A none-too-popular (nor good) radio singer, Rita Wilson is murdered while singing on the air in a radio studio. Radio page boy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solve the mystery for the none-too-sharp police.
If you can get past some of the racist jokes thrown out at the expense of radio studio janitor Mantan Moreland, you'll have a good time in this hour-long second feature with Frankie Darro as a studio page who helps solve the murders of a temperamental singer. Suspects are many as this rather untalented singer (Lorna Gray) is extremely obnoxious, threatening as many times as she can to station owner Dick Elliott that she can get another gig anytime she wants. She's already threatened to walk out when she agrees to go on, notices a cowboy (Gordon Jones) in the audience, and when the lights go out briefly, is shot dead. There's more murder, a dumb detective (Clyde Dilson), and plenty of banter between Darro and Moreland. Like "42nd Street's" Ruby Keeler, there's the brand new receptionist (Marjorie Reynolds) who goes on in her place.
The best material goes to Darro and Moreland, who even if thinking an eight-ball reference is meant for him or telling detective Dilson when Darro is caught in black face that his face doesn't rub off, comes off with his dignity intact. That is a testament to Moreland's talent that he can rise above comical material that depends on racist humor for laughs. While the songs aren't classic, they are fairly sweet, and the film never lags. One movie genre that a normal person might think off-limits to Poverty Row is the musical (because of the extra expense involved with orchestras and singers, not to mention songs and copyright clearances). Yet quite a few musicals made their appearance from time to time along the Row.
For this one, Monogram has ingeniously combined the songs and musical capers with a typical murder mystery. And who solves these radio killings that have stumped the keenest minds of the Los Angeles Police (Hollywood Division)? Why none other than dapper, personably brash Frankie Darro and his delightfully hesitant, broom-wielding sidekick, Mantan Moreland (soon to enrich the Charlie Chan series with his smile-a-minute, banjo-eyed presence).
Further enjoyment is provided by that really lovely girl, Marjorie Reynolds, as the one-step-into-fame heroine. Her voice is a real treat too. The support players do everything that's expected of them and Mr Bretherton's direction definitely rates a cut or two above the average. a5c7b9f00b
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