Strike Me Pink (1936)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Strike Me Pink was the sixth (and last) of the profitable films Eddie Cantor made for Samuel Goldwyn. While not the strongest in the series, it's an entertaining diversion and noteworthy for one of the rare early screen appearances of Ethel Merman. The screenplay is just so much nonsense, a stringing together of routines - some successful, some not so -- around a paper thin story about Cantor managing an amusement park. Still, Cantor makes the most of his opportunities, bugging his eyes out and exuding his uniquely appealing blend of neuroses, cowardice and hyperactivity. Sally Eilers scores well as the semi-hardboiled girl that eventually catches Cantor, although she has to struggle mightily against the script. Ethel Merman is solid in her three songs, especially the score's highlight, "First You Have Me High." While still clarion-voiced, Merman proves here that she could be tender and gentle with a melody, and the song is also filmed and edited intriguingly. The "Calabash Pipe" number is decidedly odd, however, with its view of the stars as a strange old couple. The film also features a very well-done climactic chase sequence, which helps to make up for some of the rough spots. After Cantor departed, Goldwyn struggled to find a star musical comic, eventually finding one in Danny Kaye.