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The Great American Broadcast (1941)

 -  Comedy | Musical | Romance  -  9 May 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 152 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 3 critic

After WWI two men go into radio. Failure leads the wife of one to borrow money from another; she goes on, after separation, to stardom. A coast-to-coast radio program is set up to bring ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Great American Broadcast (1941)

The Great American Broadcast (1941) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vicki Adams
Jack Oakie ...
Chuck Hadley
Rix Martin
Bruce Chadwick
James Newill ...
Charles Fuqua ...
Song Specialty
The Ink Spots ...
The Four Ink Spots (as The Four Ink Spots)
Hoppy Jones ...
Song Specialty
Bill Kenny ...
Ink Spots Member
Deek Watson ...
Song Specialty
The Nicholas Brothers ...
Dancers (as Nicholas Brothers)
Fayard Nicholas ...
Railroad Station Dance Specialty (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Harold Nicholas ...
Railroad Station Dance Specialty (as The Nicholas Brothers)
The Wiere Brothers ...
Dancers (as Wiere Brothers)
Mary Beth Hughes ...


After WWI two men go into radio. Failure leads the wife of one to borrow money from another; she goes on, after separation, to stardom. A coast-to-coast radio program is set up to bring everyone back together. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GREAT STARS! GRAND STORY! (original poster-all caps) See more »


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Release Date:

9 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great American Broadcast  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Run Little Raindrop Run" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon) had been intended for this movie. Rather, in Springtime in the Rockies (1942), Betty Grable, John Payne and a chorus would sing the song. Later, Miss Grable and Cesar Romero would dance to the melody, played by Harry James and His Music Makers. See more »


Although the story takes place in 1919, and the years immediately following, all of Alice Faye's clothes and hairstyles are strictly in the 1941 mode, as are also those of Mary Beth Hughes and the other female members of the cast; the musical arrangements of Faye's featured songs are also in the contemporary 1941 style. See more »


Featured in Take It or Leave It (1944) See more »


Chi Mi frena in tal momento?
aka "Sextet"
From "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Lyrics by Salvatore Cammarano
Performed by Eula Morgan, Jack Oakie, and Madame Rinaldi's opera company
See more »

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User Reviews

In some ways, rather insane!
1 October 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

many of the acts on the radio were VISUAL acts--the Ink Spots dancing, the violinists' antics, etc.

The film begins with John Payne punching people and being rather nasty--and he continues like that throughout the film. It turns out he's a man of vision--but one who is perennially angry. He hits upon yet another scheme to make a fortune when he meets Jack Oakie--a guy who LOVES early radio. Payne gets the great idea of creating a radio station--one that is paid for by sponsors. It's rocky going at first but soon he's created a network of stations--and he ends up taking Oakie's girl (Alice Faye). However, the marriage is a mess--as Payne is, in many ways, a pain--and Faye has had enough. Can their love somehow prevail? Can they manage to survive despite a meanie's (Cesar Romero) desire to crush them? The bottom line is that this is yet another clichéd film involving a long-suffering woman in a troubled relationship with a butt-head. And you know that even when Faye is talking about divorce, they STILL will be together when the film ends. But, frankly, I saw no reason for her to stand by her man--he was annoying from start to finish.

Now in addition to my talking about the plot, I must mention a HUGE problem with this film. While it is supposed to be a pseudo-history of the radio industry, the acts they have in the film often make no sense at all. In one case, a singing group then starts dancing (the Nicholas Brothers). It's impressive dancing, but how can the audience at home SEE this when they are listening to them on the radio?! In another, there are LOTS of comic antics by three violinists. BUT, their humor is all physical--so how can the audience at home possibly know what's happening?!? This sort of insanity occurs throughout the film. And, while these routines are very good, they just make no sense in a history of radio! It's sloppy and silly at the same time. Overall, while the song and dance numbers are nice, the plot and radio idea are poor and make for a weak film--one of the weaker ones in Faye's career.

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