A movie musical centered on merrily befogged Merriweather's attempt to restore his career - all while reuniting with his three children (from his three alimony-seeking ex-wives!).

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Director: S. Sylvan Simon
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frankie Merriweather
...
Laura Merriweather
...
Bob Strong (as Dan Dailey Jr.)
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Penny Merriweather
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Lulu Perkins
Ann Morriss ...
Wilma Norton
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Mr. Clyde Perkins
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'Buzz' Foster
Charles Holland ...
Singing Bellhop
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Judy Merriweather
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Virginia Ferris
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Armand Francois
Sara Haden ...
'Sue' Merriweather
Larry Nunn ...
'Terry' Merriweather
Barnett Parker ...
Samuel Stephens
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Storyline

A movie musical centered on merrily befogged Merriweather's attempt to restore his career - all while reuniting with his three children (from his three alimony-seeking ex-wives!).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago del aire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The radio broadcast of "The Battle of the Planets" which caused such a panic in this movie was clearly based on Orson Welles' broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" on 30 October 1938, which did cause a national panic. See more »

Quotes

Frankie' Merriweather: Would you believe it... I once had to play both ends of a horse!
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Connections

References Boom Town (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played at the skee golf game when the big prize is won
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User Reviews

 
A real mixed bag
3 June 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This movie is a real mixed bag. While it is moderately entertaining, the story is also pretty ridiculous and formulaic--plus there are a bits and pieces that were just plain bad.

The story is about a lovable conniver played by Frank Morgan--and this is pretty much the role he played in almost every movie he made. However, it's a little bit different this time in that he's a performer on radio and not a typical con man. But, he lies constantly and has a string of ex-wives chasing him--once again, typical Morgan story elements. And, as usual, despite his being disreputable and a horrible father, his kids rally inexplicably to his defense. All this is so formulaic and a retread of so many Morgan movies that I found myself getting bored with the plot.

To make it worse, since this was about producing a radio show, several god-awful acts were included in the movie--as well as one excellent one. The old racist song "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (singing about the "good old days" of slavery) was performed twice when the film began--once masterfully by a Black bellhop and once horribly by a zombie-like woman who was awfully scary to behold as she sang! Later, it turned out that one of Morgan's daughters could apparently sing, and she sang a couple numbers in the highest pitch operatic style. Technically, I guess it was pretty good, but I hated it and it hurt my ears. I could almost swear I could hear the neighbor's dogs barking as she sang! Now as for Morgan's radio show goes, the initial gimmick was pretty funny, though as it was repeated throughout the movie it just seemed awfully silly. Apparently Morgan's character had a genius for mimicry, as he could perform ALL the voices in a radio drama alone--men, women and children. To do this, the film makers actually dubbed these voices as Morgan's lips moved. Later, it turned out he could reproduce ANY Hollywood star's voice, and he pretended to be Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, Mickey Rooney and Wallace Beery. So all these actors get to make a cameo in the film--or at least their voices did.

So overall, the movie was very predictable, formulaic, silly but still somehow watchable. This is NOT a film I'd recommend you rush to see, but there are certainly worse films out there.

Oh, and by the way, there is a strange mistake in the film due to poor editing. At one point late in the film, Billie Burke says to Morgan "you're a vulture" and then Morgan responds. Then, one of Morgan's other ex-wives begins talking and yet no words come out of her mouth due to an editing mistake. I am really surprised no one caught this, as it was strange to see a woman speak an entire line and yet you can't hear a thing!


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