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Rare classic movies on DVD! Our DVD-Rs are region-free, studio titles are Region 1.

The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935) DVD-R

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Quick Overview

Starring Jack Oakie, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Wendy Barrie, Henry Wadsworth, C. Henry

Gordon, Benny Baker, Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles, David Holt,

Virginia Weidler, Guy Standing, Akim Tamiroff, Samuel S. Hinds, Dorothy Dandridge, Glenn

Miller, Chester Conklin, Gail Patrick

Directed by Norman Taurog



Print: black/white

Runtime: 97 min.

Genre: musical

Print Quality: B



After a false start in 1932, Paramount's Big Broadcast series was jump-started in late 1935

with The Big Broadcast of 1936. The wisp of a storyline involves two-bit radio station owner

Spud (Jack Oakie), who doubles as the station's sole announcer while his comic partner

Smiley (Henry Wadsworth) serves as the house crooner. On the verge of bankruptcy, Spud

is receptive to the wacky notions of George Burns and Gracie Allen, who've just invented a

television device which can pick up and transmit any signal, any time, anywhere. Among the

variety artists captured on cathode by George and Gracie's invention are Bing Crosby, Ethel

Merman, Amos 'N' Andy (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll in blackface), Bill "Bojangles"

Robinson, the Vienna Boys Choir, bandleaders Ray Noble and Ina Ray Hutton, and a

knockabout vaudeville act called Willie, West and McGinty, who spend most of the film's

running time trying to simultaneously build and demolish a house. The plot evolves into a dry

run for the later Hope-Crosby "Road" pictures, with Spud and Smiley ending up on the

intrigue-ridden island governed by zany countess Ysobel de Nargila (Lyda Roberti).

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Detail

Starring Jack Oakie, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Wendy Barrie, Henry Wadsworth, C. Henry
Gordon, Benny Baker, Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles, David Holt,
Virginia Weidler, Guy Standing, Akim Tamiroff, Samuel S. Hinds, Dorothy Dandridge, Glenn
Miller, Chester Conklin, Gail Patrick
Directed by Norman Taurog

Print: black/white
Runtime: 97 min.
Genre: musical
Print Quality: B

After a false start in 1932, Paramount's Big Broadcast series was jump-started in late 1935
with The Big Broadcast of 1936. The wisp of a storyline involves two-bit radio station owner
Spud (Jack Oakie), who doubles as the station's sole announcer while his comic partner
Smiley (Henry Wadsworth) serves as the house crooner. On the verge of bankruptcy, Spud
is receptive to the wacky notions of George Burns and Gracie Allen, who've just invented a
television device which can pick up and transmit any signal, any time, anywhere. Among the
variety artists captured on cathode by George and Gracie's invention are Bing Crosby, Ethel
Merman, Amos 'N' Andy (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll in blackface), Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson, the Vienna Boys Choir, bandleaders Ray Noble and Ina Ray Hutton, and a
knockabout vaudeville act called Willie, West and McGinty, who spend most of the film's
running time trying to simultaneously build and demolish a house. The plot evolves into a dry
run for the later Hope-Crosby "Road" pictures, with Spud and Smiley ending up on the
intrigue-ridden island governed by zany countess Ysobel de Nargila (Lyda Roberti).

The Big Broadcast of 1936 is the story of Spud Miller who manages the radio station W.H.Y. with his partner Smiley and two young performers, Dot and Dash. He is about to lose the station due to lack of funds. Two entrepreneurs, George and Gracie try to sell Spud the “Radio Eye”, a device that picks up broadcasts and events all over the world and projects them on a viewing screen. Spud keeps the machine and plans to use it for his own broadcasts. He also receives the acceptance notice from the International Broadcasting Competition for his station to compete for the best broadcast. Spud’s radio personality attracts the Countess Ysobel who goes to the station and discovers that the radio personality is actually Spud’s speaking voice and Smiley’s singing voice. She is determined to marry either one of them, so she kidnaps both of them and takes them to her country. Ysobel’s secretary, Sue falls in love with Smiley and warns him that Gordoni, the caretaker of Ysobel’s plantation is very protective of Ysoble and has killed all her suitors. The next night, Spud and Smiley find out that Gordoni plans to kill them at midnight, and they request help by using the Radio Eye. George and Gracie try to help them, but their boat is involved in an accident and they are rescued by a passing boat.

Meanwhile, Spud and Smiley broadcast their story over the Radio Eye and use the images they pick up on the screen to entertain Ysobel so that she does not sleep. They do this because they are aware that as soon she is asleep, Gordoni will kill them. The broadcasting competition picks up their transmission and assumes it is their entry in the contest. As soon as it is midnight, Spud and Smiley fight with Gordoni. Spud and Smiley run off in a horsedrawn carriage with Gordoni’s men behind them. The carriage and horses separate and they are about to fall into the ocean as they are rescued by the U.S. Marines. Gordoni who is in the carriage falls into the ocean. Spud is reunited with Ysobel and Sue with Smiley and they find out that W.H.Y. has won the broadcasting competition. The Big Broadcast of 1936 is a Paramount Pictures production that was directed by Norman Taurog and was the second in the series of Big Broadcast movies. It is a musical comedy and features many famous and talented actors. The Big Broadcast series began in 1932 and continued in late 1935 with The Big Broadcast of 1936 that was released on September 20, 1935.

This movie stars Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, The Nicholas Brothers, Lyda Roberti, Wendy Barrie, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles, Akim Tamiroff, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Bill Robinson, the popular Argentine tango singer Carlos Gardel, plus an early appearance by Dorothy Dandridge. Glenn Miller appears as part of the Ray Noble Orchestra. The movie received an Academy Award nomination for the best dance direction also.

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