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Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
Jack Benny is preparing his New Year's Eve radio broadcast but takes time out to take his valet Rochester to meet his girlfriend Josephine arriving on a steamer. Fred Allen and his sister Barbara are also en route to the dock to meet Barbara's daughter Mary, returning from a personal appearance tour in South America. Josephine is her maid. Their cars get involved in an accident and, in a bumping contest, Fred reduces Jack's old Maxwell to junk, and is taken to jail. Mary loses her dress in an accident and Jack offers to get her another one, but winds up being arrested for stealing. Barbara tells Mary that Fred is a nervous wreck because of Jack's continual slander of him on Jack's radio program. Jack hires the Merry Macs away from Fred and Fred decides to go to Miami for a rest. Jack decides to open his radio program from Miami. They meet, have another brawl, and end up in jail again. The two are in a motorboat accident where both are knocked unconscious and Mary, in an effort to end ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This film was an extension of, and a way of milking, the mock feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen. Both were top radio stars with their own programs who were engaged in a "feud" in which each would make comments about the other, and included guest appearances on each other's show. See more »
Best if you know some of the background on the characters and old time radio...
This film is funny even if you don't know anything about the characters other than Jack Benny, perennially portrayed as a skinflint, and Rochester (Eddie Rochester Anderson), his long-suffering on-air butler. Benny and Fred Allen were radio personalities during the 20 years preceding television, and had a running faux feud with each putting the other down in their own trademark style. This film makes a feature length joke out of that long-running act.
Mary Martin plays Fred's niece, Mary, who attempts to patch up a feud between her uncle and Benny, ends up being confused with a dancer with a completely different name, and ultimately ends up romantically entangled with Jack, here portrayed as a bachelor. Benny was actually married to Mary Livingston from 1927 until his death in 1974.
The film is virtually without a plot, yet hilarious and punctuated by interesting if not tuneful musical numbers. Keep a lookout for Benny's chambermaid. She is played by Mary Kelley, and is always calling Jack "kid" in the film. Before Jack married Mary Livingston he almost married Mary Kelley, which he said would have been a huge mistake because they were always arguing. He said the almost marriage happened because when George Burns and Gracie Allen got married (both longtime friends) their love was so contagious that he caught it too! At any rate, years later, she wound up working for Jack at various times, and this was one of those times.
Highly recommended for fans of Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and old time radio.
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