A kind-hearted young man is thrown out of his corrupt home town of West Rome, Oklahoma. He falls asleep and dreams that he is back in the days of olden Rome, where he gets mixed up with court intrigue and a murder plot against the Emperor.
The Goldwyn Girls,
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Musical comedy antics in an art deco bakery (motto: "Glorifying the American Doughnut") with Eddie Cantor as an assistant to a phoney psychic, who is mistaken for an efficiency expert and placed in charge. Complications ensue when the psychic and his gang attempt to rub the payroll. Written by
Palmy Days was Eddie Cantor's first original feature film, the previous two Kid Boots and Whoopee were film adaptions of Cantor's previous Broadway successes that presumably carried built in audiences. Palmy Days could be said to be Cantor's first personal film success. It sure came at a time he needed it because being wiped out in the stock market crash Cantor was working real hard to rebuild his nest egg and support his wife and five daughters.
His innocent schnook character who turns the tables often on bigger and cleverer foes was finding real appeal with the movie going public. Cantor works for phony psychic Charles Middleton working all the special effects to convince Middleton's marks during séances that their dearly departed are actually communicating with them. One of Middleton's bigger suckers is bakery owner Spencer Charters who employs a flock of beautiful Goldwyn Girls as his bakers. Cantor who's been abused by Middleton decides to trip up one of his cons by getting a job at Charters's bakery, but Charters mistakes him for someone else and hires him as an efficiency expert. You have to love some of Cantor's brilliant ideas like sawing the corners of Charters's desk so that folks would not be tempted to linger awhile sitting on said corners and taking up his time.
Eddie also hooks up with Amazonian physical culturist Charlotte Greenwood who is always a delight. The two worked well together, they should have done more joint films. Charlotte also has the first musical number in the film Bend Down Sister or exercising with the Goldwyn Girls. Busby Berkeley did the choreography and while he hadn't really reached the creative heights as he did with Warner Brothers his style is unmistakable.
Cantor gets two numbers My Baby Said Yes Yes and There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby. Both are delivered in his quick tempo style, Michael Jackson had nothing on Eddie Cantor when it came to moving about on stage.
Of course Middleton is down, but not out. Cantor and Greenwood have a hilarious climax with Middleton and his two torpedoes Harry Woods and George Raft in the bakery. This was one of Raft's earliest films and he barely gets any dialog, but casting him as a gangster was definitely something he could always handle.
Palmy Days holds up well after more than 80 years, it's classic comedy is timeless and the film is great introduction to one of the funniest men of the last century Eddie Cantor.
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