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  • The review below by 'PTB-8' of AROUND THE WORLD is off the mark- Not because of his overuse of adjectives, but by mistakes. Joan BENNETT is not even in this film. I will assume he's talking about Joan Davis (BIG difference!), who is delightfully silly and cornball, which was the comedy style of the day. It costars the Kyser gang of excellent performers- Harry Babbitt, Georgia Carroll, Ish Kabibble and Sully Mason. AROUND THE WORLD is an amusing wartime musical with a somber ending- a first and only for the Kyser films. Kyser was a very big radio personality of the late 30s/early 40s,not Sir John Gielgud, but his acting seems very natural to me. Perhaps it's because I'm from the South, too. Rest assured AROUND THE WORLD's worth watching.
  • Not a great movie but a delight. So many movies were made to lighten the mood of wartime, many of which we know and many of which were forgotten. This is a joy - the music is terrific, the plot so thin it's transparent. The pretext is that Kyser's band and singers are traveling from one base to another to entertain the troops. (Kyser married the lead singer after this show and she quit her singing career.) The musicians and singers are talented, and Kyser pulls off the kind of broad humor that Bob Hope made famous on USO tours. Joan Davis is a comedic genius - very physical, as extreme as Lucille Ball or Imogene Coca, but pretty enough to hold her own with the feminine stars. Interesting that she chose the clownish route. She's a female Danny Kaye.
  • jotix1006 January 2006
    Entertaining the boys during WWII was something most performers loved to do because they felt it was their patriotic duty at a time when everyone felt that conflict was a just cause. That is basically what happens in this fun filled 1943 movie directed by Alan Dawn. We meet a group of actors and singers taking an around the world trip to keep up the morale of the combating soldiers.

    Featured prominently was Kay Kayser and his orchestra. Mr. Kayser was a man that felt good in front of the camera as well as conducting his orchestra and singers. Out of the talent in the film, the irresistible Joan Davis has the best opportunities. She was a funny lady with excellent timing, who could keep up with the best. Mischa Auer is also among the group of actors and singers accompanying Mr. Kayser in this world tour. Marcy McGuire is seen as the girl that stows away in the plane and makes herself a valuable asset in entertaining the troops.

    The film is a pleasant trip back to those days.
  • AROUND THE WORLD is a fine, entertaining RKO film. Kay Kyser was a hugely popular MALE bandleader when HE made this in '43. Appearances by Mischa Auer, comedy team CARNEY AND BROWN, Marcy McGuire and Joan Davis round out an entertaining cast. Good swing numbers-check out Roodle-EE-doo! Worth seeing if you're a fan of wartime comedy/musicals.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    That's the basic premise to this Kay Kyser musical comedy with pretty much the old gang (Ginny Sims has moved on) plus Mischa Auer and Joan Davis, as well as a cute teenaged bobby soxer named Marcy McGuire. There's a bit of a spy plot, but not much else, with McGuire playing a stowaway teen on Kyser's flight from Australia to India in order to get a chance to perform with his band. The group pitches in to look after her until she's able to re-join her father, an officer in the Army.

    Among the songs is "They Just Chopped Down the Old Apple Tree" which totally parodies the Andrews Sisters hit "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" (seen in "Private Buckaroo"). Marcy McGuire gives her bobby soxer all to "The Moke from Shamokin'" where she gets such eye-raising lines like "What Was He Smokin'?". As for the wise-cracking Davis, she gets the type of lines she'd later make her trademark on TV's "I Married Joan", saying them as only she can. There's a double-meaning in her response to the Asian waiter who introduces himself as "Fu Yung", so it comes as no surprise when she says she knows his brother, "Egg". (I say double meaning, 'cause "Egg" should be associated with female, not male, but that's just my observation.)

    Then, there's the "do not try this at home" gag with Mischa Auer involved in a duel with a sword that gives an electric shock. The gag goes on a bit too long and may scare kids who know that an electric shock is not necessarily a good thing. Some of the plot lines are either wrapped up neatly (the plight of sweet Marcy) or barely at all (the spy ring), and some of the war era humor may go over some viewer's heads, but as a piece of history, this formula fluff provides some great big band music, some truly funny laughs and a look back at a war that everybody was involved in, whether in combat or not.
  • Goofball radio show musical transposed onto the screen intact with twisted grin loudmouth band leader Kay Kyser and his gang of musical misfits. It starts on a world tour in what is supposed to be (a tin shed) in Australia. Well roodle-e-doo if we don't get a great swing number straight off! From there it is a whirlwind tour of the allies all over the planet, including China. Kyser is as obnoxious as he is funny, clearly a candidate for what we all now know is attention deficit syndrome. Marcie does her bug eyed swing stuff like she did in HIGHER AND HIGHER and Joan.. er... Davis is doing Eve Arden via Mary Wickes. It is quite funny but the music is the standout, as it should be in a wartime morale booster. Am I also the only one besides the Farrelly Brothers who has spotted the "dumb and dumber" look of Ish kabibble?..of course the other way around........hmmmmmmmmmm.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director: ALLAN DWAN. Screenplay: Ralph Spence. Special material: Carl Herzinger. Photography: Russell Metty. Film editor: Theron Warth. Art directors: Albert D'Agostino, Hal Herman. Set decorations: Darrell Silvera, Claude Carpenter. Costumes: Renie. Special photographic effects: Vernon L. Walker. Songs: Candlelight and Wine, They Chopped Down the Old Apple Tree, Don't Believe Everything You Dream, He's Got a Secret Weapon, Great News in the Making, A Moke from Shamokin, Roodle-De-Doo by, Jimmy McHugh (music) and Harold Adamson (Iyrics). Music director: Constantin Bakaleinikoff. Musical and vocal arrangements: George Dunning. Musical numbers created and staged by Nick Castle. Assistant director: Harry Scott. Montage: Douglas Travers. Sound technician: Jean L. Speak. Sound re-recording: James G. Stewart. RCA Sound System. Producer: Allan Dwan.

    Copyright 24 November 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. New York opening at the Globe: 24 November 1943. U.S. release: 24 November 1943. Australian release: 15 June 1944. 7,314 feet. 81 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Kay Kyser and his band entertain the troops in Australia, India, Chungking and North Africa.

    COMMENT: The tone for this poor man's musical melange is set right from the beginning when Kyser and his merry band of musical misfits entertain a crowd of admirers in Australia with their rendition of "Waltzing Matilda". Never mind that Kyser was box-office poison anywhere outside the U.S.A.

    Of course for the film, Kyser and company never left Hollywood. This is patently obvious. Also obvious, a lot of corny jokes, radio jests and assorted bits of Keystone Cops slapstick (including Auer's duel with an electricity-wired sword) plus some purple sentiment from Marcy McGuire plus some over-the-top patriotic plugs from old K.K. himself.

    I suppose the movie does have a bit of nostalgia appeal for those who heard Kyser's weekly radio broadcasts. But I am not a great fan of his music. Even the lively "Roodle-Ee-Doo" leaves me cold. The only number I really liked was "Don't Believe Everything You Dream", nicely sung and rather inventively staged and photographed. It almost made the whole film worth seeing. Almost.

    OTHER VIEWS: Auteurists who have elected director Allan Dwan to the pantheon would be hard pressed to find much to admire in this lame and rather lackluster effort. How dull can you get? Kay Kyser and his Band make music with no impact, the comedy is so tired not even a team of fine comedians can lift it from rock bottom, and the direction is boringly routine. The wonder is that so much talent could produce a film so depressingly banal. —E.V.D.