Stolen Harmony (1935)

  |  Crime, Musical


Stolen Harmony (1935) Poster

Band leader Jack Conrad is impressed by prison inmate Ray Ferrera on saxophone. Conrad hires Ray to join his band and tour upon his release. Ray hooks up with Jean, a dancer in the show, ... See full summary »


7/10
32

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7 January 2007 | ROCKY-19
7
| Get on the bus!
"Stolen Harmony" is a harmlessly shallow little musical comedy featuring the music of the forgotten Ben Bernie Band. Not allowing New York and Chicago to have all the action, gangland crime and car chases come to America's heartland as a gang on the lam crosses ways with a traveling Big Band in the middle of rural Missouri.

Bernie, the writer of the ubiquitous "Sweet Georgia Brown" (not performed here), plays rather fey band leader Jack Conrad, who hires ex-con Ray Ferraro (George Raft) to play sax on a tour to the West on a jigged up bus matched only the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile (You have to see it to believe it). Knowing the problems his background could cause, Jack changes Ray's name to Ray Angelo. When one of the dancers drinks himself out of a job, Ray fills in there as well and promptly falls for his partner. As this is Raft, there has to be crime along the way -- a robbery in St. Louis, hijacking by the Burrage gang out in the sticks and a great car chase through downtown Omaha.

Even aside from the spectacular bus, there is quirky humor throughout. The band's actual show is very much of the time and highlighted by a number with all the band members in costume for a squirrelly operetta. Raft could really dance - one of his signatures ironically was "Sweet Georgia Brown" - but he does only a few steps here for closeups and the rest of the few dance numbers are done (from a distance) by a double for some reason. The double and Raft do not match in form or style, so it's obvious. Besides Raft the only well known face belongs to a young Lloyd Nolan gleefully playing a very bad man.

Fans of gangster films will enjoy the great Omaha sequence at the end. The style of it is better than anything else in the film. It is as if cinematographer Harry Fischbeck were using this minor comedy to practice for his next "A" crime picture.

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Details

Release Date:

20 April 1935

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

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