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The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 6 October 1936 (USA)
A cream-of-the-crop gathering of 1930's radio stars, who lend themselves to a storyline about a failing radio station which needs to put on a huge ratings winner to have any chance of ... See full summary »

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Walter DeLeon (screenplay), Francis Martin (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Benny ... Jack Carson
George Burns ... Mr. Platt
Gracie Allen ... Mrs. Platt
Bob Burns ... Bob Black
Martha Raye ... Patsy
Shirley Ross ... Gwen Holmes
Ray Milland ... Bob Miller
Frank Forest Frank Forest ... Frank Rossman
Benny Fields Benny Fields ... Benny Fields
Sam Hearn Sam Hearn ... Schlepperman
Stan Kavanaugh Stan Kavanaugh ... Kavvy
Benny Goodman ... Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra ... Benny Goodman's Orchestra (as Benny Goodman Orchestra)
Virginia Weidler ... Flower Girl
David Holt ... Train Bearer
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Storyline

A cream-of-the-crop gathering of 1930's radio stars, who lend themselves to a storyline about a failing radio station which needs to put on a huge ratings winner to have any chance of continued operation. An interesting mixture of the stars whose fame continued to grow, those who became bit players in show business history, and those who have been forgotten entirely, except at the Internet Movie Database of course. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

number in title | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den store radioudsendelse 1937 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shortly after arriving in the U.S. from Germany, Oskar Fischinger was contracted by Paramount Pictures to create an animated sequence (in Technicolor or Gasparcolor; sources differ) for this movie. The movie was scored to a jazz piece, "Radio Dynamics", by studio musician Ralph Rainger. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures switched the production to black and white, and Fischinger's animation became a sequence within the film, showing consumer products emanating from a radio broadcasting tower, rather than pure abstract imagery. Fischinger later released his color version as Allegretto (1936). See more »

Quotes

Jack Carson: I'm just a pilgrim on the path of least resistance.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Murder at the Vanities (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

La Bomba
(uncredited)
Written by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Good
25 January 2011 | by JasonLeeSmithSee all my reviews

I found this to be the most entertaining of all the "Big Broadcast" movies. This isn't saying much, since these films were mainly just mash-ups of all the big names in radio that year, doing sketches independently of one another and strung together into a movie.

This one, however, has a very strong and entertaining plot. Jack Benny plays a sardonic radio executive, with Ray Milland as his slightly oilier second-in-command. George Burns and Gracie Allen play radio sponsors, which is just an excuse to trot them out and do their shtick (but what a great shtick it was). Shirley Ross plays the young ingénue who comes to New York to find stardom on the radio.

It was probably Ross who impressed me the most, she seems to have been a very funny actress with a great singing voice. It's a pity she didn't have more of a career in films.

Jack Benny, I think, was better suited to playing the wise-cracking supporting character -- as he did in this film -- as compared to the leading man. He was not a very good actor and had a lifelong difficulty memorizing lines. He was great here, though, playing a sarcastic cynic, a character in direct contrast with the miserly wannabe character he played on the radio.

It is also worth noting that I think this is Benny's only film pairing with his best friend, George Burns. The two don't have much to do together, but it's nice to see, just the same.

A final note: Bob Burns also has a very funny role in this movie as a Hillbilly who keeps interrupting radio shows trying to find Leopold Stokowski. He wants to find the maestro to show him a musical instrument he has invented. It is a long black tube that you blow into. Burns used it on his own radio show. He called it a "bazooka." Turns out, that's where the weapon got it's name. See how much we owe to radio?


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