6.6/10
214
14 user 2 critic

The Great American Broadcast (1941)

After WWI two men go into radio. Failure leads the wife of one to borrow money from another; she goes on, after separation, to stardom. A coast-to-coast radio program is set up to bring ... See full summary »

Director:

Archie Mayo

Writers:

Don Ettlinger (original screen play), Edwin Blum (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Faye ... Vicki Adams
Jack Oakie ... Chuck Hadley
John Payne ... Rix Martin
Cesar Romero ... Bruce Chadwick
James Newill ... Singer
Charles Fuqua Charles Fuqua ... Song Specialty
The Ink Spots The Ink Spots ... The Four Ink Spots (as The Four Ink Spots)
Hoppy Jones Hoppy Jones ... Song Specialty
Bill Kenny Bill Kenny ... Ink Spots Member
Deek Watson Deek Watson ... Song Specialty
The Nicholas Brothers ... Dancers (as Nicholas Brothers)
Fayard Nicholas ... Railroad Station Dance Specialty (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Harold Nicholas ... Railroad Station Dance Specialty (as The Nicholas Brothers)
The Wiere Brothers The Wiere Brothers ... Dancers (as Wiere Brothers)
Mary Beth Hughes ... Secretary
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Storyline

After WWI two men go into radio. Failure leads the wife of one to borrow money from another; she goes on, after separation, to stardom. A coast-to-coast radio program is set up to bring everyone back together. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Great Stars! A Grand Story! IN THE GREATEST MUSICAL OF THEM ALL! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Addio Broadway! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Run Little Raindrop Run" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon) had been intended for this movie. Rather, in Springtime in the Rockies (1942), Betty Grable, John Payne and a chorus would sing the song. Later, Miss Grable and Cesar Romero would dance to the melody, played by Harry James and His Music Makers. See more »

Goofs

When Rix Martin (John Payne) first sees the radio equipment Chuck Hadley (Jack Oakie) has set up in his room, he thinks it's a still for making bootleg liquor. But the scene takes place in early 1919, before Prohibition had taken effect. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nicholas Brothers: We Sing and We Dance (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Where You Are
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Alice Faye and John Payne with The Ink Spots (as the Four Ink Spots)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Pseudo History with a Too Familiar Dumb Plot
27 October 2001 | by Dick-42See all my reviews

Few middle-aged people now even remember the waning days of big time network radio, much less its prime time from the late 1920s to the mid 50s. When I first became aware of radio, about 1930, the networks had been operating for some time. Nothing in this movie would tell me how long. The signals were, indeed, carried over telephone lines. In fact, by the late 30s, at least, telephone cables consisting of thousands of wires in a lead sheath carried larger gauge wires in the center to provide a cleaner signal for radio transmission. Broadcasts originated mostly in New York, with quite a few from California, some from Chicago, and a few from other places around the country -- like Nashville. If it was necessary to switch the feed from, say, New York to Hollywood for a special interview, it took about 5 seconds for the phone lines to be reconnected in the opposite direction. It was a fun time, that this movie pretends to have invented. When it originated, the people -- broadcasters and listeners -- must have been fully as excited about it as the movie depicts.

The plot of the story is one we've seen in at least a dozen films: boy steals friend's girl; friend and girl succeed big in some enterprise, boy, left out, becomes jealous and disappears; boy turns up just in time to observe girl's ultimate triumph. The enterprise may be a business, a farm, or a mine, but more commonly it's an act or dramatic career. The story is always stupid, and this film is no exception.

Still, the music featuring Alice Faye, a couple of numbers by the Ink Spots, the hilarious Wiere Brothers, and the incomparable Nicholas Brothers, and even John Payne in one of his early singing roles, makes for eminently watchable entertainment, with the bit of questionable broadcast history thrown in for good measure. Despite the too familiar plot, it's far better than the average musical of the 30s through 50s. I loved it enough to save the recording I made off the cable 15 years ago, and liked it just as much when I dug up the tape this week.


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