THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY begins and ends with shots of the real Eddie and Ida Cantor coming to see the picture that had been made about them. They might have been wise to sue. This is one of those can't-miss stories that misses, principally due to the casting of Keefe Brasselle, who was
absolutely the wrong choice for the role, as Eddie. His imitation of Cantor is nearly libelous as he bugs out his eyes, mugs horribly, and, in general, turns his character into a buffoon. Cantor's life wasn't particularly dramatic: he neglected his family in favor of his career, then, after
suffering a heart attack, realized what was important and spent the rest of his life in the service of charity. After becoming a star on Broadway in his early 20s through his sheer exuberance rather than a great singing voice, he segued into films and a successful radio show. Unfortunately, the
creative powers here apparently decided that the unique mannerisms that distinguished Cantor's performing style should be on display all the time, even in supposedly private moments. Marilyn Erskine costars as Ida; Will Rogers, Jr., plays his dad; and Jackie Barnett is Durante; but little is done
with their roles. The film does, however, contain renditions of many classic Cantor numbers, including "Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider" (Eddie Leonard, Eddie Munson), "Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me" (Sidney Clare, Con Conrad), "Margie," (Benny Davis, Conrad, J. Russell Robinson), "You Must Have Been a
Beautiful Baby" (Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren), "Yes, We Have No Bananas" (Frank Silver, Irving Cohn), "Making Whoopee," "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" (Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson), "Now's the Time to Fall in Love" (Al Lewis, Al Sherman), "If You Knew Susie" (Joseph Meyer, Buddy DeSylva), "How Ya Gonna
Keep 'Em Down on the Farm" (Donaldson, Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young), "Will You Love Me in December As You Do in May" (James J. Walker, Ernest R. Ball), "Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee" (Stanley Murphy, Henry I. Marshall), "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" (A. Seymour Brown, Nat D. Ayer), "Bye, Bye, Blackbird"
(Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson), and "If I Were a Millionaire" (Will Cobb, Gus Edwards).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY begins and ends with shots of the real Eddie and Ida Cantor coming to see the picture that had been made about them. They might have been wise to sue. This is one of those can't-miss stories that misses, principally due to the castin… (more)