The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935)

  |  Musical

The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935) Poster

Spud Miller hopes to save his struggling radio station by winning a broadcast competition, with the help of the Radio Eye, an invention that can display live events from anywhere in the world.


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15 October 2015 | GManfred
Sub-Par Effort From Paramount
Hard to decide where to start. It's a musical comedy but there are basic problems - the comedy isn't funny and the songs aren't tuneful. Paramount had a pretty large stable of talent in those days, and many of them are here; Bing Crosby, Burns & Allen, Ethel Merman, Charles Ruggles, Mary Boland, but their talents go largely to waste in this misbegotten movie.

Except for "I Wished on the Moon", the songs are forgettable and lack the normal craftsmanship of the Whiting-Robin team. Most of the jokes and comic sequences are half-baked and unfunny, and the picture needed more Burns & Allen and less Jack Oakie, as he overacts in one of his lesser efforts on screen. But before I forget, I should mention Lyda Roberti, one of Hollywood's best and funniest comediennes whose life was cut short by heart disease. She shines above the poor material and her zany style is reminiscent of a young Lucille Ball.

Saving the best (or worst) for last, as the poor storyline makes "The Big Broadcast of 1936" almost unwatchable. Incoherent and trying too hard at humor, the film does the career of director Norman Taurog, who has an impressive list of films to his credits, a disservice. Recommended strictly for Hollywood archivists and those happy people who are easily entertained.

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