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The Big Broadcast of 1938

(1938 b 91')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A bumbling owner of an ocean-liner manages to win a race while entertainers perform for radio broadcasts.

Two ocean-liners compete in a race across the Atlantic. Radio announcer Buzz Fielding (Bob Hope) is in jail visited by his three ex-wives, who are demanding alimony; but Dorothy Wyndham (Dorothy Lamour) gets him out. The exs don't want their split shrunk again and decide to follow. T. F. Bellows sends his brother S. B. Bellows (W. C. Fields) on the Colossal, because they own the Gigantic, and he knows his brother. At a gas station S. B. Bellows starts a fire by tossing a cigar and running over the pumps. Bellows plays golf with a motor-cart and finds various ways to cheat. On the Gigantic Robert Hayes (Leif Erickson) catches Dorothy's hat. Bellows flies on his golf cart to the Gigantic by mistake, damages the electric power with his umbrella, and forbids Robert the use of radio power.

Tito Guizar sings "Secret Love" and a song in Spanish he calls "I Love You." Buzz is worried he will lose his $50,000 bet, because the Gigantic is way behind; but he gets ex-wife Grace (Grace Bradley) to seduce Bellows so that Robert can fix the power. Dorothy sings "You Took the Words Right Out of My Heart" to Robert, and Buzz is jealous. Kirsten Flagstad sings the Wagnerian "Brunhilda's Battle-cry." Bellows wakes up and drinks breakfast. His daughter Martha Bellows (Martha Raye) is rescued from a sinking ship. Mike (Ben Blue) breaks the records Buzz was going to play, and Buzz sends him with a microphone to pick up passengers. Honey Chile (Patricia Wilder) performs a play by herself. Martha causes mirrors to break. Buzz and his ex-wife Cleo (Shirley Ross) sing the Academy-Award-winning "Thanks for the Memory."

Robert tells Dorothy that he can't fix the power; but Martha removes the umbrella tip, enabling Robert to start it up. Bellows plays pool with a cue stick more bent than what he does to the rules. On deck Martha kisses Scoop McPhail (Lynne Overman) and sings "Mama!" as sailors throw her around. The Gigantic makes gains. Captain Stafford (Russell Hicks) warns Bellows about the fog; but Bellows fires him and locks him out. Bellows steers by icebergs. Buzz introduces "The Waltz," showing a history of dances. In the morning the crew breaks in on Bellows as they approach Cherbourg. Buzz tells Cleo that he wants her. This allows Dorothy to accept Robert, and they embrace. The Gigantic wins the race.

This variety show features the first starring role for Bob Hope with his signature song and the comedic talents of W. C. Fields, offering audiences mass-produced low-cost entertainment in an era of huge ocean-liners.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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