George White's Scandals (1934)

Genres - Musical  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hal Erickson

This 1934 Fox musical represented Broadway impresario George White's first foray into filmmaking. White not only stars in the film as "Himself," but is also credited as director (though one suspects that "musical stager" Harry Lachman handled most of the megging). Rudy Vallee, star of the most recent stage edition of the "Scandals," is cast as entrepreneur Jimmy Martin, who pins his hopes on producing a big-time stage show. In true art-imitates-life fashion, Martin "discovers" singer Kitty Donnelly (Alice Faye), just as Vallee insisted in real life that his new protegee Faye be cast in this film. George White shows up periodically to patch up the lovers' quarrels between Jimmy and Kitty, while Jimmy Durante goes through his usual paces as comic-relief Happy McGillicudy, here occasionally teamed with dancer Dixie Dunbar and Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards. Outside of a "baby carriage"-number done in the style of Busby Berkeley, the film's singular musical highlight is Alice Faye's spirited rendition of You Nasty Man!. Long thought lost, the complete, unedited version of George White's Scandals was restored by the American Film Institute in the early 1990s -- at which time it was discovered that 6-year-old Shirley Temple was among the bit players. George White's subsequent film projects included Fox's George White's 1935 Scandals, and the 1945 RKO Radio musical George White's Scandals, in which White was portrayed by Glenn Tryon.