Bobby Breen Double Feature: Hawaii Calls/Way Down South [DVD]
- SKU: 20857186
- Release Date: 10/30/2012
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Way Down South ranks as among the better Bobby Breen musicals, if only because of its impressive production credits. The film is set in antebellum Louisiana, where young Tim Reid's (Breen) inheritance is highly coveted by crooked attorney Martin Dill (Edwin Maxwell). With the help of kindly Cajun innkeeper Jacques Bouton (Alan Mowbray), Tim is able to foil the villain, with time left over for a number of Southern-fried tunes. The film's attitudes towards slavery-to a man, the "darkies" are blissfully content with their lot in life-is astonishing, inasmuch as the film was cowritten by Clarence Muse (one of the more militant black performers in Hollywood) and African American poet Langston Hughes! The screenwriters were also responsible for the songs, including "Louisiana" and "Good Ground." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Though it may be difficult for modern audiences to understand or appreciate the appeal of canary-voiced boy soprano Bobby Breen, the fact remains that he was one of the most popular box-office attractions of the 1930s. Adapted from Don Blandings' novel Stowaways in Paradise, Hawaii Calls stars Breen as shoe-shine boy Billy Coulter, who in the company of his young newsboy pal Pua (Pua Lani) stows away on a Honolulu-bound ocean liner. Here he finds an unexpected ally in the form of persimmon-faced musician Strings (Ned Sparks), who conspires to hide Billy and Pua from irascible Captain O'Hare (Irvin S. Cobb). Once the ship arrives in Hawaii, Billy eludes the authorities by hiding with Pua's native family. The plot goes off on a new tangent when foreign spy Blake (William Harrigan) steals valuable Navy secrets from young Commander Milburn (Warren Hull). Billy and Pua save the day by locating the thieves' hideout and alerting Milburn. Before this happens, Bobby Breen sings ever so many Hawaiian tunes, this best of which include "Down Where the Trade Winds Blow" and the title song. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Bobby Breen - Tim Reid
- Alan Mowbray - Jacques Bouton
- Ralph Morgan - Timothy Reid
- Clarence Muse - Uncle Caton
- Steffi Duna - Pauline