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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 604 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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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:

Folia a Bordo  »

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

In the animated "Rippling Rhythm" sequence, a cartoon drop of water refuses to go back into the ocean. Instead, it breaks free and dances around the band members of Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra- and to the orchestra's music. See more »

Quotes

First reporter: Say, do you know anything about electricity?
S.B. Bellows: My father occupied the chair of applied electricity at State Prison.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.3 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

BRUNNHILDE'S BATTLE CRY
(1870) (uncredited)
From Die Walküre, act 2 scene 1
Written by Richard Wagner
Sung by Kirsten Flagstad
Conducted by Wilfrid Pelletier
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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