Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
Alternate title: The Mad Hatter
USA, 1946. Golden Pictures. Story and Screenplay by Earl Baldwin. Cinematography by Russell Metty. Produced by Robert Golden. Music by James Mayfield, John Leipold. Production Design by William Flannery. Film Editing by Bernard W. Burton.
Promotional film that looks to tie in with the popular radio show of the same name, featuring host Tom Breneman interviewing Hollywood ladies at his own restaurant. The version of his show being filmed for the cameras is scripted in advance, with some fictional stories woven into the narrative, the most bizarre about a woman who is so determined to attend that she thinks nothing of being run down by a car on her way to the club.
The film actually tries to pass itself off as a cross between comedy and documentary, but after so many decades the situations it includes, such as the lonelyheart beauty falling in love with a Navy boy, and the interviews with celebrities’ mothers (playing themselves) come off as hopelessly twee.
A couple of musical numbers, including the superb musical stylings of Nat ‘King’ Cole, make it worth preserving, not to mention the pleasure of seeing how different these chat shows were back in the day (it was actually entertaining to have a man try on ladies’ crazy hats…on the radio). Check it out if it’s 2AM and you can’t sleep.