A lively early musical with some fascinating performances from Penny Singleton and Gus Shy.
Watching Penny Singleton in this movie was a revelation, and for those who think of her only as the staid title character of the "Blondie" series should catch this movie if only to see her. She's billed 11th (as Dorothy McNulty) but is the centerpiece of two of the big production numbers involving singing and dancing: "The Varsity Drag" and the title song "Good News." Her immense talent is evident as she does her high kicks, somersaults, cartwheels and splits and delivers the rapid-fire lyrics with uninhibited abandon. She was an absolute joy to behold! In addition, Gus Shy, the Danny Thomas look- talk- and act-alike, provides some good comedy that is complemented by that of Bessie Love and Cliff Edwards, while Lola Lane, Mary Lawlor and Stanley Smith provide the love interest. With 11 or so songs, including the ever-popular "The Best Things in Life Are Free," this movie is definitely worth seeing and compares favorably with the 1947 remake. My one complaint was the lack of closeups, although there was a good full-head closeup of Singleton singing "The Varsity Drag." It was very effective.
Before the movie was shown on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel, some titles informed us that the last half of the final reel was filmed in an experimental color process and is now lost. But the ever-resourceful station put together some stills at the end with subtitles to describe the outcome. The movie ran 84 minutes instead of the original 90 minutes.
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