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Merry-Go-Round of 1938 (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 14 November 1937 (USA)
Two screwy characters travel to Hollywood and cause mischief.



(story and screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bert Lahr
Jimmy Savo ...
Billy House ...
Aunt Hortense
Joy Hodges ...
Sally Brown
Mrs. Penelope Updike
Tony Townsend (as John King)
Barbara Read ...
Clarice Stockbridge
Dave Apollon ...
Dave Apollon - Orchestra Leader (as Dave Apollon and His Orchestra)
Richard Carle ...
Col. J. Addison Frooks
Howard Cantonwine ...
Charles Williams ...
Dave Clark
Joyce Kay ...
Fay Helm ...
Dainty Doris


Two screwy characters travel to Hollywood and cause mischief.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


* "50 grains of rice...that's the diet for swamis!" But Mischa likes his rice smothered in turkey sandwiches! (original poster) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 November 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fire tosser på tourné  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Universal Pictures production number 889. See more »


Six of One and a Half-Dozen of the Other
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Sung by Bert Lahr, Jimmy Savo, Billy House, Mischa Auer
See more »

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User Reviews

Great cast, so-so script, dreary female lead = 5
6 April 2005 | by (Boston, MA USA) – See all my reviews

The script is a hoary show biz tale: a mother dies and leaves her baby in the care of a quartet of fellow performers. Two of them are Jimmy Savo, who provides one of the two top turns in the film, his famous "River Stay 'Way from My Door" routine. Savo's eccentric dancing earlier in the film is reduced to a few seconds to make room for a lucklustre singer. The second highlight is "The Song of the Woodsman", one of Bert Lahr's best routines. The third great comedian in the film is Alice Brady, one of Broadway's and Hollywood's most underrated actors. She dithers like Billie Burke, but in a few other films is a straight actor of considerable power, Stanwyck or Davis. Mischa Auer and Billy House are both in fine form, and they, Savo and Lahr play the four stepfathers. Louise Fazenda, Hattie McDaniel and veteran Richard Carle are underused, but Dave Apollon does his thing for his fans. The director, Irving Cummings was a Grade C hack who rushed through 76 movies in 29 years years, screwing up films starring comedians Groucho Marx, the Wiere Brothers and in this, Lahr and Savo. Cummings even made Spencer Tracy look bad in two of Tracy's worst films. This could have been a '8' out of a '10' movie, but the script, the pacing and the look take it down a few stars to a '5'. It seems (I have a 16mm copy) as though Unversal only allowed the production two cameras and three lights. Yet this film is a must for comedy buffs and students who wish to see two of Broadways great and most unusual comedians, Savo and Lahr, do their specialties and try to be funny when there is little to make amusing. Joy Hodges, the grown-up orphaned baby, is an awkward and lifeless presence in the film. Every minute she is on stage the energy and believability level drops below zero.

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