During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were ...
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A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »
Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »
On the eve of World War II (1939) English officer Ralph Denistoun is in Nazi Germany on an espionage mission to recover a poison gas formula from Prof. Krosigk. He is helped by Lydia and ... See full summary »
The oddly-assorted Hart cousins: revue singer Blossom, con man Harry, and machinist Chiquita (who gets radio through her teeth!), inherit southern plantation Magnolia Manor, which alas ... See full summary »
Child film star Jane Powell, fed up with her every move being stage managed by her stage mother, runs away and joins the U.S. Crop Corps, a small army of young folks staying at youth ... See full summary »
S. Sylvan Simon
During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were meant as morale-boosters to both the troops overseas and the civilians at home. This was Universal Pictures' effort. It features everyone from Donald O'Connor to the Andrews Sisters to Orson Welles to W.C. Fields to George Raft to Marlene Dietrich, and dozens of other Universal players.Written by
1944's "Follow the Boys" was hardly the first entry in the studios' rush to provide wartime entertainment in the form of a musical revue featuring contract players going all out for victory. Universal didn't have the kind of stars that the majors had, so they resorted to borrowing George Raft and Vera Zorina to kick off the initial storyline, vaudeville hoofers lamenting its demise only to find new life in serving the armed forces by performing on a worldwide scale. W.C. Fields drops by to play out his ancient (circa 1903) pool routine, done earlier in 1915's "Pool Sharks" (his screen debut) and 1934's "Six of a Kind." Jeannette MacDonald reprises her greatest triumph, "Beyond the Blue Horizon," as do The Andrews Sisters (they sing a medley of their hits), while bandleaders Charlie Pivak, Freddie Slack, Ted Lewis ("is everybody happy?"), and Louis Jordan round out the musical portion. There is an amusing dog act that ends in breathless fashion, and Orson Welles indulging in one of his favorite pastimes, prestidigitation, with gorgeous Marlene Dietrich an assistant that any magician would literally die for (being sawed in half just about does it!). Around the half hour mark Raft addresses an assembly of actors making up most of Universal's stable, mostly silent and observing, some granted a line or two - Andy Devine, Lon Chaney, Randolph Scott, Evelyn Ankers, Alan Curtis, Turhan Bey, Nigel Bruce, Lois Collier, Peter Coe, Susanna Foster, Gloria Jean, Thomas Gomez, Elyse Knox, Maria Montez, Robert Paige, and Gale Sondergaard. For Lon Chaney fans, it's enough to see him sitting right behind Sophie Tucker, wearing the same mustache from his just completed "Calling Dr. Death," since a few months earlier he was definitely absent from Olsen and Johnson's "Crazy House" (this was the last time he was unbilled on screen).
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