A kind of filmed vaudeville show, using old material from RKO films and some new.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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(archive footage)
Gil Lamb ...
Master of Ceremonies
Freddie Fisher ...
Band Leader
Frankie Carle ...
Leader of the Frankie Carle Orchestra
Melissa Mason ...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
...
(archive footage)
Buster West ...
(archive footage)
Robert Lamouret ...
Ventriloquist Specialty Act
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Storyline

A kind of filmed vaudeville show, using old material from RKO films and some new.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vaudeville | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Details

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Release Date:

3 August 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una risata, per favore!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After problems with the copyright of some of the material used in the movie, RKO removed the movie from General release and shelved it. See more »

Connections

Features Music in Manhattan (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonlight over the Islands
(uncredited)
from The Bamboo Blonde (1946)
Written by Mort Greene and Lew Pollack
Sung by Frances Langford with chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mostly crap, but some very good bits
13 April 2006 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is essentially a filmed vaudeville performance - what might today be called a variety show - at a time when vaudeville was dying. It basically consists of a presenter who introduces stage performances by various artists, and includes comedy sketches, short drama pieces, singing, dancing, ventriloquism, animal acts, etc. Indeed one of the themes of the introductory patter was "Who killed vaudeville?", and this movie suggests an answer: "The performances".

Most of the acts were pretty corny by today's standards. It wasn't purely stage-based, though. There were some concessions made to the cinematic medium, viz the presenter pretending to read the credits as they rolled down the screen alongside him, and some archive film footage. Indeed it was the copyright violations caused by the archival material that prevented this film's release by the studio and resulting in this film's shelving after it was made.

However there were a couple of pieces which were very entertaining. Primary among these were Manual & Marita Viera's Society Orchestra, a trained monkey act. The two monkeys, dressed in suits, are playing bongos and piano when the curtain comes up. The monkeys are subsequently seen doing hammily dramatic facial expressions, doing a headstand, tunelessly playing a ukelele & piano, rapidly changing hats, playing a real tune on a touch activated electronic musical intrument, smiling, and finally engaging in a banana-eating contest where their cheeks puff out dramatically on being stuffed with bananas. It's not classy or sophisticated entertainment, and I'm embarrassed that I enjoyed it, but it's very funny even today.

The other highlight, years ahead of its time, was an MST3K style redubbing/renarration of an old silent film, in which an inept but enthusiastic violinist tortures everyone he meets with his awful playing, musically romances a girl, but eventually kills her with his dreadful musicianship.

In short, it's worth checking out this film for its good bits. The rest is largely of historical interest only, although Frances Langford looked great in the archive footage.


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