3 August 2019 | SimonJack
Good singers and musical score save an otherwise weak production
This 1935 Walter Wanger comedy musical suffers in a number of technical areas. By 1935, the major studios were putting out films with very good quality "Every Night at Eight" is choppy, poorly edited and weak in the camera work and direction. The film has a good cast, and the idea of the three girlfriends together for a singing trio is good. Alice Faye and Frances Langford give some good examples of their singing. This was Langford's first feature film and one of her best for singing. While she had lead roles in several films and major roles in several more, Langford didn't have great screenplays.
Other reviewers have noted how Alice Faye so closely resembled Jean Harlow in appearance. In a couple of scenes early in this picture, one could easily see Faye as a sister of Harlow for her physical resemblance, especially in the face. Patsy Kelly is OK for the comedic element, but she soon begins to wear thin with her crass cracks. Thankfully, they are toned down to less frequent or harsh comments in the last half of the film.
At first, George Raft seemed about the least likely of any leading man in Hollywood to be able to appear real as a band leader. But his part is the biggest surprise of this movie. Raft shows real bounce and ability to keep with the beat as he leads his band. He comes across as knowing the business. But, other than for the girls singing, and a little bit of the band jamming, the story is wanting. The script is otherwise weak and Raft's acting especially seems to move between lively and nearly dead as he sits looking flat in some scenes.
The film has a good musical score, and that and the songs by Faye and Langford are reason enough to watch "Every Night at Eight."
Here are a couple of favorite lines from this film.
Dixie Foley, "Say, listen. What was the name of the picture where the girl gets the ride?" Daphne O'Connor, "It Happened the Other Night." (sic) Dixie, "I guess it don't work in the daytime."
Susan Moore, commenting on a woman who is imitating a chicken, "How did she ever learn to do that?" Dixie Foley, "You can't learn that, it's a gift." Daphne O'Connor, "Gift nothing! It's a curse."