The Big Broadcast of 1937 | Chicago Reader

The Big Broadcast of 1937

Paramount released four of these “Big Broadcast” movies, which combined a dying entertainment form (the vaudeville revue) with an ascendant one (radio). Directed by Mitchell Leisen, this third installment (1936, 102 min.) features Jack Benny as a radio station manager, Ray Milland as an agent, and Shirley Ross as the young singer they both adore; ornamenting the flimsy plot are George Burns, Gracie Allen, Benny Fields, Martha Raye, Frank Forest, Benny Goodman, and Leopold Stokowski. Of the comic styles on display, Benny's quiet drollery stands up the best; Burns and Allen haven't yet settled into agreeable middle age, and Raye is unbearable.

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