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Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 21 August 1937 (USA)
A small town electrician becomes a hit singer in New York and gets involved with a gold digger, a thief, an opera singer and the woman he loves.

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

William Wister Haines (screenplay), Elaine Ryan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kenny Baker ... Claude L. Dodd
Frank McHugh ... 'Sniffer' Sears
Alice Brady ... Mme. Sonia Moro
Gertrude Michael ... Jessica Stafford
Jane Wyman ... Marjorie Day
John Eldredge ... Jim Lidin
Henry O'Neill ... D.M. Gateway
Harry Davenport ... Doc Jeremiah George Quinn
Ferris Taylor ... Hiram P. Doremus
Linda Perry ... Information Desk Girl
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Storyline

In the small town of Pewamo, Claude Dodd, an electrician singing baritone in the local Strawberry Festival is heard by the owner of the Morpheus Mattress Company, who hires him to sing on the radio program he sponsors. Before he leaves for New York with his manager, "Sniffer" Sears, he has a minor operation to cure an attack of quinsy, and is told by the doctor not to use his voice. In front of the radio microphone the following week, he finds he's a tenor when he sings, much to the chagrin of the mattress company owner, who hates tenors. But that soon changes when telegrams pour in praising his voice, so that the station owner, Gateway, offers him a contract for 52 weeks, at a salary of $1000 per week, which was upped from the initial offer by Gateway's secretary, Marjorie Day, signalling Sears. Marjorie took a liking to Claude and vice versa, so while Claude becomes wealthy and famous, he and Marjorie fall in love. Because of his fame, he meets ditsy but egotistical opera singer, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den mystiske radiosanger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

Claude Dodd is seen quickly putting on his jacket over shirt sleeves rolled up above his elbows, before taking the stage to sing his first song, but after a brief cut to audience members, his shirt cuffs are showing properly at his wrists under the jacket. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits emanate from the top of the radio transmitter tower. See more »

Soundtracks

Poet and Peasant Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Played in the background when Sniffer tells Doremus he's going to miss the lady troubadours
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Public Crooner Number One
12 October 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Popular radio singer Kenny Baker stars in Mr. Dodd Takes The Air about a singing electrician who invents gadget that cuts down on static with those old big cabinet radios. This was obviously an attempt by Warner Brothers to keep Dick Powell in line because this was just the kind of film Powell was trying desperately to get out of doing over there. Even though it has an Academy Award nominated song in the score by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, Mr. Dodd Takes The Air is not much more than your average film from Warner Brothers at the time.

Baker is a small town kid who is discovered and reaches fame and fortune as a radio crooner. He also has money in the bank with that invention, but hasn't gotten around to patenting it yet. All of which makes him the object of interest for three women, mercenary Gertrude Michael, good girl Jane Wyman, and diva Alice Brady. Guess who Baker winds up with?

I have to say that Alice Brady really made the most of her part as an opera star with temperament to match. She really went to town with the part.

The biggest problem of the film is Baker's character. Nobody could be that naive. And I'm sure Powell must have seen this script and ran with horror from Jack Warner's office.

Warren and Dubin did a good score for the film which includes Remember Me which got for Mr. Dodd Takes The Air an Oscar nomination for Best Song. Am I In Love also stands out in the musical numbers also.

Baker on screen was best known for playing Nanki-Poo in The Mikado and later on Broadway co-starred with Mary Martin in One Touch Of Venus where they introduced Speak Low. He also introduced George and Ira Gershwin's last collaboration, Love Walked In in The Goldwyn Follies. Good thing for Baker he got a hit song out of the score.

Nice film, the kind Dick Powell was looking to get out of doing.


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