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The Crimson Moviegoer

"The Big Broadcast of 1937" High Class Vaudeville; "Seven Sinners" Intricately Interesting


"The Big Broadcast of 1937" begins at the University its third local run, there-by missing its last chance of being correctly dated, and bearing testimony to the speed which in the field of entertainment it describes. The picture is an abundant offering to those who spend their time and enthusiasm oscillating between the moviehouse and the radio. For besides the many personages dragged more or less directly into the plot, there are such purely gratuitous features as Benny Goodman and his orchestra, and Stokowski, the frenzied genius who seems to tell his musicians exactly what he wants with his violently contorted hands.

Jack Benny consents to be the background, if a somewhat conspicuous one, for the whole complex picture. As the manager of a radio hour for which George Burns and Gracie Allen are the sponsors, one of his major tribulations is coping with the lunacy of Gracie, which is only slightly suppressed by George. Then there are Shirley Ross and Ray Milland, who in addition to further complicating things for Jack Benny, supply the indispensable young love. Miss Ross, in acting very badly and running away, gives Martha Raye, the substitute, a chance to be undignified and unladylike to her heart's content. And Bob (Bazooka) Burns overshadows the whole thing with his bucolic wisdom and his knack of getting in where he isn't wanted. Considered as vaudeville rather than as drama, "The Big Broadcast" is quite acceptable entertainment.

"Seven Sinners" is a murder mystery which is kept in active motion by the impact of three disastrous train wrecks. The lottery that selects the villain has returned once more to the detective. This selection might very well be guessed by anyone with his wits about him, for besides the American hero-slueth Edmund Lowe, there is a malignant-looking French detective, who could scarcely be put to any honest use. Movie blood-hounds hunt in mixed pairs, and the mediocre Mr. Lowe has by his side Miss Constance Cummings, who in spite of her early promise seems to have reached her level. In addition to the train wrecks and the counterfeit detective there are all sorts of tangles involving very much alive villains listed as dead, pseudo-charitable organizations, and bogus priests. But Mr. Lowe unravels them all most admirably, and he explains his deductions so fast that no one is tempted to ask questions. Only we might have suggested to him that he investigate a couple of shots that almost cut short the career of himself and his companion, rather that finding clues in the pictures hanging in the London Gildhall.

The March of Time makes stop-offs this time at the P.W.A.'s venture into the show business, the prospects of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the activities of King Leopold of Belgium against Fascist Leo Degrelle and toward strongly armed neutrality.

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