Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through ...
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Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »
Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through swapping and gambling. It seems the only thing all three can join in is their singing act, which Mike and Dave hate. Finally, all Joe's hopes are pinned on a race horse he's acquired, but it's a bigger gamble than his family knows. Hilarious sequence involving a lecturer on seals.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial telecast took place in Phoenix Sunday 1 March 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), but the focus was still on Crosby's more important films at this time, and it was not taken off the shelf again until 31 December 1959 when it aired in Milwaukee on WITI (Channel 6). Still apparently of only minimal interest, it was eventually televised 1 August 1960 in Minneapolis on WTCN (Channel 11); by this time it began to pick up steam and it was finally offered in Johnstown 8 October 1960 on WJAC (Channel 6), in Columbus 12 October 1960 on WBNS (Channel 10), in Los Angeles 10 November 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Lansing 5 December 1960 on WJIM (Channel 6), and in Cincinnati 11 December 1960 on WKRC (Channel 12). It was released on DVD 10 November 2010 as one of six titles in the Bing Crosby Collection, part of the Universal Backlot Series, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. It's also received an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
This is one of Bing Crosby's best films from the 1930s. It gave him a great opportunity to show off some dramatic ability and a couple of big selling hits one of which served as the title of the current biography by Gary Giddins.
Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray and Donald O'Connor are the three Beebe brothers. And Bing is the source of much concern with mother Elizabeth Patterson. He's a lazy, shiftless, irresponsible and charming man who won't just settle down. The burden of supporting the family is left to brother Fred MacMurray who keeps postponing marriage to his long time sweetheart, Ellen Drew, until the family is all provided for. And finally kid brother Donald O'Connor idolizes Bing and wants to grow up just like him to the despair of Patterson and MacMurray.
Bing up and leaves the family, promising to go to Los Angeles, get into a steady business and settle down. Of course his idea of a steady business is to own a racehorse named Uncle Gus. He sends for Patterson and O'Connor and later MacMurray and Drew come and are all shocked.
The rest of the film is the usual run of movie plots where racehorses are concerned.
The Beebe brothers also have a singing act which MacMurray hates, but which brings in needed cash when the bills start piling up. That's where the musical score written by Jimmy Monaco and Johnny Burke comes in. Done as a trio number in the film, I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams became one of Crosby's biggest hits from the 1930s. Crosby's one solo number is Don't Let That Moon Get Away and in another trio number MacMurray is the lead singer in Laugh and Call It Love. Before he came to Hollywood, Fred MacMurray sang and played saxophone in various bands and also was in the original Broadway cast of Roberta. He had a pleasant, but thin tenor voice, but I don't think he'd have lasted in Hollywood if he had done musicals.
This was Donald O'Connor's first big break and he shows a hint of the dancing talent he had during the Pocketful of Dreams number. He and Crosby later re-united in the second version of Anything Goes in 1956.
One song was added into the score. Composed by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser, Small Fry was done as a novelty number by the trio. However Bing recorded it with his good friend Johnny Mercer and that novelty song also became a monster hit.
Sing You Sinners should be seen back to back with the James Cagney/Pat O'Brien film The Irish in Us as they have very similar plot development and characters.
This was the first of two Crosby films with a racetrack background, the other being Riding High. Curiously enough they had opposite plot conclusions. No spoilers here though, see both films and see what I mean.
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