The Phantom Broadcast (1933)

the phantom broadcast 1933

Radio singer Grant Murdock (Arnold Gray) makes all the girls swoon. Too bad it’s not his voice.

Grant Murdock is a pretty face and that’s about it. In the language of the day he’s a cad. Joe Maestro thinks there’s bigger bucks in managing Grant than bootleg beer. He’s made attempts to buy out Norman Wilder (Ralph Forbes), Grant’s hunchback manager/accompanist. No sale. Gang member Lefty Morris’ ex-moll Elsa Evans (Vivienne Osborne) is sicked on Grant to convince him to dump Wilder. She gets nowhere but ends up falling for him. Lefty’s not taking it too well.

Joe decides to settle it all by having Wilder rubbed out. Wilder’s loyal chauffeur Sandy Higgins (Guinn “Big Boy” Williams) gets him safely away.

Laura Hamilton has been studying since she was sixteen to be a singer. She has a great voice and auditions for Wilder. He agrees to be her voice teacher and manage her career. There’s a catch. She has to choose between career or marriage. She and her fiancee, Dr.Bob Brooks, are about to get married and take a six month honeymoon cruise. Bob’s been hired as the ship’s doctor. She chooses career with Bob’s blessing.

Outside Wilder’s studio he sees Bob and Laura saying goodbye. Grant was just leaving and runs into Laura in the hall. She drops her vanity and the mirror breaks. Grant puts the moves on her and says he’ll sing something just for her. Laura leaves and Wilder tells Grant to stay away from her. Does he listen? Nope.

On that afternoon’s broadcast Wilder doesn’t include the song Grant promised Laura he’d sing to her. Grant goes to call Laura and Wilder tries to interfere. Grant makes fun of him, slaps him and dials her up. He tells her to come to his apartment where he’ll sing to her. (The movie never explains just how he hopes to pull that off). He leaves and Sandy comes in. He’s ready to do some harm to Grant.

Elsa is living with Grant. She threatens to leave. He tells her to go and even helps her out the door. He says he’s got a date. She pulls a gun. Thinking he can save Laura from her fate Wilder goes to Grant’s place. He has a gun. He discovers Grant’s body with Laura’s vanity mirror under his hand. He picks up a gun and exchanges it with his and wipes some prints from the door. He calls the cops and says he killed him.

A knock on the door. It’s Laura. She sees the body. He realizes he got it all wrong. He tells Laura to go back to her place before the cops show up. When they show up at the front door Wilder climbs out the window onto the fire escape. The cops have the place surrounded. They take a few shots at Wilder and wound him. He gets away.

The movie comes to one of the corniest endings you’ll ever see. By putting in too many elements the movie tries too hard to please and doesn’t succeed.

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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