A Paramount Studios security guard who was a major actor during the silent film era must carry out the illusion that he is still a big deal when his sailor son comes to visit.

Directors:

George Marshall, A. Edward Sutherland (uncredited)

Writers:

Harry Tugend (original screenplay), George S. Kaufman (sketches) (as George Kaufman) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Bing Crosby - 'Old Glory' Number
Bob Hope ... Bob Hope - Master of Ceremonies
Fred MacMurray ... Frank in Card-Playing Skit
Franchot Tone ... John in Card-Playing Skit
Ray Milland ... Joe in Card-Playing Skit
Victor Moore ... William 'Bronco Billy' Webster
Dorothy Lamour ... Dorothy Lamour - 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Paulette Goddard ... Paulette Goddard- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Vera Zorina ... Vera Zorina- 'That Old Black Magic' Number
Mary Martin ... Mary Martin- 'Hit the Road to Dreamland' Number
Dick Powell ... Dick Powell-' Hit the Road to Dreamland' Number
Betty Hutton ... Polly Judson
Eddie Bracken ... Johnny Webster
Veronica Lake ... Veronica Lake- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Alan Ladd ... Alan Ladd- Scarface Skit
Edit

Storyline

Pop, a security guard at Paramount has told his son that he's the head of the studio. When his son arrives in Hollywood on shore leave with his buddies, Pop enlists the aid of the studio's dizzy switchboard operator in pulling off the charade. Things get more complicated when Pop agrees to put together a show for the Navy starring Paramount's top contract players. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Paramount's Big Musical See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Veronica Lake's singing voice was dubbed by Martha Mears. See more »

Goofs

During the jeep ride, one of the sailors is thrown out when the vehicle hits a bump and jumps onto a dirt road. The sailor is then shown back in the jeep in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

[In front of Old Glory and a plaster Mt. Rushmore]
Bing Crosby: [singing] Germans, Italians, and Japs / Can't kick us off our Rand-McNally maps.
See more »

Connections

References My Favorite Blonde (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Sharp as a Tack
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Katherine Dunham, Slim Gaillard (as Slim and Slam),
Slam Stewart (as Slim and Slam) and Woody Strode
See more »

User Reviews

 
A treat for any fan of Hollywood's golden age.
10 April 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In the 1930s and 40s, most of the major studios made films that featured a variety show, of sorts, with the contract stars. MGM struck gold with this in the early sound film "The Hollywood Review of 1929" and this film set the stage for quite a few followup films. This sort of film became especially popular during WWII, as these films were often sent overseas to entertain the troops--such as "Hollywood Canteen" and "Star Spangled Rhythm". "Star Spangled Rhythm" is a tad different in that there is more plot than many of these films. In other words, it's not just a variety show and this really doesn't begin until the film is at the half-way point.

The film begins as a sailor (Eddie Bracken) convinces a group of his friends on shore leave to come with him to Paramount Studios, as his father is head of production! However, his dad (Victor Moore) is NOT the boss but a lowly security guard on the lot. Now wanting to get caught, Moore and Betty Hutton (who plays Bracken's VERY energetic girlfriend) work together to convince the sailors (and a Marine they picked up along the way) that Moore indeed is the big kahuna! For me, this is the best part of the film, as the plot is pretty cute and gets funny when the real head of production walks into the middle of this--and thinks he's been replaced! Unfortunately for Moore, the boss finally does realize what's been happening and it looks as if the plan is about to fall apart. However, through some further finagling, Moore and Hutton are able to arrange a show for the servicemen to convince the fellas that nothing is up....that Moore IS a big-shot.

As far as the variety show goes, there are no major surprises but it's nice to see the actors and actresses play themselves in a series of nice cameos. What I actually struck me most about this was how incredibly short Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake (I did know she was 'diminutive') and Paulette Goddard were, as they were towered over by the other actresses in the first scene of the variety show. Not surprisingly, the three later sang a number together. In addition to these women, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ray Milland, Franchot Tone, Fred MacMurray and many others were on hand for the show.

In addition to the show, you also get to see some stars walking around the studio lot. A few of these cameos are bizarre--and wonderful for cinephiles like myself. You get a rare role for Cecil B. DeMille and Preston Sturgis as themselves. Plus, in addition to seeing Bing Crosby walking about the lot, his son Gary is with him. I liked this very contrived "behind the scenes" look of the film. Sure, you know this is all for a fictional film, but it's pretty cool if you're into old films like me.

Overall, while not all the variety acts work well, many do. Plus the story that ties them all together is very good. The film may bore some (especially those who know nothing of the classic era in Hollywood), but is a treat for any 1940s film buff.

By the way, although the show is supposed to be done on stage live in front of the sailors, it's very, very obvious many of the acts were performed on a sound stage--with sound stage sets. Just suspend your sense of disbelief at these moments or they might just make your brain hurt! After all, the shower scene is obviously NOT done in front of the men but it is quite funny!


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Spangled Rhythm See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$602,500
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures 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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed