The Hit Parade (1937)

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The Hit Parade (1937) Poster

Agent Pete Garland is fired by society singer Monica Barrett after he got her a new radio contract, because she thinks her lawyer friend Teddy Leeds fits in better with her social status. ... See full summary »


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5 February 2017 | earlytalkie
Pleasant enough Republic musical has some pretty good music
This was apparently an 83 minute film when it was originally released in 1937, but the version I got is 67 minutes long and re-titled I'LL REACH FOR A STAR. Phil Regan and Frances Langford fall in love and exercise their vocal chords to a good effect. Pert Kelton is on hand to deliver some wise cracks, and there is an unfortunate black face sequence with two performers named Pick 'N Pat. If they had to cut this version down for television distribution, I would think the film could have sacrificed this part. But you do get some big name orchestras helmed by Duke Ellington and Eddy Duchin. And, Carl Hoff and his Hit Parade Orchestra. (Most likely from the radio show.) The best tune in the picture is the catchy "Love Is Good For Anything That Ails You." Which was good enough to be dusted off for Steve Martin's dark musical, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (1981). This is a direct relative of those "big broadcast" pictures that Paramount favored in the 1930s. Not a bad way to kill a little over an hour, and the music IS hummable. This supposedly cost little Republic about half a million bucks, which would be a lot for the studio that specialized in Saturday matinée serials.

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