A timid man (Ed Wynn) is thrust into the spotlight when his father is honored as a hero. He blunders into a series of adventures because of a woman (Dorothy Mackaill) and becomes a hero ... See full summary »
A timid man (Ed Wynn) is thrust into the spotlight when his father is honored as a hero. He blunders into a series of adventures because of a woman (Dorothy Mackaill) and becomes a hero himself. Although two political parties try to use him for their benefit, he unwittingly foils all their plans. This is based on Wynn's famous radio character, and the film ends with Wynn on his own radio show. Written by
Ed Wynn basically recreated his popular radio character "The Fire Chief" in this movie. The original opening of the movie had Wynn describing a three-act opera on his radio show, but that sequence was cut from the final release print. But the ending, in which he describes on his radio show the fate of the characters in the opera, is in the movie. See more »
Ed Wynn is listed in the cast as Ed Wynn "The Perfect Fool" and that's because he first gained fame on stage from a show with that title. In 1932 he became an overnight sensation with his radio show 'The Fire Chief' and this film is an attempt by MGM to make some money off Wynn's success. But taking his show to film was not a success, either at the box office or as a movie. It's all wheezy stuff now. Wynn does his dithery, silly shtick as the turn-of-the-century doofus "hero" of a local fire department who is co-opted by political wheeler dealers trying to make him an alderman. Oddly, the film ends with Wynn dropping any pretense of playing his character and instead doing his radio show: explaining into a microphone what happens with the remainder of the story and characters. The film has shades of a Harold Lloyd feature, but without the laughs. And Wynn is an acquired taste, seeing as he's both physically repulsive and cartoonish in voice and manner. But fans of Wynn and/or Golden Age of Radio buffs may find it of interest.
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