Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
Reported to have cost a whopping $2 million, this musical was actually made for far less -- and looks it. But unlike She Done Him Wrong (1932), filmed simultaneously next door, Hello, Everybody! made nary a nickel. Both films starred newcomers, but unlike the irrepressible Mae West, hefty Kate Smith, of radio fame, was given very little opportunity to shine. Awarded script and casting approval, the radio star had chosen a Fannie Hurst tearjerker about a goodhearted but plump farm girl who finds solace in music while her boyfriend takes off with her svelte sister. Paramount, however, made the fatal mistake of casting Smith's real-life manager Ted Collins as her on-screen agent as well, and Collins' overbearing presence was of no help whatsoever to the nervous songbird. Adding insult to injury, Sally Blane, the nearly emaciated sister of equally svelte Loretta Young, played Smith's sibling, insuring that Kate's ungainly girth remained steadfastly in focus. A wardrobe consisting of matronly housedresses and an especially atrocious production number entitled "&Pickanninnies' Heaven" put the final nail in the coffin. In the end, Hello, Everybody! proved enough of a loser for Kate Smith to stay away from feature films entirely until a brief cameo in the all-star wartime extravaganza This is the Army(1943). Mae West, meanwhile, considered the phrase "Hello, Everybody!" such a jinx that she reportedly prohibited anyone from using it in her presence!
stars [celebrities], life