getting good reviews for a show that closes right away, they get an offer to appear at a swank nightclub run by Ian Hunter. Of course he steals Flo away, changes to name to Fleurette and opens a new club named for her and with a new leading man. The opening night is a disaster and the story resolves itself from there.
Watson (who played the diction coach in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN while Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor sing "Moses Supposes"), is only OK as the leading man here. Bennett (sister of the more famous and glamorous Constance and Joan) isn't bad at all but she sure seems nervous. Hunter is solid as the cad.
Co-stars include the perky Dorothy Lee, the ear-piercing Morton Downey, Osgood Perkins, Verree Teasdale, and Fred Waring and his band. Waring does a good novelty number called "Tin Pan Parade" and Downey and Lee had a nice number in "Do Do Something."
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