(1941) Richard Arlen, Jean Parker, Roger Pryor, Don Castle. Arlen plays a tough test pilot in this solid B action film. He and his brother develop a new secret aircraft made out of plastic.... See full summary »
There is this old concertmaster of the Cosmopolitian Orchestra and he is about to realize his life-long ambition of appearing as a soloist with the orchestra, when an accident robs him of ... See full summary »
Hollywood musicals were usually the domain of studios like MGM and Twentieth-Century Fox, occasionally studios like RKO or Warner Brothers made one. However, the so-called 'Poverty Row Studios' rarely tried this genre--mostly because this was way outside their usual range of pictures. Usually these ultra-low budget studios specialized in B-movies--westerns, comedies, mysteries and adventure stories. However, this is an odd case where a Poverty Row movie studio (PRC) tried to make a musical--an idea that was doomed from the start not only because it was outside their scope but because PRC made many, many god-awful films! So, the fact this film stank came as no surprise to me! The film starts on a very false note. A famed celebrity talks about quitting the business and enlisting in the military now that the US was involved in WWII. In fact, this was VERY common among the Hollywood elite--tons of them joined at that time. So, when the guy talks about joining and one of those he tells openly derides this and calls him stupid for joining, you know this is ridiculous. Such anti-patriotic sentiments may have existed at the time, but frankly, saying them so loudly might have gotten your teeth kicked in at this those around you!! NO ONE would have said anything so overtly anti-war at that time...no way. This scene was obviously meant as propaganda and came off as fake...and stupid, as WWII was very popular at home. It simply was the thing to do...period and this guy's anti-American effort routine throughout the film was just dumb.
The rest of the film is a bit like "Buck Privates"--except with a lot more singing and no comedy. I think they DID intend for it to be a musical-comedy...but it wasn't funny. The closest to this was when one soldier said that the other looked like Maxie Rosenbloom--at which case the other got angry like it was an insult--insisted he didn't--yet this guy really was Maxie! Overall, the film featured adequate acting (and no better), a poor script and bad songs (though a couple of them COULD sing well). It's the sort of schmaltzy patriotic stuff that audiences ate up at the time but plays rather poorly today.
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