Wake Up and Live (1937)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof, Satire  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Bubbly, fizzy fun is the order of the day in Wake Up and Live, a nifty little tuner that may not be great but is definitely an entertaining way to pass the time. Live is one of those films that wants nothing more than to provide diversion, and it succeeds admirably in meeting its goal. It also demonstrates the thin line between a fun, worthwhile film and a dull one; the basic plot of Live is not one to inspire confidence and deals with the kind of things that many lesser musicals deal with. But Live handles them with zip and pep; more importantly, while it knows it's basic story is just so much nonsense, it still treats it as deserving of attention and the writers give the performers real material to work with, rather than just a collection of lame gags. It also helps that Live has some really catchy numbers, such as the title tune, and a very beautiful, languid and unusual ballad in the classic "There's a Lull in My Life." And, of course, it helps that the delectable Alice Faye is on hand to sing several of the songs, aided by the smooth crooning tones of Buddy Clark, dubbing Jack Haley (who makes up for being dubbed by giving a sustained comic performance that it is delightful). Walter Winchell and Ben Bernie do very well, especially for non-actors, and Patsy Kelly and Ned Sparks provide ample comedy. Throw in some powerhouse tapping from the Condo Brothers, and the result is a lively, engaging musical.