Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


TORCH SINGER (1933). Director: Alexander Hall [with George Somnes].

"Why couldn't you have been a boy? The world's such a tough place for a girl to come to."

Sally Trent (Claudette Colbert), who had to give up her illegitimate baby girl for adoption, is a notorious torch singer who causes one scandal after another, but she is also known as "Aunt Jenny" [under the name Mimi Benton], the much-beloved singing hostess of a radio show for kiddies! Sally hopes to use the program to somehow reconnect with her little girl. Ricardo Cortez is Sally's producer and David Manners is the father of her baby. Baby Leroy [The Old-Fashioned Way] is in the cast [and gets high billing] as the baby of Sally's friend early in the picture, but the adorable little tyke hardly gets any scenes -- for shame! Colbert, obviously having a lot of fun, is swell in this picture; she can't sing to save her life but puts over her song numbers in spite of it. Mildred Washington is a delight as Carrie, Sally's sassy maid, and there's a nice bit from a little black child actress -- whom Sally hopes is her daughter until she sees her and realizes it isn't --  who is uncredited. It would have been nice to see the reaction of the sponsors when they finally discover who "Aunt Sally" really is, but we never do. 

Verdict: Completely contrived but very entertaining with Colbert in fine fettle. ***.

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