5.7/10
130
10 user 2 critic

When's Your Birthday? (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 19 February 1937 (USA)
Some shady characters discover that a sad sack nightclub bus boy has the ability to predict outcomes of races and other events through astrology.

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Harry Clork (screenplay), John Frederick Ballard (from a play by) (as Fred Ballard) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joe E. Brown ... Dustin Willoughby
Marian Marsh ... Jerry Grant
Fred Keating ... Larry Burke
Edgar Kennedy ... Mr. Basscombe
Maude Eburne ... Mrs. Basscombe
Suzanne Kaaren ... Diane Basscombe
Margaret Hamilton ... Mossy
Minor Watson ... Regan
Frank Jenks ... Lefty
Don Rowan ... Steve
Granville Bates ... Judge O'Day
Charles Judels ... Headwaiter
Corky Corky ... Zodiac
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Storyline

Sad sack Dustin Willoughby is a true believer in the power of astrology. His adherence to the forecasts of his horoscope has alienated his fiancée and cost him his job at the bank. While working as a lowly bus boy in a nightclub, he catches the attention of some high-stakes gamblers with his ability to forecast race results and establishes himself as an astrologer to high society clients.The high rollers mistakenly confuse his horoscope with that of professional boxer "The Salvador Slayer", and bet the ranch on the unknown Central-American pugilist. After they realize their error, they force Dustin into the ring to try and help save the day. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your Past Your Present Your Future all rolled into one big howl! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Con l'aiuto della luna See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Sound System)

Color:

Color (cartoon sequence)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although there is an onscreen copyright statement, the movie is not listed in the copyright registry. See more »

Quotes

Bartender at Charity Bazarr: [with wine bottle] Shall I pour it sir?
Mr. Henry Basscombe: [sarcastically] What do you expect it to... sweat itself out?
See more »

Connections

References Mary of Scotland (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1888) (uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played as background music at the carnival
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly good...
20 April 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Because I have read the other reviews and know that this film has recently been shown on Turner Classic Movies, I am more likely to recommend you watch it. That's because the DVD version I saw was absolutely dreadful--thanks to yet another craptastic DVD transfer from Alpha Video. Alpha specializes in public domain and other cheap productions that you sometimes just can't find from other sources--so I am glad the company exists. However, far more often than not, the quality of the prints are absolutely dreadful--with terrible sound and picture...and never any captioning in case you need it because of the sound issues. As usual, this particular film is practically unwatchable because of an annoying whistling sound that persists throughout the film. It's watchable--but just barely.

This film was made after Joe E. Brown made a very fateful decision about his career--one of the worst career moves in film history. After several extremely successful years with Warner Brothers where he was a top movie draw, he decided to sign with Loew Productions--a tiny company with paltry funds--and in some cases, no money to hire writers! Tonight I watched two of these films--mostly out of morbid curiosity to see just how bad these films really are--their reputations are pretty bad.

As for the first one on the DVD, "Riding on Air", it was truly dreadful--unfunny and about as much fun to watch as a migraine. Plus, the print was of even worse quality than "What's Your Birthday?". So, I had very low expectations for the next. Surprisingly, however, "What's Your Birthday" is actually pretty good--better than some of the Warner Brothers films even--but not up to the quality of Brown's best films, like "Alibi Ike". It is certainly enjoyable and worth seeing.

The film begins with an odd little animated sequence. In it, you see the symbols of the zodiac come to life and they dance about and are quite charming. Then, suddenly, this all disappears--it was all a hallucination by Brown---as he'd been knocked out in the boxing ring and imagined all this! While he apparently is a terrible boxer, Brown isn't too upset, as his career goal is to be an astrologer. So, after getting a degree in astrology from some fly-by-night college, he decides to try his hand at it. To his surprise, he finds he has 'the gift'. To the audience's surprise, they learn that he really can predict the future and he becomes a very popular man--especially with mobsters who want to use his talents for their bookmaking operation.

Unfortunately, when it comes time for the big fight, the gamblers misunderstand Brown's reading and bet heavily. When they learn the truth (that their new prospect stinks), they force Brown to fight in the guy's place---against the middle-weight champion! Overall, while this is not packed with laughs, the film is very solid--with much better writing than I expected. While it certainly isn't a great film (and, I dare say, none of Brown's are), it is pleasant and worth seeing. Just be sure to wait for it to come on TCM or see if someone else--ANYONE else makes the DVD!


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