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The Big Broadcast

Friday, December 4, 2015, 8 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(Frank Tuttle, US 1932, 80 min., 35mm)

UCLA Festival of Preservation. “In the late 1920s, the talkies introduced a wave of all-star revues, such as MGM’s The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and Warner Bros.’s The Show of Shows (1929), which were inspired by the boisterous spirit of vaudeville. Paramount used this variety format as a vehicle to showcase a dazzling array of radio personalities—15 total—whose stardom was built on coast-to-coast radio programs, record sales, and nightclub shows. Radio was in its golden age, and Hollywood had found ways to capitalize on its popularity. The Big Broadcast stars Bing Crosby in his first major role in a feature. The crooner had made his screen debut in Universal’s King of Jazz (1930) as part of the Rhythm Boys trio. Crosby later signed with Mack Sennett, starring in a string of successful musical comedy shorts. In The Big Broadcast, Crosby portrays a radio heartthrob whose perennial tardiness—caused by Sharon Lynn’s vampy Mona Lowe (a play on the tune ‘Moanin’ Low’)—leads a sponsor to pull the plug on the WADX station.” – Jennifer Rhee, UCLA

Preservation funding provided by the Packard Humanities Institute and Universal Pictures.

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.