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Wake Up And Live

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Apr 16, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

As Walter Winchell feuds with bandleader Ben Bernie, a young singer in Ben's band falls in love. Shown in 4:3 full frame presentation.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Winchell, Ben Bernie, Alice Faye
  • Directors: Sidney Lanfield
  • Writers: Harry Tugend, Jack Yellen
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BY8DMSY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,290 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas M VINE VOICE on April 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Wake up and Live", released in 1937, is maybe the best example of the Twentieth Century Fox musical of the late 30s. Take an amusing screenplay with genuine satire, in this case on radio and based on the publicity seeking feud of journalist Walter Winchell and band leader Ben Bernie, fill it with comedians such as Patsy Kelly and Ned Sparks, specialty acts like the Condos Brothers with their stunning tap routine and Joan Davis with her hilarious dance, and add a delightful leading lady, the gorgeous Alice Faye. The cover art for this DVD captures perfectly the fun in store.

The film was a smash hit in 1937, noted for its art deco sets and its sheer entertainment. Faye fans will be disappointed that her part is not bigger but she pairs beautifully with Jack Haley and her overwhelming personal charm dominates every scene in which she appears. She was a star rapidly moving to the top.

The songs are great too. Haley is dubbed by the smooth vocals of Buddy Clark and Faye has 2 big hits - the bright title song always associated with her and the torchy classic "There's a Lull in my life" subsequently recorded by many famous songstresses. Besides the aforementioned feud, the story tells of Haley's travails to overcome "mike fright," a psychological ailment when someone freezes at the microphone from sheer terror. It is very funny.

The DVD has been issued under the Fox Cinema Archives collection which means it is bare bones - not even a scene selection - and expensive. For that reason, it does not earn 5 stars. A pity too because this film could easily warrant some worthwhile extras informing the modern viewer about all the performers, well known names in their day, and its importance to the bottom line of 20th Century Fox as it emerged into a bigtime studio. At least the print is first rate.
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I'm a very big fan of Alice Faye so I bought this DVD solely based on that. I've known the songs from this film for years because they have been available on various CDs and records for a long time. Very few of her films of the 1930s are available on DVD or VHS.
As part of the Fox Cinemas Archives series, the DVD is strictly bare bones: no chapters, no trailer, no commentaries, no extras of any kind - just the movie.

I want to mention that the film really belongs to fifth billed Jack Haley (although two non actors have the lead parts - bandleader Ben Bernie and newspaper columnist Walter Winchell). Jack plays a former singing vaudevillian who wants to transition to the radio but has "mike-fright" and freezes before a microphone. Don't expect the familiar "Tin Man from Oz" singing voice (his real voice) to come out of Jack -for this film, his voice was dubbed by some crooner. Haley does a good job lip-syncing but still, it's not the voice you expect to hear.

I also want to mention that the person who wrote the plot description on the back of the DVD box obviously didn't watch the film. It reads: "As Walter Winchell feuds with bandleader Ben Bernie, a young singer in Ben's band falls in love". Well, neither Alice Faye nor Jack Haley are singers with his band! Alice is a radio program host and Jack is the vaudevillian who temporarily works at the radio center as a guide while trying to cure his phobia.
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I was greatly surprised at the enjoyment I got out of this film. It is a delight and Alice Faye and Jack Haley are excellent in it. The quality of this Fox Archive dvd is very good. Beware, a lot of the Fox catelogue is very poor. Just try and watch WAIT TILL THE SUNSHINES,NELLIE and you will see what I mean. Their quality control is rubbish.
But this is a gem. Buy and enjoy.
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One of Twentieth Century-Fox's great "radio musicals," starring one of Hollywood's singing actresses of the first order -- Alice Faye. Miss Faye was one of the first singers to hold the screen with a close-up and her voice alone. Genuinely funny and tuneful: the title song, "Never in a Million Years," "It's Swell of You," and
one of Alice's all-time hits: "There's a Lull in My Life." With fast-talking columnist Walter Winchell, band leader Ben Bernie (engaging in a "feud" to find "The Phantom Troubador"), Jack Haley, who has a bad case of "mike fright," Patsy Kelly as his sister, Winchell's "Gal Friday," growling Ned Sparks, Walter Catlett, the Condos Brothers dancing while sitting down (their specialty) and Joan Davis in a hilarious dance routine near the end of the picture. I LOVE this movie! It's a time capsule of 1930s entertainment.
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Had never seen this film and bought it solely because it co-stars favorite Alice Faye. I was pleasantly surprised. WAKE UP AND LIVe is highly entertaining centering around the feud between radio stars Ben Bernie and Walter Winchell. Both Faye and co-star Jack Haley (dubbed by Buddy Clark) have some very good songs to sing. Good supporting cast including Ned Sparks, Patsy Kelly, Walter Catlett and Joan Davis. I am happy to report this FOX MOD is flawless looking. Highly recommended.
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