Made in 1934 and issued as an "extra" feature on the DVD for "Destination Tokyo," this is a short feature. Several musical numbers are wrapped around a kind of "drama" -- not to be taken seriously -- about a French woman trying to help her brother out of a jam. Sheldon Leonard, in one of the most remarkable Turkish accents ever imposed over working-class Brooklyn phones, is the Pasha who urges the French lady to give him his ring in return for his help.
I was unable to watch until the end. The suspense was too gripping. Somewhere near what I judged to be the middle, I suffered a serious cerebrovascular accident and today, as a result, I am only able to speak one single word over and over -- and that in a language I don't understand. I think it's Inuit.
The two songs that I managed to get through lack anything of value. What I mean is that they haven't been entered into the Great American Songbook. The dances, though, aren't bad. A dozen dames in slacks and sailor hats to some neat steps. They're photographed simply, from eye level, without the maddeningly surrealistic effects of Busby Berkeley. I enjoyed the dance but to tell the truth I kind of missed the overhead shots of unfolding chrysanthema too.
Overall, it's strictly B-movie fare, made at a time when there was no television to serve as an alternative visual medium. If you wanted to see moving pictures, you went to a moving picture theater. It was probably a joy for the audience because the shorts weren't routinely advertised, only the two features. So, when the titles pop up, the viewers probably kvelled because they were getting something unexpected for free, a kind of present. And we don't want to denigrate easy rushes like that. They're hard to come by.