A fictional-story film in which many of the people seen in it are using their real name portraying the character who shows up in this fictional film in a completely fictional-and-staged ... See full summary »
A fictional-story film in which many of the people seen in it are using their real name portraying the character who shows up in this fictional film in a completely fictional-and-staged setting, which means their role name is their own name, and is not any combination of "Self": The fictional J. D. Forbes, head of the (fictional) Four Star Studios in Hollywood, informs his associate producers that business and attendance at Four Star Films has tanked, and changes must be made. J. D. has decided that the movie-going public has to be offered down-to-earth entertainment such as that offered by a band leader named Kay Kyser, who puts on a radio and-live theatre program called "The Kollege of Musical Knowledge," and Forbes dictates to his hirelings to "get me Kay Kyser." When Chuck Deems---a fictional character playing the manager of a 'real' band---gets the studio offer, he and band members Ginny Simms, Sully Mason, Ish Kabiddle, Harry Babbitt and the others are all fired up at the ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This movie provides a rare opportunity to see three of the most influential Hollywood columnists active at the time. Sheilah Graham, Hedda Hopper and Jimmy Starr all appear as themselves in the press conference / party scene at the house. See more »
"Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge" was an extremely popular weekly radio broadcast when RKO signed Kyser and his band to this, their first film. The studio's faith in the bespectacled band-leader paid off handsomely at the box office, this initial effort grossing more than a million dollars in domestic admissions alone. All told, the studio netted around $520,000 in U.S./Canadian rentals after paying all print, advertising and distribution expenses. On a negative cost of $300,000 this returned a tidy profit which was split three ways: RKO, Butler and Kyser himself.
As to whether the film is still entertaining today, that depends on whether you're a Kay Kyser fan and/or a Ginny Simms admirer. I put myself strictly in the latter class, though I must admit Kyser is quite tolerable here and even mildly diverting, aside from the climactically generous (but specially staged for the movie) excerpt from his weekly radio program which wears my patience a little thin. Fortunately, Miss Simms does receive a large amount of the camera's attention (beautifully costumed and photographed she is too) and sings most of the songs as well. On the other hand, I'm happy to report that my pet hate, Merwyn Bogue (Ish Kabibble to you) receives comparatively little footage. Adolphe Menjou, typecast once again as a harassed film producer, gives a somewhat mechanical performance, but does contribute some amusing moments, as do Horton and Cavanaugh as a couple of egotistical scriptwriters.
I'm always a pushover for movies with a Hollywood background. The satire here is rather mild, but still reasonably entertaining. Especially the gondola screen test in which Lucy Ball (who has otherwise very little to do in this picture) finally gets some comic moments.
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