Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Eddie Cantor, beloved "banjo eyed" entertainer who conquered stage, films, radio and television, is given the Hollywood biopic treatment in this largely uninvolving film. Cantor is portrayed by Keefe Brasselle, a minor nightclub performer of the 1950s who couldn't hope to come within shouting distance of Cantor's appeal. The storyline charts Cantor's professional progress, from the lower East Side boyhood to his ascendancy as star of The Ziegfeld Follies. It also chronicles his enduring marriage to wife Ida (Marilyn Erskine). Surprisingly shortchanged in the film was Cantor's humanitarian work (primarily on behalf of the March of Dimes and various Jewish causes); instead, screen time is wasted on Aline MacMahon, as lachrymose as possible in the role of Eddie's grandmother, and Jackie Barnett, giving a gosh-awful performance as Jimmy Durante. At the beginning and end of the film, the real Eddie and Ida Cantor appear, ostensibly to watch the unspooling of The Eddie Cantor Story in a Warner Bros. screening room. At the fade-out, Eddie turns to Ida and says "I've never been so happy in my life." Now that was great acting!
actor, banjo, career, charity, chronicle, entertainer, eye, fame, family, heart-attack, Judaism, love, marriage, profession, progress, radio, stage, stars [celebrities], wife