King of Burlesque (1936)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Musical

King of Burlesque (1936) Poster

Former burlesque producer moves into legitimate theatre and does well until he marries a socialite. After his divorce his former top singer returns from London to help out.



  • Warner Baxter and Alice Faye in King of Burlesque (1936)
  • Fats Waller in King of Burlesque (1936)
  • Alice Faye in King of Burlesque (1936)
  • Warner Baxter and Alice Faye in King of Burlesque (1936)
  • Warner Baxter, Alice Faye, and Jack Oakie in King of Burlesque (1936)
  • Dixie Dunbar, Alice Faye, and Arline Judge in King of Burlesque (1936)

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22 January 2011 | AlsExGal
| Warner Baxter and friends put on a show
Kerry Bolton (Baxter) decides to take his vaudeville revue to Broadway and succeeds with one hit show after another. Helping him along are blonde singer Pat Doran (Alice Faye) who helps arrange the musical numbers and Joe Cooney (Jack Oakie) who ... well I could never figure out how he was being helpful - to Bolton or the plot. Oakie is used to much better comic effect in later Fox films such as "Tin Pan Alley".

Somewhat formulaicly, Bolton overlooks the adoring girl right under his nose (Pat) and falls for a society woman, Mrs. Rosalind Cleve, who is flat broke. She plays hard to get, mainly because she thinks Bolton is vulgar, but she eventually lets him catch her because his money helps her overlook what she considers his rougher points. Pretty soon she's changing Bolton both personally and professionally. She convinces him his shows are low-brow and persuades him to alter his style. The new shows may have class but what they lack are paying customers. Meanwhile, a heartbroken Pat has left for England to try and forget Bolton when she gets the news that Pat's career, money, and of course his fair weather wife are gone. How will all of this work out with Bolton's exuberance and self-confidence crushed by his recent bad judgment in both women and his work? Watch and find out.

There are really some catchy songs and good numbers in this one, and with Alice Faye singing how can you really go wrong? There's also some fine tap dancing with Fats Waller on piano as an elevator operator who finally gets his big break. There are also some numbers that are reminiscent of Busby Berkeley's work over at Warner Brothers about this time. Gregory Ratoff has a very small but quite funny role as a Depression era forgotten man posing as a millionaire. You'll see the plot coming at you from a mile away, but the point is musical escapism, and at that it succeeds quite well.

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