Bandleader B. A. Rolfe is saluted with a party on his 40th anniversary in show business.

Director:

Writers:

(continuity), (continuity)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Thunderbolt (1929)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Fay Wray, Richard Arlen
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Middle-aged dentist Biff Grimes reminisces about his unrequited love for beautiful Virginia Brush and her husband Hugo, his ex-friend, who betrayed him.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: Gary Cooper, Fay Wray, Frances Fuller
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Blondell and O'Brien star as newspaper reporters who inadvertently send Jordan to reform school after they write an expose of the illegal slot-machine racket the boy was a spotter for. ... See full summary »

Director: James Flood
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Joan Blondell, Bobby Jordan
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A middle-aged woman with friends and a sleeping mother upstairs uses her head to protect everyone when she finds out that there is a burglar in her house.

Director: Joseph Henabery
Stars: Floyd Gibbons, Helen Carew, Edith Ketchum
Below the Sea (1933)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A wealthy woman funds an underwater expedition to explore for marine life, but what she doesn't know is that her "colleagues" have other intentions.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Ralph Bellamy, Fay Wray, Frederick Vogeding
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.

Director: Charles Brabin
Stars: Walter Huston, Jean Harlow, Wallace Ford
The Red House (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jean Harlow, Robert Taylor, Reginald Owen
Certificate: GP Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, Donald O'Connor
Sea Spiders (1932)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A look at the everyay life of Tahitian natives.

Stars: Gayne Whitman
Water Wisdom (1943)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This Pete Smith Specialty shows water-safety and life-saving techniques taught by the American Red Cross to advanced swimmers.

Stars: Pete Smith
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
B.A. Rolfe ...
Himself
The Music Hall Boys ...
Themselves
The Sinclair Twins ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

It's a party to celebrate band leader B.A. Rolfe's 40 years in show business. The Music Hall Boys are on hand to play. A photographer's flash sends Rolfe into a swoon. He imagines he's climbing a ladder to Heaven, where St. Peter wants to examine his record. Rolfe produces his latest recording: St. Peter listens then explains he means Rolfe's moral record, and he asks about that girl Sally back in the 1890s. We see a dance hall where Rolfe enjoys two women doing a can-can; one sits on Rolfe's lap while a trio harmonizes. St. Peter asks what happened to Sally. A celestial photo sends Rolfe back to the celebration. And Sally? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1890s | dance | trio | flash | photographer | See All (28) »

Genres:

Short | Music

Certificate:

Unrated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melody Masters (1935-1936 season) #6: Off the Record  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reel #1907. See more »

Soundtracks

In The Sweet By-And-By
(uncredited)
Music by J.P. Webster
Played during the scenes with St. Peter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ladies & gentlemen, the one and only B. A. Rolfe! (Who?)
9 February 2009 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

The star of this wacky Vitaphone short is possibly the unlikeliest movie star this side of Marie Dressler. Off the Record features a short, bald, portly gent in his mid-50s named B. A. Rolfe. This genial-looking fellow was involved in show business as early as the 1880s, touring Europe as a 10 year-old cornet soloist. He later conducted his own orchestra, but eventually moved behind the scenes as a producer of vaudeville shows and early silent films. In the 1920s Rolfe left the movie business and returned to music as leader of a dance band, one that recorded many songs and became popular on radio.

Off the Record was made as a salute to Rolfe on his 50th anniversary in show business. It would have been easy enough for the folks at the Vitaphone studio to produce a typical orchestra short consisting of a few pleasant musical numbers, but instead they decided to go the extra mile and do something imaginative. Did I say "imaginative"? It's positively off the wall! The film opens at a celebratory banquet, as Rolfe and his orchestra conclude a swinging rendition of "Happy Days Are Here Again." A toast is proposed to the guest of honor, and then, despite his protests, a photographer shows up to take his picture. Unfortunately, the popping flashbulb sends the poor man reeling into unconsciousness. Worse still, it seems to actually kill him! The music turns chaotic, stars and planets whirl crazily across the screen, and the next thing you know, Rolfe is standing before St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven. Peter says he'll need to examine Rolfe's record, so Rolfe obligingly produces it, i.e. his latest recording. St. Peter's angelic secretary pops the disc onto a heavenly turntable, and Rolfe's band appears (in miniature) to play for the assembled host.

St. Peter, apparently a jazz fan, is in favor of allowing Rolfe into Paradise, but first needs to question him about a romantic indiscretion committed in his youth. Flashback to a saloon in the 1890s, where most of the rest of the short takes place. (Rolfe looks just the same young as he looks middle-aged, only with the addition of a highly unconvincing toupee.) The Gay '90s setting is a good enough excuse for various dancers and singers to perform period tunes in a deliberately hokey fashion. The film wraps up with a couple of casual, what-the- heck gags and a reprise of the opening number.

Based on the evidence presented here I do hope St. Peter eventually allowed B. A. Rolfe past the Pearly Gates. On the strength of this entertaining little short alone, I'd say the guy earned his passage.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Off the Record (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page