Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Friday, September 26, 2014

A Jukebox Musical Pours It On

Robt. Lowery Gets a Telling From Future Granny Irene Ryan in Monogram Laff-and-Tune Fest Hot Rhythm

Funny Folk and Music Enliven Hot Rhythm (1944)

A Monogram masterpiece! Lowly jingle writer Robert Lowery tries boosting crush Dona Drake to singer status, is stymied in part by dizzy Irene Ryan, who unexpectedly gets the canary spot on records/radio. All this and slapstick too ... Tim Ryan the blustery boss falling over trash cans and wife Irene (they were a performing team), then in walks Harry Langdon to tie up link with comedy's Greatest Era. Future Granny Clampett Irene was a 40's extreme on Gracie Allen; she brays, tumbles, is punishingly dense. Wish there were a hundred Irene Ryan pics I could watch. Dona Drake had been Rita Rio of an all-girl band and appearance in Soundies, those little films you'd look at as a hosting juke box played. Bob Lowery had flaked out of 20th Fox's youth program ... how many Richard Greenes did they need? ... but would secure legacy playing Batman for Columbia in a 1949 serial. Monogram built a single lush set for Hot Rhythm and confined most action to it, the affect serving OK so long as bands rotate nimbly and pace doesn't flag. Doubt if anyone at Metro lost sleep over Mono songbooks, but for second feature placement, they stood good and pleased customers with modest expectation. Langdon alone is basis for watching, of course, but band boxes budget-wrapped like Hot Rhythm are joyous for plenty beyond Harry in twilight, and Netflix has a brace of them in good quality.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mike Cline said...

Robert Lowery stated in an interview that playing Batman ruined his career.

Just sayin'.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

I just saw HOT RHYTHM again last week and I'd forgotten how good Robert Lowery is; one of his best performances, I think. Also nice to see Sidney Miller as one of the leads, for once. This is something like THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1937 if Monogram made it: Dona Drake/Rita Rio in for Shirley Ross, Lowery and Miller instead of Ray Milland and Jack Benny, low-key crooner Jerry Cooper subbing for Benny Fields, and Tim & Irene doing Burns & Allen.

Director William Beaudine and cameraman Ira Morgan make the limited Monogram sets look more substantial than they are. In 1944 many major theater chains were buying Monogram product for the first time, and HOT RHYTHM is one of the reasons why. (Love the one-sheet, John!)

1:33 PM  
Blogger Kevin K. said...

Kind of sad that Langdon doesn't get any billing on the poster.

3:14 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

I never cared much for Robert Lowery. There's something very "snotty" about him (in my opinion anyway...). Both his characterizations in "The Mummy's Ghost" and "House Of Horrors" have you pulling for the villains for cryin' out loud. He just ISN'T likable. While watching those movies now, I hope that I'll see some sort of "alternate universe" print and Lowery will get his lights punched out. If he's the star of "Hot Rhythm" I'll probably pass on it (having never seen it.).

Brad

6:28 PM  
Blogger Paul Castiglia said...

Huge fan of these Monogram muscial-comedies featuring Tim and Irene Ryan. Grateful to Netflix and Amazon Prime for introducing them to me. I've become quite fascinated by Ryan. From what I've seen of him, he ran with the Ted Healy con-man ball character-wise, but is much more likable and funny to me, and on top of that I'm impressed by the various films to which Ryan contributed "additional dialogue" or wrote the screenplays altogether. Among the lot are some that show up in "all-time turkey" books but I beg to differ - to me, all of Ryan's film scripts contain something of interest - they're all quite lively.

12:49 PM  
Blogger jeffm12012 said...

Dona Drake or Rita Rio...by any name a delightful performer and a real cutie.

10:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016