Jeff Carter, a singer down on his luck, turns to radio acting as a means of supporting his young son Danny. With the support of his son and his press agent Charley Grady, Jeff ultimately ...
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Jeff Carter, a singer down on his luck, turns to radio acting as a means of supporting his young son Danny. With the support of his son and his press agent Charley Grady, Jeff ultimately finds radio the means of realizing his professional ambition. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Monday 24 April 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII televiewers got their first look at it in St. Louis Thursday 23 May 1948 on KSD (Channel 5), in Cincinnati Sunday 29 August 1948 on WLW (Channel 4), in New York City Thursday 27 January 1949 on WATV (Channel 13), and, on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, Sunday 3 April 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »
Be warned about the misinformation circulating about this film on the archive.org Web site (where the complete version linked to above is stored); archive.org dates it as 1934 (which perplexed me since John Boles looked visibly older than he did in his early-1930's credits the true date of 1942 is a lot more believable) and their print lasts only 74 minutes, omits Boles' performance of the song "America," and has some quite obvious splices where missing scenes would have occurred. Even in this less than ideal form, however, this is a very impressive movie, managing to make us care about the characters precisely by NOT milking the tear ducts. Boles is a bit old for his role (it would have suited him better in 1934) but he makes the character's paternal love and sometimes counter-productive pride believable. It helps that Billy Lee plays his son Danny in a fairly tough fashion rather than trying to be a male Shirley Temple, and Mona Barrie's performance as Danny's mom is chilling in its utter indifference to his welfare. (One of the most interesting parts of the Matt Taylor-Robert Hardy Andrews script is that Danny's stepfather, played by Selmer Jackson,clearly cares more about him emotionally than his mother does.) Scene after scene of this movie avoids the obvious clichés and instead is played for real sincerity and emotional power. The film is also noteworthy for a surprising degree of class consciousness for an American film, especially one made as late as 1942 (a decade past the depths of the Depression). Only towards the end, when they're obliged by movie convention to start making things break for Boles' character, does the movie turn flat and ordinary. Phil Rosen's direction is well above his norm and indicates that the two fine films he turned out in the early 1930's ("The Phantom Broadcast" for the first iteration of Monogram and "Dangerous Corner" for RKO) weren't flukes, and overall this film is a nice surprise that indicates the second iteration of Monogram (post-1937) wasn't all an artistic wasteland of lousy East Side Kids, Bela Lugosi and Charlie Chan movies.
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