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Kate Smith and Randolph Scott in Hello, Everybody

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TODAY'S SPECIAL

Hello, Everybody! (1933)

Starring Kate Smith and Randolph Scott

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.

Reported to have cost a whopping $2 million, this musical was actually made for far less. But unlike She Done Him Wrong (1932), filmed simultaneously next door, Hello, Everybody! made nary a nickel. Both films starred newcomers, but unlike the irrepressible Mae West, hefty Kate Smith, of radio fame, was given very little opportunity to shine. Awarded script and casting approval, the radio star had chosen a Fannie Hurst tearjerker about a goodhearted but plump farm girl who finds solace in music while her boyfriend takes off with her svelte sister. Paramount, however, made the fatal mistake of casting Smith's real-life manager Ted Collins as her on-screen agent as well, and Collins' overbearing presence was of no help whatsoever to the nervous songbird. Adding insult to injury, Sally Blane, the nearly emaciated sister of equally svelte Loretta Young, played Smith's sibling, insuring that Kate's ungainly girth remained steadfastly in focus. A wardrobe consisting of matronly housedresses and an especially atrocious production number entitled "Pickanninnies' Heaven" put the final nail in the coffin. In the end, Hello, Everybody! proved enough of a loser for Kate Smith to stay away from feature films entirely until a brief cameo in the all-star wartime extravaganza This is the Army (1943). Mae West, meanwhile, considered the phrase "Hello, Everybody!" such a jinx that she reportedly prohibited anyone from using it in her presence!

Director: William A. Seiter
Writers: Lawrence Hazard, Fannie Hurst, Dorothy Yost


Stars: Kate Smith, Randolph Scott, Sally Blane, Charley Grapewin, George Barbier, Wade Boteler, Julia Swayne Gordon, Ted Collins, Frank Jenks

Songs include:

Moon Song (That Wasn't Meant For Me)
Words by Sam Coslow
Music by Arthur Johnston
Sung by Kate Smith

Out In The Great Open Spaces
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Music by Arthur Johnston
Sung by Kate Smith

Twenty Million People
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Music by Arthur Johnston
Sung by Kate Smith

Pickaninnies' Heaven
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Music by Arthur Johnston
Sung by Kate Smith

My Queen Of Lullaby Land
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Music by Arthur Johnston

This film's working title was Queen of the Air. The title of Fannie Hurst's original story was "Nice Girl." As the film's opening credits roll, Kate Smith sings "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain," which was her radio signature song. In the New York nightclub scene, Smith performs her famous "hotcha" dance. A montage within the film, which shows Kate Smith's rise to fame, includes RKO marquees.

On the basis on this, her only starring vehicle, it's easy to see why Kate Smith never made it as a film star and also why she was a tremendous star on radio. On film she makes minimal impact, seeming cheery but not being able to convey much other emotion. It doesn't help that the story surrounding her is hopelessly corny. However when she sings her warm beautifully inflected voice projects all the nuance that is missing in her acting performance.

Probably no film studio had a closer relationship with the medium of radio than Paramount. With their Big Broadcast series that featured the radio stars of the day and the fact that one of the biggest of them all, Bing Crosby, was signed and their biggest moneymaking star, Adolph Zukor and those who succeeded him knew the value of that symbiotic relationship as a publicity outlet for their films. With that in mind they signed Kate Smith to appear in Hello Everybody which was her greeting to her radio audience for decades.

The two things that most people know about Kate Smith today was that she sang God Bless America and the fact that the woman was overweight. It was for that reason that she did not pursue a career in the theater even with one of the most beautiful voices ever given a human being. Radio coming along as it did made her career and made her a household name.

The film written for her was a Capra type populist story of a small town farm girl named Kate Smith who becomes an overnight radio sensation and uses her new found celebrity to help the folks back home. A power company is coming through to build a dam that will flood out a lot of people including Kate and her family.

Aiding and abetting Kate is Jimmy Stewart type hero, young Randolph Scott who woos and weds Kate's younger sister Sally Blane. Of course Kate kind of likes Randy too and she's brokenhearted to see his attention paid to Blane. It gives her an opportunity to sing Moon Song, a touching and sentimental torch ballad written for the film by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow who also wrote the scores for a few of Bing Crosby's early Paramount films.

Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.

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Stars: Penny Singleton, Arthur Lake, Larry Simms

This third entry in Columbia's "Blondie" series retains the freshness and laugh quotient of the first two, which is more than can be said for the series' later offerings. Taking a well-deserved rest, the Bumstead family-Dagwood (Arthur Lake), Blondie (Penny Singleton), Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms) and Daisy the dog-head to a financially strapped mountain resort. Here the family champions the cause of the lodge's owners, who are being victimized by crooked real estate man Harvey Morton (Donald MacBride). Salvation comes from an unexpected corner in the form of cherub pyromaniac Jonathan Gillis (Donald Meek). Though there are slapstick and farcical situations aplenty, Blondie Takes a Vacation has a relaxed, easygoing quality, due in no small part to the warm rapport among the leading players.

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Stars: Rod La Rocque, Rita La Roy, Charles Byer

 

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Stars: Sally O'Neil, Johnny Mack Brown, Clyde Cook


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Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner

 

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Stars: Walter Ringham, Johnston Forbes-Robertson, S.A. Cookson

 

Previously filmed in 1932 as Vampyr, Sheridan LeFanu's classic psychological horror tale was given a second go round in 1961 as Blood & Roses (Et Mourir de Plaisir). While Carl Theodor Dreyer concentrated on mood and suspense in Vampyr, Blood & Roses director Roger Vadim goes directly to the jugular, so to speak, with generous doses of eerie eroticism. Annette Vadim plays Carmilla, who upon learning that she had a vampire ancestor becomes obsessed with finding out even more. Soon Carmilla has succumbed to the siren song of vampirism, and cannot quench her insatiable thirst for human blood. The lesbian subtext in the LeFanu original is played out con brio by Vadim-though not in the heavily bowderlized version made available to American audiences in 1962. Blood & Roses was subsequently remade as The Vampire Lovers and The Blood-Spattered Bride.

 

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Stars: John Lupton, James Edwards, Brett Halsey

 

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