Review: ‘The Big Broadcast of 1936’

Big Broadcast of 1936 is a film broadcaster of plenty of names and considerable entertainment. It hasn't much story, but the lack won't bother much.

Big Broadcast of 1936 is a film broadcaster of plenty of names and considerable entertainment. It hasn’t much story, but the lack won’t bother much.

Names are in and out as fast and as often as a firefly’s tail light. There just isn’t time for a ‘plot’, and probably best that none was attempted. Jack Oakie, Burns and Allen, Lyda Roberti, Wendy Barrie, Henry Wadsworth, C. Henry Gordon and a few others carry on whatever yarn there is and they play it lightly, as required.

You have to look quickly to see such names as Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Ray Noble’s band, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Boland and Ruggles and Bill Robinson. These and other specialty turns are worked into the continuity via a crazy television gag.

Oakie is the slightly bankrupt operator of a small time station and doubles as the outlet’s ‘great lover’. Oakie does the spieling and his partner (Henry Wadsworth) the crooning. Burns and Allen come in with an ingenious and also nutty television contraption, invented by Gracie’s uncle, which can pick up any event and also send. The plot flows in between frequent ‘television’ specialties, with the telebox the vital prop of the picture.

1935: Nomination: Best Dance Direction (‘Elephant Number – It’s the Animal in Me’)

The Big Broadcast of 1936

Production

Paramount. Director Norman Taurog; Producer Benjamin Glazer; Screenplay Walter DeLeon, Francis Martin, Ralph Spence; Camera Leo Tover

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Jack Oakie George Burns Gracie Allen Lyda Roberti Bing Crosby Ethel Merman
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