Alice Faye Collection 2 (Rose of Washington Square/Hollywood Cavalcade/The Great American Broadcast/Hello, Frisco, Hello/Four Jills in a Jeep) (Full Chk Gift)
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E20 1941's The Great American Broadcast, directed by workhorse Archie Mayo, does for radio what Cavalcade did for silent pictures. This time John Payne and Jack Oakie are inventing the wireless network; Alice is a saloon singer whose crooning helps their plan succeed (but of course fails to impress Payne for far too long). Along with Faye's singing, some terrific numbers by the Ink Spots and the incredible Nicholas Brothers help this formula along. A big hit in 1943, Hello, Frisco, Hello brought Payne and Oakie back, with Alice once again waiting around for Barbary Coast entrepreneur Payne to notice that they're in love. This is where Faye's marvelous low, mellow voice introduced "You'll Never Know," which the movie wisely keeps reprising. Technicolor-ful to the point where you might need sunglasses, this is one of those loony, stupefyingly mush-headed musicals that make you wonder whether Hollywood had collectively gone mad, or possibly ingested hallucinogenic substances. The excellent prints for these films show off Fox's scrupulous studio style. No commentary tracks, but a selection of featurettes gives smart and relevant background for the movies. --Robert Horton
Top Customer Reviews
- first off is the 1939 "Rose of Washington Square". This is a dramatic musical with a more gutsy part for Faye than usual and an excellent role for matinee idol Tyrone Power as a heel. The story was based on the life of "Funny Girl" Fanny Brice who sued the studio for plagiarism. Al Jolson, as Faye's vaudeville buddy, and Faye sing superbly. The film was severely edited before release and many of the cut scenes survive, some of which have been included here.
- next, also released in 1939, is the technicolour romantic comedy "Hollywood Cavalcade". This is a nostalgic look at the coming of talkies, a Reader's Digest potted history of Hollywood, with Faye's role based loosely on, among others, Mabel Normand, a silent screen comedian, and Don Ameche on Mack Sennett, a silent comedy director. The film is very well made with soft colouring and excellent performances by the leads but the director Irving Cummings, while meticulous, always directed at a plod. The best scenes are the Keystone Cop comedy recreations, not directed by Cummings, before the films descends into the usual cliches with Faye neglected by her leading man and wearing her heart on her sleeve.Read more ›
Sally, Irene, and Mary, Wake Up and Live, Sing Baby Sing ,You Can't Have Everything with Don Ameche and the Ritz Bros. - any of these would be much more valuable releases.Too much to hope that the Fox people read these posts and realize their "mistake".
Otherwise , this is is a great release with four terrific starring Faye vehicles long wanted by fans on dvd.
Others have written the details of the films so I won't rehash. However, let me point out that "Hollywood Cavalcade" has Buster Keaton returning to a supporting role in a feature film for the first time after he was fired from MGM in 1933. He basically plays himself, however here he is in the role of a pie thrower - something he never did in his own films. There is a humorous story of how he surprised Alice Faye with the intensity of his pie attack, and how, after the scene was shot, she chased him for a good distance with her own pie in hand. Keaton did manage to outrun her. It's nice to know Alice's offscreen vitality matched what we saw in her films.
"Rose of Washington Square" (1939) A rags-to-riches showbiz pic with Faye starring as a struggling vaudeville star, co-starring old-timer Al Jolson and matinee idol Tyrone Power.
"Hollywood Cavalcade" (1939) a showbiz comedy with co-star Don Ameche. Pretty, richly colored cinematography compensates somewhat for the by-the-numbers B-movie script.
"The Great American Broadcast" (1941) is a highlight of this set. This frothy, energetic comedy is a loose-with-the-facts fictionalization of how radio became the great American medium of the early 20th Century. Robust, good-natured John Payne (sort of the Brendan Fraser of his time) and comic sidekick Jack Oakie meet up around 1920 as two down-and-out World War One vets who share an interest in the then-new radio technology. Payne's character come up with the idea that maybe they could use this newfangled radio stuff to bring entertainment to people all across the country... and then they're off! Of course, there's gotta be a girl, too and enter the ever-blonde girl next door, Alice Faye, as the gal they both love. But it ain't a love triangle -- nope! -- it's a square, because rich-cad tycoon Cesar Romero wants her too.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Silly plots, as most musicals, but Alice is second rate next to Betty Grable in both looks and voice!Published 11 months ago by Bennett I. Bardfeld
I first bought Lillian Russell and liked it so well I ordered this collection. I love that one of the stories is a true biography, which I learned in the bonus features.Published 15 months ago by Sharon E. Scharff
For fans of late 1930s to mid 1940s musicals this collection is first rate. Both the black and white and color transfers in this set are clean and beautiful. Read morePublished 21 months ago by The Professor
Why did I give the first Alice Faye box set four stars and this one five? No real reason. Maybe because there were four films in that set and five in this one (which seems like a... Read morePublished on July 7, 2014 by Gord Wilson
Have only viewed 3 of the 5 dvds in this box set .all restored prints with good sound and picture quality. Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by filmbuffalec.uk
I love her movies. She is very talented. The singing, acting is very professional. Very well written story. I saw most of her moviesPublished on December 27, 2013 by Denise E. Donnelly
Alice Faye (born Alice Jeanne Leppert, May 5, 1915 - May 9, 1998) was one of the best singing actresses ever. Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by Matthew G. Sherwin
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