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Eddie Cantor 4-Film Collection: Samuel Goldwyn Classics [4 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:06/02/2015
Radio and screen star Eddie "Banjo Eyes" Cantor delighted jazz age audiences with his antics and songs, and this collection brings four of his most rollicking movies together in a four-disc set. Includes the classics Palmy Days, with Cantor as a bogus psychic's assistant put in charge of a doughnut bakery, The Kid From Spain, where Cantor the accused thief impersonates a bullfighter to escape the law, Cantor's classic hick-meets-Ancient Rome farce Roman Scandals, and Strike Me Pink co-starring Ethel Merman.

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    Roman Scandals
    Easily the best of Eddie Cantor's gargantuan musical comedies for producer Sam Goldwyn, Roman Scandals begins in the middle-America community of West Rome, where our hero Eddie (Cantor) is employed as a delivery boy. A self-styled authority of Ancient Roman history, Cantor bemoans the fact that the local shanty community is about to be wiped out by scheming politicians, certain that such an outrage could never have happened during Rome's Golden Days. After a blow on the head, Cantor wakes up in Imperial Rome, where he is sold on the slave auction block to good-natured tribune Josephus (David Manners). Cantor soon discovers that the evil emperor Valerius (Edward Arnold) is every bit a crook and grafter as the politicians in West Rome, and he intends to do something about it. He gets a job as food taster for Valerius -- a none-too-secure position, inasmuch as the emperor's wife Agrippa (Veree Teasdale) is constantly trying to poison her husband -- and does his best to smooth the path of romance for Josephus and recently captured princess Sylvia (Gloria Stuart). Cantor's well-intentioned interference earns him a session in the torture chamber, but he escapes and commandeers a chariot, setting the stage for a spectacular slapstick climax. On the verge of recapture, Cantor wakes to find himself in West Rome U.S.A. again, where he quickly foils the modern-day despots and brings about a happy ending for all his friends. Co-written by George S. Kaufman, Robert E. Sherwood, George Oppenheimer and Arthur Sheekman (the soon-to-be husband of leading lady Gloria Stuart), Roman Scandals manages to get off a few clever satirical licks, but essentially it's a "lappy" lowbrow vehicle for Eddie Cantor, and in this it succeeds immensely. The Busby Berkeley-staged musical numbers, written by Harry Warren, Al Dubin and L. Wolfe Gilbert, must be seen to be believed: In "No More Love", Ruth Etting, playing the Emperor's cast-off mistress Olga, sings a plaintive torch song as dozens of enslaved Goldwyn Girls (including Lucille Ball and Barbara Pepper), wearing nothing but long, blonde wigs, are chained to a rotating pedestal; and in "Keep Young and Beautiful", these same maidens gleefully cavort around a Roman bathhouse in the near-altogether while Cantor, in blackface, hops about, rolls his eyes and claps his hands -- just before a jet of steam "shrinks" him, at which point he metamorphoses into midget Billy Barty! The quintessence of Depression-era escapism, Roman Scandals is must-see entertainment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Palmy Days
    Eddie Cantor plays Eddie Simpson, a shy and jumpy young fellow who spontaneously bursts into song whenever he gets nervous. He works with the sly Yolando, a phony but successful psychic. The trouble in this lively musical farce begins when Yolando attempts to swindle the owner of the local bakery. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

    The Kid From Spain
    In director Leo McCarey's film The Kid From Spain, actor Eddie Cantor plays mischievious college boy Eddie Williams, who, with his buddy Ricardo (Robert Young), is kicked out of college for sneaking into the women's dormitory. Ricardo (Young), on his way back to Mexico, suggests Eddie (Cantor) come along. First, however, Ricardo must stop at the local bank for some cash. Unfortunately, the bank is robbed as the two boys are leaving, and the fleeing thieves mistake Eddie for their getaway driver. In a panic, Eddie races off towards the Mexican border in hopes of getting way from them. Realizing that the bank robbers will go after him--Eddie, after all, is the only one who saw their faces--he convinces a skeptical border guard that he, too, is a Mexican. Once in Mexico, he's mistaken for a renowed bullfighter, and plays along with his newly assigned identity in order to avoid the American detective on his trail. Mayhem ensues, and Eddie eventually falls in love with Rosalie (Lyda Roberti), a young Mexican woman with an over-protective father. The musical numbers in The Kid From Spain were staged by a young Busby Berkeley and feature the Goldwyn Girls, whose ranks in this film include Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, and Jane Wyman. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

    Strike Me Pink
    Musical comedy star Eddie Cantor stars in this story, well suited to his talents, as Eddie Pink, a meek gentleman who works as a tailor and has a terrible crush on Joyce (Ethel Merman), a nightclub singer. Eddie buys a book (through the mail, of course) called Man or Mouse: What Are You?. Taking its advice, he tries to become more confident and assertive, and his new, outgoing personality helps him get a job running an amusement park called Dreamland. But when racketeers move in for a piece of the action on the park's slot machines, he wonders if he's gotten himself in deeper waters than he can safely navigate. Cantor sings four songs in Strike Me Pink, three of them with co-star Merman. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Eddie Cantor
      Eddie Cantor - Eddie
    • Ruth Etting
      Ruth Etting - Olga
    • Gloria Stuart
      Gloria Stuart - Princess Sylvia
    • David Manners
      David Manners - Josephus
    • Image coming soon
      Veree Teasdale - Empress Agrippa

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.