Reaching for the Moon (1930)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Romance

Reaching for the Moon (1930) Poster

Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. ... See full summary »


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18 October 2004 | bkoganbing
| An Ancient Curiosity
Reaching for the Moon will never make anyone's list of top ten films, but it is valuable piece of Hollywood History because it contains one of Douglas Fairbanks's few sound films and it is the solo debut of Bing Crosby.

Joe Schenck who was a partner of Fairbanks in United Artists got Irving Berlin to write an original score for this film and to do the screenplay. Fairbanks is a wizard of Wall Street who falls head over heels for aviatrix Bebe Daniels and chases after her on an ocean liner to England. Along for the ride is Edward Everett Horton who plays his butler/sidekick.

During production it was decided to scrap Berlin's score with only one song remaining, When the Folks High Up Do a Mean Low Down. Bing Crosby sang a chorus of it and then passed it over to Bebe Daniels and bit player June McCloy. At the time of the filming Crosby was appearing at the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with his Rhythm Boy trio.

Fairbanks was 48 when this was made and the athleticism that characterized his best silent films was a bit annoying here. But that's what his public expected of him. His role is the kind of part that Cary Grant could later play in his sleep.

Bebe Daniels is pretty much forgotten today. But she was a beautiful woman and had a great singing voice. If people remember her at all it was as Dorothy Brock who breaks her ankle in 42 Street and allows Ruby Keeler to walk on stage a youngster and come back a star. Soon after 42nd Street, Daniels left the U.S. with her husband Ben Lyon for Great Britain where as expatriates they became very big stars there.

Nothing fabulous about Reaching for the Moon, but it's a curiosity and a bit of history rolled in one.

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