"This DVD contains two typically wild 1930's Paramount comedies showcasing the studios best contract comedians -- W.C. Fields, Burns and Allen, Martha Raye, and, of course, Bob Hope. "Big Broadcast of 1938" is his film debut, and when he sings "Thanks for the Memories" with Shirley Ross, you have to remind yourself this is the first time that song was ever performed! Unfortunately, some of the specialty acts in this film really drag things down and make you wonder who could ever have considered this sort of thing entertainment. But W. C. Fields and Martha Raye provide lots of laughs when they're on screen, so all in all, it's a nice presentation. "College Swing" is more of a Gracie Allen vehicle, with Bob in only a few scenes, though he does a nice duet with Martha Raye at one point. It's all very silly, but the character actors and comedians make it enjoyable. Transfer is superb on both films. There's a trailer for College Swing, but not for Broadsast -- maybe it's lost. Now, if Universal would release some of Jack Benny's films or Bing Crosby's early work on DVD -- I'd really be happy!"
J Keistler | Lake Jackson, Texas USA | 08/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific buy with two classic comedies on one CD. If you love Burns and Allen like I do, you'll go for 'College Swing'. It is a reminder of why Martha Raye was so popular in that era--she's a bombshell of singing, dancing, and comedic talent. They made her up ugly, plus you don't get to see much of her famous legs. In the song, "How'd You Like to Love Me", there's a large bandage visible on the front of one of her legs, I've always wondered what happened--possibly walking through the glass at the end of the scene? For those of us who came along at the end of Hope's career, this is an interesting view into why he was so appealing in his younger years. Betty Grable does some fantastic dancing, Ben Blue as Professor Volt can dance like nobody's business, and the whole movie is an insight into the escapism so popular during the Depression. 'Big Broadcast' is an okay movie, highly incredible. How is an ocean liner going to go 100 miles per hour because of propellors on the deck? Anyway, the ship is Art Deco heaven, giving an excuse for the set designers to go wild. Hope's theme song came out in this movie, women had plucked eyebrows and outrageous hats, and Martha Raye is back showing her best. All in all, buy this set, it's great for spirit-lifting on a dreary day!"
Bob's First Films but Martha Raye Stills the Show
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 05/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This double feature contains two of Bob Hope's early movies. He was not the star in either film but a featured role in both. Both are typical musical revues of the early age of Hollywood musicals, little story songs to service the performers and not the story. This is very similar to Broadway musicals of the 20's and 30' but with a little more vaudeville in them.
College Swing finds Gracie Allen is the last of her line of nitwit women. If she cannot pass her college exam, the college reverts from her family to the city. Bob is a con artist who figures out how to make her pass. In return she is to put him in charge of the college. George Burns and Edward Everett Horton are the head of the board of trustees and are confirmed bachelors. But it's not George that Gracie winds up with. This is all set to swing music.
The Big Broadcast of 1938 would be totally forgotten if it did not introduce Bob Hope's theme song Thanks for the Memory. Bob is a radio host who has a penchant for gambling and ex-wives. He is to host a radio broadcast aboard a new radio wave powered ship that is racing the ship that holds the current crossing record. W.C. Fields is the named star of the film as the twin brother of the owner of the new ship who has a bad luck curse. The ship makes a detour to rescue the passengers of a sinking boat which includes Fields' like wise cursed daughter, Martha Raye. Also on board is Bob's three ex-wives and his current flame, Dorothy Lamour - yes, they didn't meet on the road. The film has plenty of irrelevant splashy musical numbers. But it is Bob and Shirley Ross' rendition of Thanks for the Memories that is the high moment in the film.
The best thing about these two films is Martha Raye. She shines in both films and shows her talents. Too bad Hollywood never found a place for her. But these two films and her great performance in Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux make a great tribute to her.
This DVD is a must have if you are one of the following: *A Bob Hope fan *A Martha Raye fan *Someone with an interest in early Hollywood musicals
DVD EXTRAS: None "
There were some parts of this DVD I liked a lot....
Movie Mania | 02/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"College Swing is a wacky zany Gracie Allen film. It has some cute musical numbers (including one where Gracie sings to Edward Everett Horton and a classic duet with Martha Raye and Bob Hope). The story doesn't matter. It's just fun to see all these big stars--Hope, Burns and Allen, Horton, Martha Raye, and Betty Grable, together. The dance scene with Ben Blue and Martha Raye is a riot too.I was a little disappoined with The Big Broadcast of 1938. The only really funny bits in the film are the W.C. Fields scenes. Ben Blue comes off as annoying in this film and Hope just doesn't seem to have a chance to show off his talents. There are some musical numbers that seem to make things drag. Overall, it looks like a very hastily put-together mish-mash of unrelated scenes.The W.C. Fields golf scene is one of the funniest I've ever seen."
Looking for Quality | Indiana | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those interested in the quality of the sound and picture and if it is an original, unaltered release rest assured this one is. Fantastic sound and picture quality with no alteration. A genuine pleasure to watch and own."