one-reel musical comedy short with the young Ethel Merman, who is in great form!
This was not Ethel Merman's first short film--I see four others listed prior to this, and around this time she was also working in Betty Boop cartoons. Still, this 1932 short is the earliest Merman I've seen, and she is dynamite even then. A brash New Yorker (today's audiences would no doubt compare her persona on screen to Fran Drescher), Merman handles the dialogue well and could no doubt have made a successful career as a supporting actress in the Iris Adrian vein had her musical career not taken flight. As the short is only one reel (8-9 minutes), it seems to be over as soon as it begins (especially since Merman does a few songs during the 9 minutes), but Merman's trademark charm and authority was there even in 1932. Director Aubrey Scotto did a number of shorts in this period with Burns and Allen, and he also directed comedy or musical shorts with Rudy Vallee, Jack Benny, Louis Armstrong, and Lillian Roth.
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