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The premise is that in 1939 WBN, a Chicago-based radio 'superstation,' is attempting to launch a national network to compete with NBC, CBS, Dumont and Mutual. (Note: one thing that makes me as a fan of old-time radio grit his teeth is the movie's constant reference to launching a 'fourth' network when in fact there were already four - five, if you count NBC Blue and NBC Red (later ABC) as two separate networks. It's a glaring mistake and one that could have been fixed with one lousy line of dialogue!) During the inaugural network broadcast, a series of murders of important players in the enterprise takes place within the walls of the station. Suspicion falls on the head of the station's writing team, who is about to be divorced by his wife, the station's assistant manager. He has to figure out who the murderer is and solve the case, while simultaneously staying out of the hands of the cops AND continuing to write half a dozen different radio scripts.
As I said, a thin plot. However, what makes this movie worth watching is the look behind the radio broadcasts of the period. The attention paid to authenticity is remarkable, not least because of the homages to many Golden Age radio entertainers. Among those honored are Orson Welles (The Shadow), Gene Autry (The Singing Cowboy), Spike Jones and his City Slickers (the interpretation of Kacheturian's "Sabre Dance" done on tuned bottles is right up Spike's alley), Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller.Read more ›
There were plenty of pretty chorus girls and fast moving slapstick humor and action. You had to be alert to catch all the jokes! As I was doing a personal study of the prophet Ezekiel at the time the weird line inserted into a radio play dialog-"Die, you infidel Dog, die!-The Curse of Nebuchadnezzar be upon you!" really cracked me up since the prophecy of Ezekiel was set in ancient Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar was emperor. There is, of course, no such curse!
In real life I heard on a history TV show that the man who invented TV in the 30's had it patented; and yet no one bought his patent; but the corporations waited until the patent expired and waited after WWII and then took the invention from the man for free. This is a real danger of producing intellectual property! Obviously the mystery killer in the movie had a genuine legitimate grudge!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dumb. Cliché. Nudity for no reason (which surprised me in a "PG" movie). I am kind of embarrassed that I finished it.Published 8 days ago by Kathy Daniel
This is a really awesome movie. It's comedy and mystery combined, which is rarely pulled off, but here it's awesome. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Jennifer Feuerbach
This one was disappointing to me. Over-acting ( probably directed to do so ) made it seem like a farce instead of a good mystery/comedy. TeriPublished 4 months ago by Teri Andrews
If your looking for light hearted fare with a reminder of what it was like before television this is for you. Because of brief nude scene I would suggest over 13 and up.
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