Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

THE KING OF BURLESQUE (1936)

For a couple of reels at the beginning, and a couple of reels at the end, this backstager from 20th/Fox pulls off a reasonable facsimile of a decent, second-tier, Warner Bros. Depression-era musical. It’s the five reels in the middle that let the side down. Warner Baxter, of 42ND STREET fame, is the hard-charging, ambitious producer of 14th Street burlesque revues who moves up to B’way with his tawdry, talented crew (Alice Faye, Jack Oakie,, Kenny Baker). Then, nothing but hits till Baxter goes ‘high hat,’ marrying a classy dame (Mona Barrie) and putting on a series of tasteful flops. Golly, if only that old gang of his could get him to drop the society facade and save himself with a swell old-fashioned show.* Faye, still showing a bit of baby-fat, is a real charmer here (she even gets a good number in the dead middle reels), while Oakie has better material than usual. Baxter, a natural at neurasthenic exhaustion, strains at being dynamic under director Sidney Lanfield who got a better rhythm going with Bob Hope in the ‘40s. But even musical-phobic types may want to catch the parade of acts that close the film, including goofy-looking/sweet-voiced Kenny Baker and goofy-looking/raspy-voiced Fats Waller.

DOUBLE-BILL: *The plot of THE BAND WAGON/’53 really isn't all that different. And it’s just about the greatest film musical ever made.

No comments: