“Crooner” on TCM

Crooner is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, January 21st at 7:35 EST.

By the time she was cast in Crooner, Ann Dvorak had turned out stellar performances for Warner Bros. in the Crowd Roars, Strange Love of Molly Louvain, and Three on a Match. That the studio would give her a role as insignificant as the one in Crooner may be kind of a head scratcher, but this was actually quite typical of Warners. Top billing one day and fourth billed the next.

Despite Ann’s meager role, I actually like this goofy film in which David Manners becomes heartbreaking radio-darling of a crooner because his weak voice sounds silky smooth when he sings through a megaphone. Fame goes to his head and he becomes intolerable to his band mates and his lady love (Dvorak), and for some reason, his new-found popularity makes him really, really effeminate. The movie is so ridiculous, that it’s actually a lot of fun.

While Ann doesn’t have a whole lot to do in Crooner, she does get one big scene, telling off her prima dona boyfriend with more conviction than the film deserves. No matter how poor the role, she always gave it her all.

While Crooner had aired on TNT way back when, I don’t believe it has gotten much (if any) play on TCM, so this is a rare opportunity to check out this minor, but quirky film.

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