Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Great American Broadcast|
Actors: Alice Faye, John Payne, Jack Oakie, Cesar Romero, James Newill
Director: Archie Mayo
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 10/07/2008 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Nr
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First rate musical comedy
Douglas M | 05/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1941, Alice Faye was at the peak of her success. Her films were usually made to a very successful formula whereby she suffered at the hands of an insensitive leading man - singing through tears. This film adheres rigidly to the cliches, combining scenes from "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Tin Pan Alley", set to the advent of radio. The merits of the film are obvious:
- Alice herself, bright, amusing, energetic and very pretty
- A lively Jack Oakie on board for some hokey comedy
- John Payne, more animated than usual and with a real rapport with Faye
- first rate direction from Archie Mayo, a more dynamic director than the usual 20th Century Fox house directors. The film moves along with such speed that the cliches can almost be ignored
- an excellent Harry Warren score, particularly the haunting "Where you Are" which Alice sings in loving close up with the Ink Spots harmonising in the background
- outstanding supporting acts including the devastating dancing Nicholas Brothers and the witty and clever Wiere Brothers.
The production values are first rate with that great Fox sound and photography. As a history lesson, the script contains its share of inaccuracies and Faye's clothes are 1941 modern even though the film starts 20 years earlier but that was all part of the escapism.
The print has been restored and is in great condition. A very entertaining documentary is included. It ensures that the modern audience understand exactly how important radio was at the time and why the historical aspects of the film resonated with many members of the audience in 1941. The original trailer is included and the usual stills and advertising material.
Dont miss this forgotten musical, far more fun than many much more pretentious and better known offerings. Alice Faye's qualities of warmth and naturalness are being rediscovered as well as that beautiful voice and this film is a worthy contributor to her re-birth. The DVD is excellent value as part of the Faye Collection Volume 2."
An energetic, rambunctious screwball comedy
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 10/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Great American Broadcast" (20th Century Fox, 1941)
This frothy, energetic comedy is a loose-with-the-facts fictionalization of how radio became the great medium of the early 20th Century. Robust, good-natured John Payne (sort of the Brendan Fraser of his time) and comic sidekick Jack Oakie meet up around 1920 as two down-and-out World War One vets who share an interest in the then-new radio technology. Payne's character come up with the idea that maybe they could use this newfangled radio stuff to bring entertainment to people all across the country... and then they're off! Of course, there's gotta be a girl, too and enter the ever-blonde girl next door, Alice Faye, as the gal they both love. But it ain't a love triangle -- nope! -- it's a square, because rich-cad tycoon Cesar Romero wants her too. This is a pleasantly fast-paced, lighthearted film, packed with better-than-usual performances from Ms. Faye (she and Payne duet quite nicely together). There are also great cameos from the Ink Spots vocal group, a fabulous (but all-too-brief) dance number from the Nicolas Brothers, and a nice, dewy-eyed version of how radio came to America. It's a fun old film... they really don't make 'em like this anymore! (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)"