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A comedy based on NBC's "People Are Funny" radio (and later television) program with Art Linkletter with a fictional story of how the program came to be on a national network from its humble beginning at a Nevada radio station. Jack Haley is a producer with only half-rights to the program while Ozzie Nelson and Helen Walker are the radio writers and supply the romance. Rudy Vallee, always able to burlesque himself intentional and, quite often, unintentional, is the owner of the sought-after sponsoring company. Frances Langford, as herself, sings "I'm in the Mood for Love" while the Vagabonds quartet (billed 12th and last) chimes in on "Angeline" and "The Old Square Dance is Back Again."Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Though the film premise is fictionalized, one of the producers vying for the show is named John Guedel (played by Phillip Reed (i)). There really was a John Guedel; he was the original creator and executive producer of the radio program, "People Are Funny." See more »
Two radio producers compete to go national with the popular rural radio show People Are Funny. In the process personal loyalties clash between musical numbers and comedy spots.
Unfortunately the 40's flick is neither very funny nor even tuneful. Mostly the 93-minutes lumbers along in plot-heavy fashion for a musical-comedy. But please, the so-called Vagabonds and their knock-about numbers are more obnoxious than either funny or musical. So why are they given so much screen time-- it's almost like padding the runtime. Fortunately the Spanish production number stands out as quality. But the version I saw appears in noirish half-light that I could barely see. So what was going on there. Worse, where oh where is Frances Langford, a big reason I tuned in. Her expert level of 40's song-birding is badly, badly needed. Then too, why is her lovely presence featured on the poster when she's absent from the movie-- seems like false advertising.
Speaking of noir, catch the star-crossed Helen Walker as Corey the double-dealing go-between. Her promising career as a sinister vixen was tragically cut short by an auto accident from which her career never really recovered, (IMDB). Here, her presence is almost too strong to furnish much needed lighter mood. At the same time, Vallee and Nelson walk through their roles like they're on one cylinder. No wonder Vallee is almost unrecognizable behind big eye glasses.
Anyway, I take no comfort in flogging the movie. I guess I was expecting more since I followed the radio and TV show over many years of rich entertainment. My parents even took me as a kid to the studio for a live broadcast, so I guess the film was an especial letdown for me. I just hope that younger folks won't confuse this lame film version with the real thing.
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