The Great American Broadcast (1941)
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of commercial radio, 20th Century-Fox cooked up the pageantlike entertainment The Great American Broadcast. Opening with clips of such airwaves favorites as Dick Powell and Fred Allen (courtesy of earlier Fox films like Thanks a Million), the picture gets under way in 1918, as ambitious army buddies Bix Martin (John Payne) and Chuck Hadley (Jack Oakie) try and fail to establish themselves in the business world. At long last, our heroes enter the new field of radio broadcasting, where after several technical and tactical mishaps they achieve success. But Bix and Chuck are strictly small-timers, and soon they're left behind by the big-city stations. The partners break up, while Bix's songstress wife Vicki Adams (Alice Faye) seeks out a loan to get her husband back on his financial feet. When she approaches her wealthy ex-boyfriend Bruce Chadwick (Cesar Romero), Bix burns up and walks out on her. But old pal Chuck comes to the rescue, staging a reunion between Bix and Vicki during the first-ever coast to coast network broadcast. Rather shaky as history, The Great American Broadcast works best on a nostalgia level, offering guest appearances by such specialty performers as The Ink Spots, The Nicholas Brothers, and The Wiere Brothers (of Road to Rio fame). … More
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