Both Alice Faye and Jack Haley are capital as the love interest, former never looking better and handling light emotional scenes with conviction. Walter Winchell and bandleader Ben Bernie play Winchell and Bernie, and are swell. Any modifications of Winchell the newspaperman into Winchell the actor therefore are few and mild enough not to be noticed. The Winchell-Bernie backbiting is brittle. This duel holds up in the picture, especially since it’s deftly tied with the story.
Patsy Kelly, as Winchell’s Girl Friday, and Ned Sparks, as his chief spy, are corking comedy support. Grace Bradley is a looker and cast as a light menace. Leah Ray whams with her personality in a brief rhumba interlude.
Production and technical niceties are plentiful. They range from the ultra-modern dialog to the corking Mack Gordon and Harry Revel songs, of which there are nine. The radio background, with its deft digs at the military austerity and the honor of being a Radio Centre guide, makes Wake Up and Live the first really good satire on radio [from a story by Curtis Kenyon based on Dorothy Brande’s book of the same title].
The whammo off-screen singing of radio’s Buddy Clark for Jack Haley will impress. There’s no billing for Clark, of course, under contract to CBS.