25 January 2011 | bkoganbing
Reagan Busts The Rackets
Dick Powell had introduced a song called Love Is On The Air in Varsity Show which is a nice number. Therefore one might have expected a film with this title to be a musical. Though the song is played over the opening title credits, this film is far from a musical.
Instead it is the film debut of former radio announcer Ronald Reagan playing a radio commentator who is getting the gangsters in his city all kinds of nervous with his hard hitting expose. But his sponsor Addison Richard is in league with those selfsame gangsters led by Ben Welden. He pressures station owner Robert Barrat to pull the plug on Reagan's show, but Ron's got a contract. Never mind the owner just assigns him to a kiddie show that June Travis formerly had.
Of course she's all kinds of put out, but Ron's charm wins her over in a number of ways and oddly enough the kid's show provides him with a lead that eventually busts the racketeer control wide open.
Casting Reagan as a radio commentator was no big acting stretch for him, but this did show the wisdom of Warner Brothers in developing new talent by giving them comfortable surroundings. Reagan's likability did the rest in this very easy to take B programmer based in part on Paul Muni's film Hi Nellie from a few years before.
The Gipper's fans ought to be pleased.