Mr. Doodle Kicks Off


This movie is a vehicle for Joe Penner, who was apparently one of the most famous radio comedians of the mid-30s. There are not many recordings of his broadcasts, though, and he died very young, so he is not so famous today.

Penner plays Jimmie 'Doodle' Bugs, the son of a wealthy businessman. He wants to pursue a career as a band leader, but his father wants him to be a college athlete. Manipulations ensue.

Billy Gilbert has a real part in this movie, even bigger than in Broadway Melody of 1938.

Daredevil Drivers


A reckless driver (Dick Purcell) in the already extremely dangerous sport of auto racing is sanctioned and banned from racing. He gets involved in the competition between two commercial bus companies: one with dangerously unsafe maintenance of their fleet (owned by a woman) and one with dangerously bad scruples.

The second female lead is played by Gloria Blondell, Joan's sister.

Four Men and a Prayer


Directed by John Ford and David Niven and Loretta Young, this movie is a mess.

Plot: A high ranking British officer in India is improperly blamed for allegedly issuing an order that resulting in ninety people being killed. He receives a dishonorable discharge and telegrams his four sons to meet him at home to help prove his innocence. His sons have all done well - one is at Oxford, one is a barrister, one is an aviator/playboy and one works in the British embassy in the United States. The sons are named Wyatt, Geoffrey, Chris, and Rodney, but are nicknamed Beano, Boson, Nosey, and Snicklefritz. After they all gather at the family homestead (but before they can get down to the business of proving their father's innocence) their father is murdered in such a way that it appears to have been a suicide. This further damages his reputation.

The boys and Loretta Young set off to India, Argentina, and Egypt to restore their father's honor. David Niven is periodically funny but the rest is just a mangle.

There is an appearance by Reginald Denny whom I liked so much as Bulldog Drummond's valet in those movies.

Give Me a Sailor


As I said about Swing It, Sailor, this is a movie about Navy buddies and trouble with women. This movie has Betty Grable, Bob Hope, and Martha Raye. Bob Hope is one of two Brewster brothers, both Navy men. They have grown up with the Larkin sisters, played by Betty Grable and Martha Raye. There is a lack of consensus about which brother should end up with which sister.

I had forgotten about the $250,000.00 Movie Quiz contest which I have talked about previously, but this was one of the movies involved. I have managed to obtain a copy of the complete entry form and the question for this movie is:

What kind of contest does Martha Ray win? (Check one)
( ) A big mouth contest
( ) A cake-baking contest
( ) A dancing contest
( ) A slogan contest

I have a little problem with this because the right answer is not offered. While she attempts to enter a cake-baking contest, she actually mistakenly enters and wins a "best legs" contest. Whom do I complain to?

Crashing Hollywood


Michael Winston, a would-be writer of Hollywood crime dramas, has a fortuitous run in with Herman Tibbitts, a former crime gang member trying to go straight. They decide to collaborate, becoming wildly successful recounting true crimes from Tibbitts's past as Hollywood thrillers. Tibbitts's old crime boss, the Hawk, finds out and tries to put a stop to it.

This movie was tons of fun. There are chance encounters on a train (with porter Willie Best). There are goofy henchmen. There is a case of mistaken identity because of identical strangers. There is fast-paced witty dialog throughout. And there are ducks. If you want to see an old black-and-white movie starring nobody you know, you could do much worse than this.

Night Spot


Two musicians-turned-cops go undercover at a mob owned night club to bust open a diamond heist racket. Main cast includes Parkyakarkus as Gashouse, a confused, greek-accented henchman. Parky (born Harry Einstein) is the father of Super Dave Osborne and Albert Brooks. He collapsed and died at the dais after giving a speech at a Friar's Club roast in 1958.

Broadway Melody of 1938


This is another movie released in 1937 but with 1938 in the title, so I'm including it. MGM released "The Broadway Melody" in 1929 and it won the Oscar for Best Picture that year. Subsequently MGM released three more musical showcase pictures: "The Broadway Melody of 1936", "The Broadway Melody of 1938", and "The Broadway Melody of 1940". These last three all starred Eleanor Powell. This one also includes Judy Garland, Buddy Ebsen, and (1938 favorite of mine) Billy Gilbert.

Highlight: Judy Garland sings her "Dear Mr. Gable" version of "You Made Me Love You".

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