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The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938)

Passed  -  Animation | Comedy | Musical  -  11 February 1938 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 608 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 10 critic

The Bellows family causes comic confusion on an ocean liner, with time out for radio-style musical acts.

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(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938)

The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
T. Frothingill Bellows / S.B. Bellows
Martha Raye ...
Martha Bellows
...
Dorothy Wyndham
Shirley Ross ...
Cleo Fielding
Lynne Overman ...
Scoop McPhail
...
Buzz Fielding
Ben Blue ...
Mike
...
Bob Hayes (as Leif Erikson)
Patricia Wilder ...
Honey Chile
Grace Bradley ...
Grace Fielding
Rufe Davis ...
Turnkey
Lionel Pape ...
Lord Droopy
Virginia Vale ...
Joan Fielding (as Dorothy Howe)
Russell Hicks ...
Captain Stafford
Kirsten Flagstad ...
Specialty: of the Metropolitan Opera Company
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Storyline

New ocean liner S.S. Gigantic is about to race its rival, the Colossal. Gigantic owner T.F. Bellows sends his brother S.B. on the Colossal, hoping he will cause trouble; delayed by a golf game, S.B. lands on Gigantic instead, and so does his unlucky daughter Martha. Meanwhile, radio emcee Buzz Fielding announces a series of musical acts and tries to juggle fiancée Dorothy and three ex-wives who've come for the ride. Can the Gigantic win against all handicaps? Will true love triumph? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The finest array of entertainment ever offered !


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desafio no Mar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Lord Droopy: Aren't you awake yet?
S.B. Bellows: Ohhhhh! I don't know. I haven't looked yet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Puttin on the Act (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

DON'T TELL A SECRET TO A ROSE
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics Leo Robin
Sung by Tito Guízar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 (Mitchell Leisen, 1938) **1/2
28 February 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was the fourth and last in a series of "Big Broadcast" movies made by Paramount over a period of seven years; they were essentially the studio's reply to MGM's run of "Broadway Melody" releases. I've watched two among the latter franchise (see below and the 1940 entry) but this is my first brush with the "Big Broadcast" series; comparing the two, it seems the MGM films had much more plot than Paramount's – but the latter, to their ultimate advantage, incorporated much more comedy. In this particular case, we get two(!) W.C. Fields and, in his screen debut, Bob Hope; the former is his typical larger-than-life and iconoclastic self (traveling on a motorbike that can spread its wings and fly!) – who manages to revive two of his favorite game routines i.e. golf and billiards – while the latter is already the wisecracking heel (who has four wives to his name and another in the offing!) emceeing the entertainment aboard one of two cruise-liners engaged in a race. The show involves several long-forgotten (and now highly-resistible) attractions – ranging from a Mexican heart-throb to a female soprano – and even a bland bit of animation (courtesy of Leon Schlesinger from Warners' "Looney Tunes" stable). Needless to say, there is the obligatory romance as well – between Hope's proposed No. 5 wife Dorothy Lamour and inventor Leif Erickson, Hope's own re-affirmed affection for ex-spouse Shirley Ross (while singing his signature tune, the Oscar-winning "Thanks For The Memory") and between Fields' even wackier daughter Martha Raye and her companion Lynne Overman. All the various stars (including a redundant third comic in Ben Blue) get to do their thing, but the laughter element is clearly the most effective – with Fields' surreal antics (the best of which, perhaps, is when he unwittingly blows up a gas station) and Hope's quips mixing quite well (though the two barely ever meet throughout!). Most of the music, then, is pretty dire (as already intimated), while the choreography includes an energetic number highlighting Raye and the expected splashy finale. At least, director Leisen (who had also helmed the previous entry from 1937) lends the film his customary surface style.


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