A none-too-popular (nor good) radio singer, Rita Wilson is murdered while singing on the air in a radio studio. Radio page boy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solve the mystery ... See full summary »
A none-too-popular (nor good) radio singer, Rita Wilson is murdered while singing on the air in a radio studio. Radio page boy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solve the mystery for the none-too-sharp police. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The morning after watching this, my wife and I sat at the kitchen table discussing it, and found we had nothing to talk about but Mantan Moreland. The plot is pretty much a series of contrivances to hang situations on, and the inevitable solution of the "who killed..." mystery doesn't seem to be the driving force. It's all about Mantan. I have seen him as comedy relief in a dozen movies, and he always steals every scene he is in, but I have never seen him dominate like this. He makes everyone else into his straight man, and constantly subverts and deflates authority figures. Every time someone says "I've got an idea," or "I've been thinking," he's on the spot with his "UH-OH!" There is nothing cowardly (as it often appears in his Charlie Chan roles) about his fierce common- sense determination to move away from trouble, not toward it. He sometimes seems like the only one who is not dangerously foolish. Mantan and Frankie Darro work together really well here and, though modern sensibilities may be jarred by Darro donning blackface to try to get them a radio job as a comedy duo, they come across as peers and friends, not boss and lackey as so often occurs in films of this era. The highest point is Mantan's dance scene - inserted into the story for no reason but its sheer entertainment value - in which he is so suave, smooth, cool, cute, and downright huggable it's difficult not to exclaim in delight. The movie plugs along gamely in the moments when Mantan is not on screen, and provides some pretty fair musical numbers, but he is the real shining light in this production.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?