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Strictly Dynamite (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Music | 11 May 1934 (USA)
A struggling writer finds success writing scripts for a radio comic at the expense of his high-brow ambitions.


Elliott Nugent (uncredited)


Maurine Dallas Watkins (screen play) (as Maureen Watkins), Ralph Spence (screen play) | 4 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Durante ... Moxie Straight
Lupe Velez ... Vera Mendez
Norman Foster ... Nick Montgomery
William Gargan ... George Ross
Marian Nixon ... Sylvia Montgomery
Eugene Pallette ... Sourwood Sam
Sterling Holloway ... Elmer Fleming
Minna Gombell ... Miss Le Seur
Leila Bennett ... Miss Mary Hoffman
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Bailey
Berton Churchill ... Mr. Rivers
Irene Franklin ... Mrs. Figg
Jackie Searl ... Robin Figg (as Jackie Searle)
Stanley Fields ... Pussy
Tom Kennedy ... Junior


A struggling writer finds success writing scripts for a radio comic at the expense of his high-brow ambitions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He runs the gamut of commotion in a drama that exposes the secret love life of a radio comic. (Print Ad-Rochester Evening Journal, ((Rochester NY)) 9 June 1934) See more »


Comedy | Music


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Jimmy Durante and Lupe Velez were borrowed from MGM and Norman Foster was borrowed from Fox for this film. See more »


NIck's telegram from Atlantic City to his secretary Mary is dated October 24. Later, when Moxie gets a report from the detective agency about Nick and Vera's trip to Atlantic City, it's dated September 15. See more »


Moxie Slaight: If you ever have the nerve to send me another line of that stuff you write, I'll make you eat it! With paprika.
See more »


References Mädchen in Uniform (1931) See more »


Swing It Sister
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Played and Sung by The Mills Brothers
See more »

User Reviews

Pleasant little time passer about early radio
22 April 2012 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This movie may star Jimmy Durante, but he isn't front and center most of the time. The film is about a radio star, Moxie (Jimmy Durante), who can't find any good gag men. Enter Nick (Norman Foster), an unemployed writer who really wants to be a poet. His wife Sylvia (Marian Marsh) has caught the eye of agent Georgie (William Gargan). Georgie does Sylvia a favor by convincing Moxie to hire Nick as a gag man, a job that Nick excels at - for awhile. The problem isn't so much that Nick gets a big head, but that Moxie's girlfriend Vera (Lupe Velez) tries to get her claws into him. She can't do this very well with Nick sober, so she gets him drunk with somewhat anticlimactic and ambiguous results that could only happen at the transition from the precode to production code eras, which is when this film was released.

This may sound like it has the makings of a melodrama when in fact it is pretty much played as light comedy. There are some numbers by Durante, a rather humorous number with Velez and Durante together, and the somewhat rare occurrence of Durante playing a rather irascible fellow. He even has two bodyguards to follow Vera around and beat up anyone who flirts with her. Marian Nixon, who did quite a bit of heavy melodrama over at Warner Brothers, doesn't get much screen time here, but when she does she is the loyal and supportive wife even when you wish she wasn't.

This film was made by RKO, not Durante's home studio MGM, and you get the feeling they really didn't know what to do with him or Velez, although of the two she comes off best. Neither laugh out-loud funny nor hand-wringingly tense at any point, it would be a nice film to show people who are recovering from a nervous breakdown and can't take any excitement but still want to be entertained. Not Durante's best but a fun way to pass 70 minutes or so of time.

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Release Date:

11 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Strictly Dynamite See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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