Jimmy Durante is jungle star Schnarzan the Conqueror, but the public is tiring of his fake lions. So when Baron Munchausen comes to town with real man-eating lions, Durante throws a big ...
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Jimmy Durante is jungle star Schnarzan the Conqueror, but the public is tiring of his fake lions. So when Baron Munchausen comes to town with real man-eating lions, Durante throws a big party with so that he might use the lions in his next movie. His film rival sneaks into the party to buy the lions before Durante. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Ah! How's business?
Swell, it's Garbo.
It'll be even better next week when you play my new Schnarzan picture. What a star, what a star!
[looks at watch]
Oh, has the trailer gone on yet?
You'll just about catch it.
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This film is excellent if you take it for what it is - a thin but pleasant comical storyline as an excuse for what turns out to be practically a revue of MGM's lesser stars of the day, plus two great stars - Laurel and Hardy - that didn't even work for the studio. However, Hal Roach did distribute his films through MGM, thus the boys do show up in a couple of MGM films of this era. Also, Disney's Mickey Mouse shows up for a comedic bit. I'd love to know how MGM ever worked that out with Walt.
The jist of the plot is that Schnarzan (Durante) is losing his audience for his jungle jaunt movies since the death of his original lion. People think that the subsequent lions he wrestles in his films are flimsy excuses for courageous carnivores and box office receipts are beginning to drop. His producer says that he can guarantee a hit if Durante can procure one or more of the lions of the famous Baron Munchausen who is a renowned hunter of wild beasts. Durante decides to wine and dine the baron at his mansion and give a big party in his honor.
There are a couple of very good precode musical numbers in this film including the title song featuring scantily clad chorus girls in various states of undressing/dressing and singing and dancing telephone operators dressed up in weird metallic outfits. At the party Lupe Valez spars with Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges put in an appearance back when they were still with Ted Healy, and there is an early musical cartoon number involving chocolate soldiers with music by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. Finally there are Charles Butterworth and Polly Moran as a wealthy oil magnate and his wife who have some hilarious moments.
If you don't know who any of the people I just mentioned are, you are probably not going to like this film. If you know who all or most of them are you are sure to enjoy it as one of the last pre code films made, released just one month before strict enforcement of the code began.
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