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HOT RHYTHM (director: William Beaudine; screenwriters: Tim Ryan/Charles R. Marion; cinematographer: Ira Morgan; editor: Richard Currier; music: Edward Kay; cast: Dona Drake (Mary Adams), Irene Ryan (Polly Kane), Robert Lowery (Jimmy O’Brien), Sidney Miller (Sammy Rubin), Jerry Cooper (Tommy Taylor), Robert Kent (Herman Strohbach), Harry Langdon (Mr. Whiffle), Tim Ryan (O’Hara); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Lindsley Parsons; Monogram; 1944)
One needs a strong stomach to get through this obnoxious musical comedy.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

One needs a strong stomach to get through this obnoxious musical comedy, that revolves around mistaken identities in a Hollywood studio. It’s inanely directed by William “One Shot” Beaudine(“Where There’s A Will”/”Below the Deadline”/”The Miracle Kid”). Tim Ryan and Charles R. Marion write the inept screenplay.

Jimmy O’Brien (Robert Lowery) and Sammy Rubin (Sidney Miller) are ambitious but struggling partners, who write radio commercial jingles. They work for the hot-headed O’Hara (Tim Ryan), who owns the Beacon Recording Company. Mary Adams (Dona Drake) is the cutey who just arrived at the studio to sing those jingles on the radio. When Jimmy literally bumps into her in the workplace, it’s love at first sight. Trying to make an impression on her, Jimmy poses as a songwriter. To make himself look like he’s connected to the big boys, Jimmy introduces her to Herman Strohbach (Robert Kent), manager of the Tommy Taylor band. The popular nightclub band leader, Tommy (Jerry Cooper), refuses to work with a female lead singer, but Jimmy schemes with a way to change that. He makes a demo for his boss O’Hara to listen to Mary audition, using the live background sound from the Tommy Taylor band. But the record company boys down in duplicating think it’s an actual approved recording for Taylor and they duplicate 10,000 copies that are released across the country. This makes O’Hara liable for a big lawsuit from Strohbach, that will put him out of business.

To add comic relief, a scatterbrained Polly Kane (Irene Ryan, the former wife of Tim), is promoted in an emergency by the harried bumbling office manager, Whiffle (Harry Langdon, former silent star comedian),from the mail room department to immediately become O’Hara’s private secretary when his regular one suddenly quits. She’s an incompetent secretary and an aspiring singer.

When Irene Ryan, the later Granny from “The Beverly Hillbillies” enters the pic, it’s all downhill. Her hillbilly humor is a turn-off, and her relentless cornball and childish comedy antics grow increasingly tiresome. In the strained plot, Polly inadvertently causes a mix-up and is thought to be the mystery singer on the demo. This causes rivals Strohbach and O’Hara to fight to sign her to an unwarranted big contract.

Dona Drakesings three numbers, “Where Were You,” “Right Under My Nose,” and “You Gotta Talk me into it, Baby.”

Nothing funny or interesting ever happens. It’s amateur filmmaking at its worse.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”