13 user 7 critic

Crooner (1932)

Story of a saxophonist and his rise to fame as a singing star.


Lloyd Bacon


Charles Kenyon (screenplay), Rian James (story)


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Credited cast:
David Manners ... Ted 'Teddy' Taylor
Ann Dvorak ... Judith 'Judy' Mason
Ken Murray ... Peter Sturgis
J. Carrol Naish ... Nick Meyer (as J. Carroll Naish)
Guy Kibbee ... Mike the Drunk with Megaphone
Claire Dodd ... Mrs. Constance Brown
Allen Vincent ... Ralph - Band Member
Edward J. Nugent ... Henry - Band Member
William Janney ... Pat - Band Member
Teddy Joyce Teddy Joyce ... Mack - Band Member
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louise De Friese Louise De Friese


Hard luck follows Ted Taylor and his band, going to various auditions and tryouts, until he has to replace their tenor. To amplify his soft voice, he uses a megaphone, and it's instantly catnip to feminine ears. His employer, nightclub owner Nick Meyer, gives him a contract as his popularity rises. When it's up, and a better one's offered, publicity agent Peter Sturgis intervenes and gets him better deals, including making records and guesting top radio programs. Soon, it all goes to Taylor's head and he treats his band mates badly, as well as his girl, Judy Mason. After being caught by the tabloids spending time with a socialite, Judy dumps him. This leads to a downward spiral for Taylor, who gets into a drunken brawl, punching out a one-legged war veteran. He's ruined, brought down to being a sax player in a crummy restaurant band. humbled, he wishes Judy and Sturgis well for their upcoming marriage, but at the last second, Sturgis bows out. Written by WesternOne1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE'S JUST A VAGABOND LOAFER (Print Ad- Milwaukee Journal, ((Milwaukee, Wisc.)) 20 August 1932) See more »









Release Date:

20 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Glória do Jazz See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film has been preserved by the Library of Congress. See more »


You're Just a Beautiful Melody of Love
Written by Bing Crosby and Babe Goldberg
Performed by David Manners and band before the fight at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't Tell Anyone It's a Musical
21 January 2010 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Musicals were wildly unpopular at this point in Hollywood, following a surfeit of leaden-camera efforts in 1929-1930, and until 1933's one-two punch of 42nd STREET and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 opened up the visual fantasy of the genre.

So this Warner's story of the rise and fall of a crooner and his college-band buddies is a musical, but it is set very clearly in reality, with a Warner's small-guy-against-the-world story. The effort is well directed, as you would expect, by Lloyd Bacon; the cinematography by Robert Kurrle -- he would die later in the year -- is constantly interesting -- he favors tight shots with a mobile camera to maintain constant composition -- and the acting -- well, it's 75-minute Warner Brother movie so everyone speaks their snappy dialogue as fast as a hockey commentator.

As for the songs themselves, they are decent and written by the real pros of the era, including Irving Cesar and Harry Warren. None are particularly memorable, in part due to the fact that they are all crooned through a megaphone by David Manners. The best role is Ken Murray as the agent/promoter of the high-hatting Manners.

The net effect is typical Warner's fare. It's highly amusing for people who love the stuff. More than good enough for me.

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