THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1936 (1935)
Article 3153 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-30-2010
Posting Date: 4-2-2010
Directed by Norman Taurog
Featuring Jack Oakie, George Burns, Gracie Allen
What it is: Hollywood hodgepodge
A two-bit radio producer tries to deal with his creditors by stealing an amazing invention called a Radio Eye. However, he ends up kidnapped by a countess who has fallen in love with him. Can he use the invention to save himself?
This was part of a series of movies made during the thirties; they featured an assortment of musical numbers, comedy bits, and even dramatic scenes featuring popular stars of the day. The primary purpose of the invention in question (which is something of a combination between a TV set and a radio transmitter) is to provide a conduit for the various acts while the producer is trapped on an island. The plot is pretty negligible (as you might expect), so your enjoyment of this one will hinge on how you feel about the various acts, which include Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson and the comedy team Willie West and McGinty, among others. For me, the movie is stolen by Gracie Allen, who can’t open her mouth without saying something that will make me laugh; her trying to send a recipe over the airwaves is a highlight of the movie.