Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Beat the Band (1947) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

BEAT THE BAND (1947) is a minor RKO "B" film, notable for musical performances by Frances Langford and Gene Krupa. It's available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

The flimsy plot has big band singer Damon Dillingham (Phillip Terry) newly returned from wartime service. While Damon was away his manager Eddie (Ralph Edwards) managed to lose Damon's savings and also married his girlfriend Willow (June Clayworth).

Damon's a forgiving sort and inexplicably goes along with Eddie's plan to raise funds to reassemble his old band by posing as a vocal instructor. Their first, Ann (Langford), newly arrived in NYC to study opera.

It all works out in the end, however, as Ann would rather sing pop tunes anyway!

It's a fairly silly movie, including some mixed-up identities, but any film which has a few numbers with Langford singing and Krupa on the drums is worth music fans taking a look. Kudos to the Warner Archive for making it available.

It's only 67 minutes long, so it flies past pretty quickly, with a fair percentage of the time spent on musical numbers. The music starts strong with Terry (or a voice double?) singing "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night."

The ensuing songs by Leigh Harline and Mort Greene are more innocuous but still fun. Langford puts a smile on my face, and Krupa's band sounds great; I especially loved a camera shot looking up at Krupa through his drum!

It was also amusing trying to count Langford's endless changes of hairstyle and wardrobe; it might be a "B" movie but they didn't stint in these departments.

The supporting cast includes Grady Sutton, in one of his typical roles playing Ann's erstwhile fiance, plus Mabel Paige, Harry Harvey, Donald MacBride, Andrew Tombes, and Tommy Noonan.

BEAT THE BAND was directed by John H. Auer and filmed by Frank Redman.

The Warner Archive print and sound quality are solid. There are no extras on the disc.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older