11 user 5 critic

The Big Broadcast (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 14 October 1932 (USA)
A radio-singer, Bing Hornsby, is none-too-concerned about his job, and an affair with Mona leads to his dismissal. When it appears Hornsby is getting and paying a lot of attention to his ... See full summary »


Frank Tuttle


William Ford Manley (play), George Marion Jr. (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Erwin ... Leslie McWhinney
Bing Crosby ... Bing Hornsby
Leila Hyams ... Anita Rogers
George Burns ... George (as Burns and Allen)
Gracie Allen ... Gracie (as Burns and Allen)
Kate Smith ... Kate Smith
The Mills Brothers ... The Mills Brothers
The Boswell Sisters ... Boswell Sisters
Arthur Tracy Arthur Tracy ... The Street Singer
Vincent Lopez Orchestra Vincent Lopez Orchestra ... Lopez Orchestra
Cab Calloway and His Band Cab Calloway and His Band ... Cab Calloway Band
Sharon Lynn ... Mona
George Barbier ... Clapsaddle
Ralph Robertson Ralph Robertson ... Announcer
Alex Melesh Alex Melesh ... Animal Man


A radio-singer, Bing Hornsby, is none-too-concerned about his job, and an affair with Mona leads to his dismissal. When it appears Hornsby is getting and paying a lot of attention to his fiancée, Anita Rogers, station manager Leslie McWhinney buys the station, gives Hornsby his job back, and goes on a honeymoon with Anita. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first real inside story of what goes on behind the microphones. Listen in on the secrets your radios never reveal! (Print Ad- New York Sun, ((New York NY)) 13 October 1932) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Leonid Kinskey. See more »

Crazy Credits

Film opens with loudspeakers, then segues to lobby cards depicting several of the featured stars "Live". See more »


Edited into The Great Radio Comedians (1972) See more »

User Reviews

If it were not so odd it would plod...
15 August 2020 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...That is, the storyline would plod. It actually does plod, but everything else distracted me from most of the plodding. And besides an intriguing screenplay was never the point of these "big broadcast" films.

So what is so odd? The film opens with a loudly ticking clock as everything in the radio station acts in synchronization with the sound of the clock. The steps of a messenger boy as he goes down the hall, the steps of a black cat as he walks, Cab Calloway's baton, as everybody is waiting for a tardy Bing Crosby.

When the sponsor of the show appears and demands that Bing be fired for persistent lateness, the clock face grows astonished eyes and its hands move in horror. The cat freezes and slips under a door through a half inch crack. A radio microphone grows astonished eyes when a surprising announcement is made.

Who else runs the radio station but George Burns aided by his hare brained secretary, Gracie Allen. "A lot of people around here have been driving me crazy for years and I thought for once I'd hire somebody that would drive them crazy." - Burns' explanation of why he hired this secretary.

The really oddest scene in the entire film? An attempted suicide by Bing and his new pal Leslie McWhinney (Stuart Erwin). Both just dumped by their gals, they turn on the gas in Bing's apartment and wait for the end. They begin to hallucinate, seeing a skull and dancing skeletons. Very precode. That and Stuart Erwin trying to make up with Leila Hyams while she is in the shower and he is just outside the curtain wearing her lingerie. If you want an explanation of this watch the film.

Note that Stu Erwin is top billed over Crosby as Bing's career is just starting out. In fact, this was Bing's first feature film for Paramount, the studio that would become his home. Erwin acquits himself well, including a long mute comic bit towards the end that he handles deftly.

The real reason to watch this besides the weird humor and the macabre and precode moments are the musical acts - Kate Smith, Cab Calloway and his orchestra, the Mills Brothers, and the Boswell Sisters. And Bing Crosby singing "Please" should please just about anyone.

Watch it for the comical and musical oddity that it is. I wish that somebody would clean it up and put it on physical media.

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Release Date:

14 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crooners See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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