President Franklin Roosevelt appoints a theatrical producer as the new Secretary of Amusement in order to cheer up an American public still suffering through the Depression. The new ... See full summary »
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Jack La Rue
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President Franklin Roosevelt appoints a theatrical producer as the new Secretary of Amusement in order to cheer up an American public still suffering through the Depression. The new secretary soon runs afoul of political lobbyists out to destroy his department. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tess Gardella who appears in a "specialty number" in the film, and Sammy Lee, who choreographed it, previously worked together in both the 1927 original Broadway version of "Show Boat" and the 1932 revival. Tess Gardella, in blackface, played the African-American cook Queenie in both productions, which Lee choreographed. See more »
You might want to watch Shirley's number and then turn off the film.
To say that this is a bad film is like saying the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century was a minor inconvenience! Aside from some adorable acting by a very young Shirley Temple, there really isn't much to like about this film. They even manage to make good actors like Warner Baxter look pretty bad since the film is terribly written and the variety acts are a bunch of no talents.
The film begins on am embarrassing note. Warner Baxter's character is supposed made 'Secretary of Entertainment' by the President. The problem is that the guy sounded nothing like FDR--nothing! And the idea of a Secretary of Education!! Uggh! This is just a thinly disguised plot in order to fill the movie with one god-awful variety act after another. Among the terrible acts is a 'Hillbilly music' number, John Boles singing a terrible love song that could only have helped to INCREASE the divorce rate and an embarrassingly bad number where they imitate Jimmy Durante (you gotta see this--its awfulness is impossible to adequately describe). There also are some extremely racist numbers with 'Aunt Jemima' (actually Tess Gardella in black-face) and Stepin Fetchit behaving like a sub-human--just to guarantee that any black person watching the film would become disgusted and angry.
This film was ostensibly designed to lift folks spirits during the Depression. Is it any surprise then that the Depression would continue for another eight years!!! I think it's no coincidence!! Overall, a godawful mess of a film only of interest to Shirley Temple-philes. Otherwise avoid like the plague! Don't say I didn't tell you!! "Stand Up and Cheer" only manages to earn a 2 because of Temple's charm and talent. But, considering she's barely in the film, there just isn't ANYTHING else to recommend this turkey.
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