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 »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
Interesting Pseudo History with a Too Familiar Dumb Plot
Few middle-aged people now even remember the waning days of big time network radio, much less its prime time from the late 1920s to the mid 50s. When I first became aware of radio, about 1930, the networks had been operating for some time. Nothing in this movie would tell me how long. The signals were, indeed, carried over telephone lines. In fact, by the late 30s, at least, telephone cables consisting of thousands of wires in a lead sheath carried larger gauge wires in the center to provide a cleaner signal for radio transmission. Broadcasts originated mostly in New York, with quite a few from California, some from Chicago, and a few from other places around the country -- like Nashville. If it was necessary to switch the feed from, say, New York to Hollywood for a special interview, it took about 5 seconds for the phone lines to be reconnected in the opposite direction. It was a fun time, that this movie pretends to have invented. When it originated, the people -- broadcasters and listeners -- must have been fully as excited about it as the movie depicts.
The plot of the story is one we've seen in at least a dozen films: boy steals friend's girl; friend and girl succeed big in some enterprise, boy, left out, becomes jealous and disappears; boy turns up just in time to observe girl's ultimate triumph. The enterprise may be a business, a farm, or a mine, but more commonly it's an act or dramatic career. The story is always stupid, and this film is no exception.
Still, the music featuring Alice Faye, a couple of numbers by the Ink Spots, the hilarious Wiere Brothers, and the incomparable Nicholas Brothers, and even John Payne in one of his early singing roles, makes for eminently watchable entertainment, with the bit of questionable broadcast history thrown in for good measure. Despite the too familiar plot, it's far better than the average musical of the 30s through 50s. I loved it enough to save the recording I made off the cable 15 years ago, and liked it just as much when I dug up the tape this week.
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