Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Star-Spangled Rhythm is a typical wartime all-star musical-comedy melange, this time from Paramount Pictures. The slender plot involves the efforts by humble studio doorman Pop Webster (Victor Moore) to pass himself off as a big-shot Paramount executive for the benefit of his sailor son Jimmy (Eddie Bracken). The overall level of humor can be summed up by the scene in which Webster is advised that the best way to pretend to be a studio big-shot is to say "It stinks!" to everything -- whereupon Cecil B. DeMille shows up to ask Webster's opinion about his current production. Betty Hutton, cast as studio switchboard operator and co-conspirator Polly Judson, is at her most rambunctiously appealing here. The huge lineup of guest performers includes Bing Crosby (and his 8-year-old son Gary!), Bob Hope, Veronica Lake, Dorothy Lamour, Dick Powell, Mary Martin, Alan Ladd, Fred MacMurray, William Bendix, Paulette Goddard, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, most (but not all) of them going through their characteristic paces. Highlights include a surrealistic rendition of That Old Black Magic with Johnnie Johnston and Vera Zorina; a frantic staging of the old George S. Kaufman sketch "If Men Played Cards as Women Do" with MacMurray, Ray Milland, Franchot Tone, and Lynn Overman; and The Sweater, the Sarong and the Peekaboo Bang, first performed by Goddard, Lamour and Lake, then lampooned in drag by Arthur Treacher, Sterling Holloway and Walter Catlett! PS: The actor playing Rochester's chauffeur in the Smart as a Tack number is John Ford "regular" Woody Strode.
doorman, father, con/scam, employment, executive, son, visit, deception, sailor, stars [celebrities]