This week’s movie has been MGM’s saucy Pre-Code film “Flying High” (1931), with Bert Lahr, Charlotte Greenwood, Pat O’Brien, Kathryn Crawford, Charles Winninger, Hedda Hopper, Guy Kibbee and Herbert Braggiotti, with Gus Arnheim and his orchestra. Book, lyrics and music was by George G. “Buddy” De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson and John McGowan, screenplay by A.P. Younger, additional dialogue by Robert E. Hopkins, adaptation by Charles F. Riesner, with dances created by Busby Berkeley. Additional songs and music by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. Art direction was by Cedric Gibbons, gowns by Adrian and photography by Merritt B. Gerstad. Directed by Charles F. Riesner.
Note: Bert Lahr made his feature film debut in “Flying High.” Kate Smith had the lead in the Broadway production, but was replaced by Greenwood for the film.
The DVD is available from Warner Archive.
Mordaunt Hall, writing in the New York Times (Dec. 12, 1931), said:
Bert Lahr has a busy time in the diverting pictorial translation of the musical comedy, “Flying High,” which breezed into the Capitol yesterday. Here there is comedy, a few songs and some excellent groupings of dancing girls. The general effect proved highly successful in provoking interest and laughter yesterday afternoon.
Among those who contribute to the gayety of this offering are Charlotte Greenwood, who delivers her usual riotous brand of fun; Pat O’Brien, who appears as the impecunious hero, Sport Wardell; Charles Winninger, who impersonates the comic Dr. Brown, and Kathryn Crawford, who plays the gentle and hopeful Eileen.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Richard Carle.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Herbert Braggiotti.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Monday’s mystery gent), Sheila (Monday’s mystery gent), Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mystery gent) and Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent).
For Wednesday, we have two mystery women.
Update: This is Kathryn Crawford and Hedda Hopper.
For Thursday, see if you can guess when our mystery movie was made….
Update: This is Charles Winninger.
…. go ahead, take a guess.
Brain Trust roll call: David Inman (Wednesday’s Mystery Woman No. 2), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery women), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery women), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery women), Gary (Wednesday’s mystery woman No. 2), Dan Nather (Monday’s mystery gent, wrong studio, right era) and Bob Hansen (Wednesday’s mystery woman No. 2).
For Friday, we have a mystery couple.
Update: This is Charlotte Greenwood and Bert Lahr.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery doctor in saucy Pre-Code sketch), Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery gent, Thursday’s mystery doctor in saucy Pre-Code sketch), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery doctor), Dan Nather (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery doctor) and Diane Ely (mystery movie’s era).