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Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Mystery | 2 November 1934 (USA)
Underworld king Lee Lother has been killed aboard a ocean liner, several people could have been the murderer. There is his mistress Anya Roysen, a married woman, who was jealous of his ... See full summary »

Director:

Benjamin Stoloff

Writers:

Leon Gordon (story), Joseph Moncure March (additional dialogue and scenes) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Raymond ... Jimmy Brett
Nancy Carroll ... Sally Marsh
Jack Benny ... Chad Denby
Sydney Howard ... Dan Campbell, the Drunk
Mitzi Green ... Mitzi
Sid Silvers ... Shorty
Frank Parker ... Frank Parker - Tenor Singer
Sidney Blackmer ... Lee Lother
Ralph Morgan ... Herbert Rosson
Shirley Grey ... Anya Rosson
Patsy Kelly ... Patsy Clarke
Sam Hardy ... Jack Summers
William 'Stage' Boyd ... Joe Saunders (as William Boyd)
Robert Elliott ... Inspector 'Mac' McKinney
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Ned Marsh (as Carlyle Moore)
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Storyline

Underworld king Lee Lother has been killed aboard a ocean liner, several people could have been the murderer. There is his mistress Anya Roysen, a married woman, who was jealous of his flirtations with his old moll, night club singer Sally Marsh, who had agreed for one last night with Lother, to get her younger brother Ned out of the Lother's clutches because he has faked Lother's name on a check to pay his gambling debts. Then there is Sally's new flame Jimmy Brett, a con man and gentlemen thief, who has out-tricked Lother in a fixed poker game, and is, together with shorty, after the ladies jewels. Inspector McKinney suspects Joe Saunders, a recently released convict, who was arrested due to some tips by Lother, but Ned and Sally insist that they committed the crime alone. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Radio's Grandest Funster...making the waves rock with laughter in a star-studded merry-go-round of mystery, comedy and song! (Print Ad- Washington Reporter, ((Washington, Penna.)) 24 November 1934)


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Keep 'Em Laughing See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is purportedly the first time the term "Rock 'n' Roll", the title of the song performed by the Boswell Sisters, is used in a movie. See more »

Quotes

Sally Marsh: [after having told Jimmy Brett that she'd got quite a past] So if you have an appointment elsewhere, I'll excuse you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's title comes on the screen as a whirling ball of undifferentiated letters that eventually rolls out and spells out the title via animation. The same effect is used for "The End" title at the finish. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Grand Hotel (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

It Was Sweet of You
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Performed by Frank Parker, Nancy Carroll and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder on the High Seas
13 November 2000 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

TRANSATLANTIC MERRY-GO-ROUND (Reliance, released by United Artists, 1934), directed by Benjamin Stoloff, produced by Edward Small, is pure thirties entertainment featuring numerous radio and screen personalities of the past whose names are almost forgotten today.

The story, told in flashback, is set on an ocean liner involving numerous passengers, including a Jimmy Brett, a jewel thief (Gene Raymond), Sally Marsh, actress (Nancy Carroll), some loan-sharks (Sidney Blackmer, Sam Hardy and William "Stage" Boyd), and a jealous husband (Ralph Morgan) out to spy on his unfaithful wife (Shirley Grey) by becoming a stowaway in a lifeboat. A murder later occurs which causes Inspector McKinney (Robert Elliott) to take time off from his vacation to gather up all the suspects.

In between the scenario, radio comedian Jack Benny as Chad Denby, with Nancy Carroll perform a spoof of MGM's GRAND HOTEL (1932); Mitzi Green singing "Oleo, It's Love" while impersonating actor George Arliss; the three Boswell Sisters singing "Rock and Roll" two decades before that term became standard to 1950s music, as well as "If I Had a Million Dollars"; along with a production number or two, save one biggie, "It Was Sweet of You," done in Busby Berkeley type-fashion, but choreographed by Larry Ceballos and Sammy Lee, including dancing girls, overhead camera shots with the chorus doing geometric figures. On the lighter side of "comedy relief," there's Patsy Kelly as a wisecracking passenger who participates in a shipboard skit; Sid Silvers as Raymond's sidekick posing as a cabin boy who hides the stolen jewels; and Sydney Howard as the passenger drunk who never sobers up for an instant during the duration of the entire story. And if any curious viewer wants to see a Nancy Carroll movie, this is possibly the only one of hers made available. What a shame that she isn't better known today especially since she was one of those top named Paramount stars of the 1930s (who at times resembles Paramount's own Sylvia Sidney). Carroll's career sadly faded after leaving Paramount, appearing in some forgettable programmers before accepting minor assignments in two 1938 releases.

TRANSATLANTIC MERRY-GO-ROUND was distributed on video cassette in 1987, became part of the "Nik-at-Nite Movie" which played after the midnight hours on Nickelodeon prior to 1988, and later returned to cable television for a while on American Movie Classics from February 2, to November 13, 2000, before disappearing from view.

It spite of its shortcomings, TRANSATLANTIC MERRY-GO-ROUND is enjoyable sort of movie quite common during the Depression era. (**1/2)


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