A cream-of-the-crop gathering of 1930's radio stars, who lend themselves to a storyline about a failing radio station which needs to put on a huge ratings winner to have any chance of ... See full summary »
Stage-producer J.J. Horbart, is going to put on a new show, but he doesn't know that his two partners lost the money at the stock market. Insurance salesman Rosmer Peck falls in love with ... See full summary »
Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lilian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a paper man, gets ... See full summary »
Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at ... See full summary »
Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »
Dick is watching the fleet come in when he sees June. Dick has no intention of joining the Navy, which is a family tradition, and June, having lost her father and brother in the Navy, does ... See full summary »
Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The ... See full summary »
Jack Benny is preparing his New Year's Eve radio broadcast but takes time out to take his valet Rochester to meet his girlfriend Josephine arriving on a steamer. Fred Allen and his sister ... See full summary »
Buck Boswell and his all-girl troupe are stranded in Paris, but Buck manages to con the manager of the 'Hotel de Navarre' in furnishing accommodations for his group, but the proprietor's ... See full summary »
A cream-of-the-crop gathering of 1930's radio stars, who lend themselves to a storyline about a failing radio station which needs to put on a huge ratings winner to have any chance of continued operation. An interesting mixture of the stars whose fame continued to grow, those who became bit players in show business history, and those who have been forgotten entirely, except at the Internet Movie Database of course! Written by
Shortly after arriving in the US from Germany, Oskar Fischinger was contracted by Paramount Pictures to create an animated sequence (in Technicolor or Gasparcolor; sources differ) for this movie. The movie was scored to a jazz piece, "Radio Dynamics", by studio musician Ralph Rainger. Unfortunately, Paramount switched the production to black-and-white, and Fischinger's animation became a sequence within the film, showing consumer products emanating from a radio broadcasting tower, rather than pure abstract imagery. Fischinger later released his color version as Allegretto (1936). See more »
THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1937 (Paramount, 1936), directed by Mitchell Leisen, is the third installment of the "Big Broadcast" musicals, and possibly the best and funniest of the series. Sad to say, of the four movies bearing the "Big Broadcast" name, this is the least known and revived in spite of its great popularity at the time.
Jack Benny stars as Jack Carson, the radio director of the National Network Radio Company, with Martha Raye as Patsy, his clumsy secretary who makes her entrance falling down the stairs. The comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen return to the series for the third and final time, playing George and Gracie Platt, new sponsors for the radio station who add to the confusion. The comedy begins from the start when Carson and his radio actors perform a skit, with the sound effects not matching to what is supposed to be played, and actors who are supposed to be from Maine talking like Southerners, etc. It is explained that they are from the Southern part of New England. But the main attraction to the story is Shirley Ross (in her Paramount lead debut) as Gwen Holmes, a lady radio announcer from a small town who gives to twitting one of the network's leading tenors, Frank Rossman (Frank Forrest) in her nightly broadcast. The tenor insists that she be stopped. The sponsors lure her to New York with a promise of a job, but to keep her away from the microphone. She later meets and falls in love with Bob Miller (Ray Milland), the program agent who, according to Mr. Carson, "will not only fix your program but will help get your program in a fix." Bob Burns is also featured as Bob Miller, a country hick, who prows the studio door to door with his philosophies, some that get broadcast over the air. The movie includes guest appearances by Benny Fields (The Minstrel Man), Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra, Benny Goodman and his Swing Band, among others.
On the musical program, songs include: "Heigh Ho, the Radio," "La Bomba" (sung by Frank Forrest); "You Came to My Rescue" (sung by Forrest and Shirley Ross); "Your Minstrel Man" (sung by chorus); "Here's Love in Your Eye" (wonderfully sung by Benny Fields); "I'm Talking Through My Heart" (sung by Ross, the film's best song); Johann Sebastian Bach's "Fugue in 'G' Minor, conducted by Stokowski; "Vote for Mr. Rhythm" (sung by Martha Raye); and "Here Comes the Bride" (sung by Raye during the wedding ceremony). While the song, "Night in Manhattan" is credited as one of the songs in the film, it's only heard instrumentally during the opening credits and not vocally. The song did get its plug production wise and by a vocalist in a Paramount musical short, NIGHT IN MANHATTAN (1937) with a very young Glenn Ford hosting as master of ceremonies.
THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1937 is both amusing and entertaining, and at times silly, but what movie with Burns and Allen isn't? It's worthy of rediscovery again, and considering it being out of circulation since the 1980s when public broadcasting station WNJM, Channel 50, New Jersey, used to show it once in a while during that time, it took a cable channel as Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: June 28, 2014) to resurrect this rarely seen third edition to the "Big Broadcast" series. (****)
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