This week’s mystery movie was the 1936 Paramount picture “The Big Broadcast of 1937,” with Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, Shirley Ross, Ray Milland, Frank Forest, Benny Fields, Sam Hearn, Benny Goodman and his band, and Leopold Stokowski and his symphony orchestra. Screenplay by Walter DeLeon and Francis Martin, based on a story by Erwin Gelsey, Arthur Kober and Barry Trivers, photographed by Theodor Sparkuhl, special effects by Gordon Jennings and Paul Lerpae, art direction by Hans Dreier and Robert Usher, music and lyrics by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin, musical direction by Boris Morros, dance ensembles staged by LeRoy Prinz, interior decorations by A.E. Freudeman. Produced by Lewis E. Gensler and directed by Mitchell Leisen.
“The Big Broadcast of 1937” has never been commercially released, but you can find it on the gray market.
Thanks to the member of the Brain Trust who requested “The Big Broadcast of 1937.”
“The Big Broadcast of 1937” opened in New York on Oct. 21, 1936. Writing in the New York Times, (Oct. 22, 1936), Frank S. Nugent said:
Completely shaming these round-the-world travelers, Paramount has brought in its annual radio show a year ahead of schedule. “The Big Broadcast of 1937,” third of the series and not to be confused with the equally previous “Big Broadcast or 1936,” seen in 1935, has landed on cats’ feet at the Paramount Theatre and goes bouncing across its screen with a deal of geniality and good humor. An amusing potpourri of words and music, it is energetically played by a cast from the networks and the studios and it has been directed and photographed with considerable artistry by (respectively) Mitchel Leisen and Theodor Sparkuhl.
For Monday, we have a sophisticated mystery guest in a pensive moment during a genteel drawing-room drama.
Update: Sadly, our sophisticated gent remains unidentified. I was hoping a member of the Brain Trust would recognize him.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent. With big hoop earrings.
Update: This is Frank Forest singing “La Bomba.”
I’ve heard of mike shadows before, but this is ridiculous.
Update: This trio remains unidentified.
Here’s one of the many mysterious musicians in our mystery movie.
Update: This is Benny Fields
Here are some more.
Update: These players remain unidentified.
Here’s a mystery woman with still another mystery microphone. There are lots of mystery mikes in this picture. If you made them into a drinking game you would be smashed in the first reel.
Update: This is Shirley Ross.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery guest and even the mystery song).
For Thursday, we have a mystery musician and his mysterious instrument.
Update: This is “Bazooka” Bob Burns.
Another mystery musician…
Update: This is Gene Krupa.
Still another mystery musician….
Update: This is an incredibly young Leopold Stokowski.
…. and also.
Update: This is Martha Raye.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery woman and mystery crooner) and Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery gent and mystery song, Wednesday’s mystery woman and Wednesday’s mystery crooner).
Personal note to Mike Hawks: He’s supposed to be in this movie but I can’t find him anyplace!
Update: This is George Burns, Ray Milland, Jack Benny and Gracie Allen.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (mystery movie), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests Nos. 3 and 4), Earl Boebert (Thursday’s mystery drummer), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests Nos. 2, 3 and 4), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s through Friday’s mystery guests), Sarah (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests No. 2, 3 and 4) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).