Hi, Everyone, The best part of this is the dance routine, make that two dance routines by The Clark Brothers. They are gorgeous to watch and they move like boneless puppets on rubber strings. How can they keep smiling when they have to be pooped? Nat Cole is the biggest name here. This was about two years before he became a huge name in the world of show business when he recorded "Mona Lisa." He had a lot of fame already when he appeared here from earlier, but lesser hits like "Sweet Lorraine" and more notably, "The Christmas Song," which eventually would become his biggest seller. He was only 17 years from the end of his career. He would die in 1965.
The songs he sings here are good from a musicianship standpoint, but they suck for the listener. If he had done "Nature Boy" or "Ramblin' Rose" or "Pretend" this movie would have been a real winner. I guess they weren't written yet.
Some of the other musical numbers and comedy entries are just barely acceptable, including "Moms" Mabley, who would become a wonderful comedy actress and act in her later years. It is hard to believe she was past 50 when this was made. Her style was taking shape, but her writing was not there yet.
The twosome that does an impression of The Ink Spots is enjoyable and I would like to have seen them with some great material. Perhaps a script would have helped.
The basic story is OK and it keeps one amused with a Keystone Kops type troupe, but the sets are not quite as grandiose as one might see in Ben Hur or Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
There is a lot to like here. It is wonderful some early footage like this exists to show what vaudeville was and where some of the big names came from.
Nat was more enjoyable in Cat Ballou. I once had the pleasure of watching him perform in person at NBC TV in Hollywood for his TV show. He was great with a live audience. He stayed for about an hour after the show was over to perform for the audience in the theater.
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