GIFT OF GAB Ruth Etting

GIFT OF GAB. Universal, 1934; Karl Freund, director; Edmund Lowe, Gloria Stuart, Ruth Etting, Gene Austin, Alice White, Victor Moore, Ethel Waters, Chester Morris, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Phil Baker, Gus Arnheim and his orchestra. Shown at Cinecon 41, September 2005.

   Don’t let the cast list get your hopes up. This is an anthology film, and the most interesting cast members make very brief appearances, so brief in some instances that when several of us talked about the film later we couldn’t agree on which actors actually appeared in the film and in what capacity.

   Edmund Lowe is a street huckster who worms his way into radio and up the corporate ladder to become, albeit briefly, an airwaves star. This may have been heavily edited. The story line doesn’t really hang together and some of the guest stars should have fired their agents for letting them get involved in such a lame enterprise.