Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »
Mimi Miceli Jr. is, the son of a Mafia don who was exiled back to Sicily. He wants to get back into the family business and transplant it from New York to Hollywood. After the kidnapping ... See full summary »
Biff Jones is a driver/salesman for the Good Humor ice-cream company. He hopes to marry his girl Margie, who works as a secretary for Stuart Nagel, an insurance investigator. Margie won't ... See full summary »
Oswald the Rabbit puts on a concert for a group of barn animals - but when they discover that he's miming to a record of his idol, Paul Whiteman - they boo and shun him. Oswald wanders off ... See full summary »
This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music, called Jazz.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bix Beiderbecke was meant to appear in the film and journeyed to California with the rest of Paul Whiteman and Orchestra in June 1929, during their first trip to Los Angeles. By the time the band returned to Hollywood to start shooting, however, Beiderbecke had become ill and was unable to travel. See more »
In the single musical sequence that they share, Jeanie Lang, Grace Hayes and William Kent sing "I LIKE to do things for you". But the title-card that introduces the sequence incorrectly gives the song-title as "I'D LIKE to do things for you". See more »
No record of American music could be complete without George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which was written for the Whiteman Orchestra and first played at the Aeolian Hall, in 1924. The most primitive and most modern musical elements are combined in this rhapsody.
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The 1933 re-release added a few brief, newly-filmed comedy sketches along with slightly revised opening credits, but removed nearly 35 minutes of footage in return. These added scenes are bonus material on the 2018 Criterion release. Prior to 2016, most prints ran about 93 minutes. See more »
1930's King of Jazz is the strangest and most surreal of the early sound cycle of movie studio revues. Very few films shot completely in two-strip Technicolor survive - this is one of them. Warner Bros. probably made the most all-Technicolor films in the early sound era, but since most of them were Vitaphone the films have long since been lost in most cases.
The 1929 and 1930 early sound revues were made by the studios primarily to showcase their talent in an all-talking setting. MGM's "Hollywood Revue of 1929" started the cycle, and did a pretty good job. However, other studios lost sight of the goal and the revues that followed were often clumsily put together and didn't even showcase talent that belonged to the studio.
"The King of Jazz" is a surprise not only because it holds up so well with time, but because it is such a non-typical product for Universal Studios of that era. Universal of the 20's and 30's mainly made westerns for rural moviegoers with an occasional prestige picture and they were beginning to dabble in the horror genre for which the studio is most remembered. However, at this time they were also known for their thrift, which went out the window when they made this film. The film starts out with a cartoon showing how Paul Whiteman - who called himself The King of Jazz - discovered Jazz. What follows are a sequence of musical and comedy routines. This film doesn't make the mistake of trying to sew the numbers together with some maudlin backstage melodrama. It simply presents the numbers in sequence. Most of the talent here is not under long-term contract to Universal. Laura LaPlante is one of the rare exceptions to that rule. The musical numbers are a delight and it is great to see Bing Crosby at the very beginning of his career. The Brox Sisters light up this film just as they did MGM's revue with "Singin in the Rain". The whole thing is so lively and done with with such innovation and energy considering the static camera of the early talkie era that I can't believe Universal has never thought to put this on DVD. They made this one great musical and didn't really make another one until 1936's "Showboat".
My favorite number is "Song of the Dawn" featuring handsome John Boles with his piercing eyes in close up during most of the number belting out a song with that wonderful tenor voice of his. The most memorable number though has got to be "Happy Feet" with dancing shoes and the Sisters G as singing heads in a shoebox. This number also has the aptly named Al "Rubber Legs" Norman showing us the moon dance 28 years before Michael Jackson was even born.
Highly recommended for the fun of it all.
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