|GIFT OF GAB (director: Karl Freund; screenwriters: Raian James/Lou Breslow/story by Philip G. Epstein & Jerry Wald; cinematographer: George Robinson; editor: Raymond Curtiss ; music: Edward Ward/Albert Von Tilzer/Con Conrad/Charles Tobias; cast: Edmund Lowe (Phillip Gabney), Gloria Stuart (Barbara Kelton), Ruth Etting (Ruth), Tom Hanlon (radio Announcer), Phil Baker (Absent-minded doctor), Ethel (Ethel Waters), Alexander Woollcott (Alexander Woollcott), Victor Moore (Colonel Trivers), Alice White (Margot), Boris Karloff (The Phantom), Bela Lugosi (French Apache Dancer), Sidney Skolsky (Movie Magazine Columnist), Roger Pryor (Kelly), Andy Devine (McDougal, waiter), Binnie Barnes (Maid), Sterling Holloway (Sound effects man); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Carl Laemmle Jr. ; Universal; 1934)|
|"It's watchable only because of
the many star cameos."
by Dennis Schwartz
Freund ("The Mummy"/"Moonlight and
Pretzels"/"Mad Love") helms this odd all-star cast
musical comedy, that plays out as if a series of
one-reelers. It's watchable only because of the many
star cameos. Though the comedy stinks, the music is
bearable. It includes one watchable bad sketch in
which Boris Karloff brings on an inane parody to
the genre of detectives investigations. The story by Philip G. Epstein
& Jerry Wald is
nothing to brag about. The screenplay by Lou
Breslow and Rian James is also nothing much.
Lowe stars as the conceited radio man, the one with
the gift of gab who could sell anything. Lowe rises to
the top and then falls because he fakes an interview,
causing him to become a drunk. Lowe redeems himself by
locating a lost plane and broadcasting live on radio
his heroic rescue attempt. The plane's location comes
about from a tip received from his girlfriend (Gloria
Ruth Etting sings "Talking to Myself" and "Tomorrow, Who Cares?". Other songs are sung by a variety of performers and include "I Ain't Gonna Sin No More," "Gift Of Gab," "Somebody Looks Good," "Don't Let This Waltz Mean Goodbye," "Walkin' On Air," "What A Wonderful Day," and "Blue Sky Avenue.
REVIEWED ON 12/22/2014 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ