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I've Got to Sing a Torch Song (1933)

A series of celebrity sketches set at a radio station. Some unorthodox calisthenics (including corset tightening, cradle rocking, and stock ticker reading) start the action. Bing Crosby (OK... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Palmer (uncredited)

Star:

Sara Berner
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Sara Berner ... Greta Garbo / Zasu Pitts / Mae West (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A series of celebrity sketches set at a radio station. Some unorthodox calisthenics (including corset tightening, cradle rocking, and stock ticker reading) start the action. Bing Crosby (OK, Cros Bingsby according to the sign) sings from his bathtub to adoring women. A quick world tour shows us the Shanghai Police trying hard to sleep on the job, a cannibal tuning in a cooking show, an Eskimo hooking a whale, and a sultan changing the station from belly dancing music to Amos and Andy. A safe-cracker has an unexpected twist on the title song. He's followed up by Greta Garbo, Zasu Pitts, and Mae West. Throughout, Ed Wynn keeps announcing that it's 8 o'clock. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Merrie Melodies #1 (1933-1934 Season): I've Got to Sing a Torch Song See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reel #5956. See more »

Crazy Credits

An animated version of Greta Garbo says "That's All, Folks!" at the closing. See more »

Alternate Versions

This cartoon was shown in an alternate version on the Nickelodeon network: The scenes with the Shanghai police and African cannibal were cut. Also, the soundtrack of the program on the sultan's radio was changed from "Amos and Andy" to straightforward music. See more »

Connections

References Blonde Crazy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl I Left Behind Me
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
once you know the difference between Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, it makes more sense
19 December 2007 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Way back long ago, before Bugs, before Daffy, even before Porky - heck, they weren't even filming anything in color yet - Leon Schlesinger Studios tried various and sundry ideas in their cartoons. "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song" shows several people around the world exercising to a radio broadcast, with a few gags along the way, and caricatures of famous people from the era.

If you're wondering why they named the cartoon after the song, that was the policy with Merrie Melodies cartoons. You see, when Leon Schlesinger Studios started releasing Bosko cartoons in 1930, all the cartoons carried the Looney Tunes tag. Before too long, they created the Merrie Melodies tag (playing off Disney's Silly Symphonies). While the Looney Tunes cartoons continued showing off Bosko - and later Buddy, and then Porky - the Merrie Melodies cartoons would have the names of songs, and the characters would sing the song in one scene. Such was the case not only with this one, but also "I Haven't Got a Hat" and "I Love to Singa", among others. Eventually, they stopped having characters sing title songs. When the Looney Tunes switched to color, the two series became indistinguishable.

Overall, this is a look into Warner Bros. animation's very early days. Within ten years, their cartoons didn't look the same at all. Hell, within five years, the combination of stars Porky and Daffy, plus directors such as Tex Avery, had totally changed the look. But this one is still worth seeing. Because Greta Garbo did want to be let alone.

I never knew that Bing Crosby was already famous in 1933. Of course, I have no kind words for him.


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