There can never be Too Much Harmony in a Bing Crosby picture, not even in a bucolic backstage musical like this. Crosby plays Eddie Bronson, a big-time singing star stranded in a one-horse town. Refusing to let any grass grow under his feet, Eddie combs through the local talent, discovering comedians Benny Day and Johnny Dixon and aspiring actress Ruth Brown. He brings his new protegees with him to Broadway, where Ruth becomes a huge success in spite of the machinations of prima donna Lucille Watson.
Director: A. Edward Sutherland.
Writers: Paul Jones (uncredited), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (story), Harry Ruskin (dialogue).
Stars: Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallagher, Harry Green, Judith Allen, Lilyan Tashman, Ned Sparks, Kitty Kelly, Grace Bradley, Evelyn Oakie, Henry Armetta, Billy Bevan, Anna Demetrio, Shirley Grey.
Composer: Heinz Roemheld (uncredited).
Cinematographer: Theodor Sparkuhl.
Lightweight but fun little musical with Bing in his prime and a great supporting cast.
This may be one of the rarest Bing Crosby films from the 1930’s, filled with some great renderings of Bing’s lesser popular hits but always with the crooner front and center in his best early jazz, scat singing tone. His supporting cast is exceptional. The love story is a washout but director Sutherland wrings as much humor and slapstick as he can out of the vaudeville/revue format. Oakie & Gallagher are most effective as comic support ( & in the Yonkers home scene, the elderly actrerss playing Oakie’s silver-haired mother is actually Oakie’s real silver-haired mother) and I was also surprised how risque some of the jokes were! Thanks for posting Jon!