Monday, September 3, 2018

The Phantom Broadcast (1933)

Arnold Gray is Grant Murdoch, a singer on the radio who has every woman swooning at his feet and arrogance to match his libido. What people don't know is that he isn't really a singer, his accompanist and manager Norman Wilder (Ralph Forbes) is actually the singer but due to being a hunchback lets Murdoch mime and get all the glory.

Not that the star is very grateful, he treats Wilder badly and hangs out with a mobster's moll (Vivienne Osborne) though also treats her like dirt. The mob in fact want to get rid of Wilder and get Murdoch for themselves but Wilder manages to avoid a hail of bullets.

Wilder falls in love with aspiring singer Laura (Gail Patrick). When Murdoch muscles in on her it sends the fractious working relationship into meltdown. Wilder finds Murdoch murdered and thinking Laura did it he takes the blame...

A cheap and sometimes confusing but undeniably enjoyable film with a great deal of crooning. The early days of radio are fascinating with announcers in their dinner jackets. If you like Art Deco then the sets in this film will be a fantasy for you.