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Swing Hostess

Martha Tilton , Claire Rochelle , Sam Newfield  |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Price: $9.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Martha Tilton, Claire Rochelle, Harry Holman, Terry Frost, Charles Collins
  • Directors: Sam Newfield
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Reel Enterprises
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WR3NQO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,281 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Unemployed aspiring swing-band singer Judy Alvin (Tilton) is unable to get a job with another band, and is instead hired as a switchboard operator at a new juke box company. The company sells unique art-deco style juke boxes where the pictured operator is phoned at the push of a button by the customer, and who then acts as a DJ to play requested records. In a plot similar to "Singin' in the Rain," the evil Phoebe Forbes (Brodel), who can't sing, passes off Judy's lovely singing voice as her own and gains fame for it. Later, Judy falls in love with handsome bandleader Benny Jackson (Collins), who hires her on as his featured singer, which ends up exposing Phoebe as a fraud. Great comic relief is provided by Judy's roommate Marge O'Day (Adrian).

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are three good reasons to watch Swing Hostess, a low-budget 1944 quickie from the movie sausage factory of PRC. The first is The Liltin' Miss Martha Tilton. Tilton made her name as one of the best of the big band singers during her three years with Benny Goodman, including being the vocalist for Goodman's extraordinary 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert. To my knowledge, Martha Tilton only made two films where she more-or-less starred. Swing Hostess was one. In the other eight or nine movies she appeared in she just showed up to sing a specialty song or two. Tilton was blond, small, attractive and no worse an actress than, say, Betty Grable. For some reason, a major studio never picked her up. Her singing, however, is tops...warm and swinging, tender or quick. Think of Goodman's "And the Angels Sing" and "Loch Lomond"'re listening to Martha Tilton.

The second reason is the songs by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The team is at the start of its long Hollywood career here. The talent and quality are evident. They began doing songs for hire at Monogram and Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) but quickly moved up the food chain to Paramount. The combination of Martha Tilton and Livingston and Evans is a happy one. The six songs just swing along with style, and Tilton makes the most of them. None became hits but there's not a turkey in the lot. One of the best is "Say It With Love."

If you want to sway my existence, say it with love.
You can take away my resistance. Say it with love.
When you talk so nice
You put a kick in it.
There's such a trick in it
I see paradise waitin' down the road.

If you want your heart to start singin', say it with love.
If you want that lark to start swingin', give him a shove.
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Swing Hostess was better than I expected it to be. It's got a fairly good plot and several strong musical numbers sung by the immortal Martha Tilton. I always loved the way Martha sang; her voice was one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. I don't understand why a movie studio never gave her a contract; but at least we get to see her acting and singing on film here. Martha sings songs including the romantic "Say It With Love" and the much more playful "I'll Eat My Hat." The acting was convincing; and the choreography shines in the nightclub scene at the end of the picture. There are some good visual effects as well.

When the film starts, we meet down and out would-be singer Judy Alvin (Martha Tilton) who shares a room with Marge O'Day (Iris Adrian) in a boarding house for unemployed actors and entertainers run by Mr. Blodgett (Emmett Lynn). There's Merlini the magician (Philip Van Zandt), his chicken named Mary, acrobats and more people yet at the boarding house. After striking out on an audition for Mr. Fralick's (Harry Holman) recording company; Marge suggests Judy take a job as a switchboard operator for a jukebox company until she can find a job as a singer. It's a hard job; but Judy tries to make a go of it.

However, Judy has two friends Joe (Earle Bruce) and Hank (Terry Frost) working in Fralick's recording studio; and they still believe in Judy. They let Judy cut a record that's absolutely wonderful. Because of a misunderstanding and a record switch, another would-be singer who can't sing, Phoebe (Betty Brodel), gets her record sent to Mr. Fralick instead of Judy's record. Fralick even signs Phoebe to a contract singing with Benny Jackson (Charles Collins) & His Orchestra. In addition, the tension mounts between Fralick and his customer Mr.
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