Contact me at because I'm always up for a natter about anything. Well, mostly.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Classic Film Review: Sing and Like it (1934)

Sing and Like It is a comedy starring Nat Pendleton as mob boss T. Fenny Silvester. His girlfriend Ruby (Pert Kelton) wants him to put her in a Broadway show but he doesn't want her on the stage. However, when he hears amateur singer Annie Snodgrass (Zasu Pitts) singing 'Your Mother' he immediately wants to put her in a show. The trouble is, Annie is a terrible singer and the only person who likes her is Silvester. He takes her to the top producer in the city, Adam Frink (Edward Everett Horton), who despairs as his show turns upside down thanks to Silvester's interference. In addition, Annie's boyfriend Oswald (John Qualen), who only wants a nice house and 36,000 tomato plants is disgruntled.

For me, this was a very underwhelming film. It couldn't work out what it wanted to be with gangland violence sitting uneasily alongside comedy, though that may be modern sensibilities talking. Neither did I find the plot at all compelling. What saved it from complete obscurity were a few golden performances. The ever-dependable Edward Everett Horton puts in an excellent performance as the harassed producer while Ned Sparks as Toots McGuire raised a few smiles from me with throwaway lines. However, the stand-out performance for me was Pert Kelton as Ruby. With excellent deadpan delivery and a deviousness to the character which made her stand out from her mostly wooden compatriots, she was the one aspect of this film that I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

On the whole, this is a cheap film with a cheap plot and it shows. It revolves around the recurring song of 'Your Mother' which grows irritating by the end of the film. In addition, the comedy isn't all that funny - even the bits that are supposed to be groan-aloud funny - and it comes across as a filler film that has very few good attributes. What I gained from this was a vision of Pert Kelton when she was young (having only seen her in The Music Man (1962) and, wow, what a vision.

No comments: