Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 20
As a whole, Crooner is a fun film. Mind you, it’s no Duck Soup or Animal Crackers, but this quickie programmer about a bandleader who turns into a diva once he discovers that singing through a megaphone makes the ladies swoon, is definitely worth watching. However, when it comes to Ann Dvorak, it falls into the “What Were You Thinking Warner Bros?” category.
After strong appearances in The Crowd Roars and The Strange Love of Molly Louvain, Warner Bros. downgraded her screen time with Love is a Racket followed by the thankless Stranger in Town. The studio altered its course by casting her as the sassy Nordie Lord in Cabin in the Cotton, but abruptly changed their minds and gave it to Bette Davis. Instead, Ann got Crooner which meant another routine leading lady role opposite her Stranger in Towncostar, David Manners.
Judy in Crooner does have some spunk and Ann gets to give Manners a well-deserved tongue-lashing after his ego has gotten out of hand, but it’s still a fairly thankless role that many Warner contract actresses could have stepped into. Despite its shortcomings as a decent role for Ann, I’d still like to see it available.
Likelihood of a DVD Release: I think it’s a possibility from the Warner Archive. A decent print is around and has been screened on TCM, so fingers crossed.