» » I'm Much Obliged (1936)

Short summary

The Morning Daily newspaper's Mr. Inquisitive column - which has the tagline "I'm Much Obliged" - is holding a contest: tell Mr. Inquisitive what you would like to do, and those stories ... See full summary
The Morning Daily newspaper's Mr. Inquisitive column - which has the tagline "I'm Much Obliged" - is holding a contest: tell Mr. Inquisitive what you would like to do, and those stories which are printed in the newspaper are eligible for a prize. Mr. Inquisitive gets many of these stories from random telephone calls he makes. Most of those people he happens to call are performing artists, who not only tell Mr. Inquisitive what they would like to do, but show him through their performances. The Auntie Pru's Recipe column, which is adjacent to Mr. Inquisitive's and which is written by Mr. Inquisitive's exasperated and sleepless male colleague, gets Mr. Inquisitive into a few scrapes along the way.

Vitaphone production reels #1962-1963.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Gir
    Newspaper columnist "Mr. Inquisitive" phones various people in an unnamed city and asks them what they would like to be doing. It turns out that they would like to sing (and dance), and do so. Mr Inquisitive then sings back to them "I'm Much Obliged".

    This obscure short features two typically obnoxious leads (who can't muster a funny joke between them). Fortunately, though, the musical acts, while not top rank, are good second tier people who keep the short interesting, if you have any liking for the music of the 30s.

    Vera Van is a torch singer with a nice alto voice (think Alice Faye with maybe 50% of the talent), who gets in a nice gloom despair and misery number, plus a jazzier tune later on.

    Rosita & Fontana do an elegant Latin dance to an elegant Latin number. Nothing terribly interesting, but far better than the comedy from the leads.

    Lester Cole (accompanied by a manly male chorus) sings Western tunes in an operetta style. Since the tunes themselves are pretty good, this works OK, though anyone looking for Western Swing will be surprised to find a "hayseed" Nelson Eddy.

    The Heat Waves are a little tap dancing/jive singing group. They do rather well with Jimmie Lunceford's Rhythm Is our Business, and the little specialty number they have later on. This a fun group (backed by a decent band) that I wish I knew more about.

    This is worth 20 minutes.
  • comment
    • Author: Shak
    . . . Warner Bros.' always prophetic filmmakers take a stab at tracing the De-Evolution of Civilization kicked off by "Call-Me-Al" Gore inventing the Internets, quickly followed by "Smart" Phones, Streaming, and eventually Original Programming from our Kitchen Toasters, with this 1930s theatrical short, I'M MUCH OBLIGED. The quality of the "musical" entertainment I'M MUCH OBLIGED features is third-rate at best, and the disjointed framing story only makes matters worse. After spending 20 minutes with I'M MUCH OBLIGED, it's quite easy to extrapolate our 21st Century boxes with 1,000-plus channels--and NOTHING worth watching! This short uses split screens to anticipate quick transitions (that is, "channel surfing") from one lame offering to the next. If Today's doctors run across I'M MUCH OBLIGED, they'll be whipping out their prescription pads to treat its short attention span. Doubtless contemporary theater audiences--used to such quality Warner screen fare as HEROES FOR SALE and PUBLIC ENEMY--were totally mystified by Eye, Ear, and Nose junk of the I'M MUCH OBLIGED ilk. Little did they know that they were previewing the world of their great grand children.
  • comment
    • Author: OCARO
    I still call the John Wayne-Robert Mitchum classic western El Dorado the 'much obliged' movie. So it was with some curiosity that I watched this Warner Brothers short subject I'm Much Obliged. In El Dorado everyone is constantly saying how they're 'much obliged'. The only things that star George Dobbs is obliged for is a punch in the nose delivered by Lester Cole.

    Dobbs plays the columnist who writes the Mr. Inquisitor column whose tagline is 'much obliged. He calls around to various entertainers looking for news for his Walter Winchell like column and he gets to hear a bit of everybody's act. The best is singer Vera Van who delivers a rendition of that smoky torch You Let Me Down which Lee Wiley made popular in the Thirties.

    I'm Much Obliged is a pleasant 20 minute musical interlude.
  • comment
    • Author: Nalmergas
    The Vitaphone division of Warner Brothers was devoted to making short films--most often musical films. And, they tended to showcase acts that were not yet big--many on their way up and many who would probably rise no higher. The format of "I'm Much Obliged" is a bit different from most, though it is essentially a musical showcase.

    The film begins with a newspaper columnist, 'Mr. Inquisitive' (George Dobbs) randomly calling people and asking them what they wanted best to do. Not surprisingly, all the people ended up singing!! But because people are talking about their fantasies, the numbers are set on the range or in South America or other places--all which look like they are in a sound stage (particularly the South American dance scene). It's all reasonably pleasant but undistinguished--the sort of thing many younger folks today would find pretty dull, though technically, for the time, they are pretty good. Overall, mildly entertaining but little to make it a must-see, that's for sure.
  • Complete credited cast:
    George Dobbs George Dobbs - Mr. Inquisitive
    Ian Maclaren Ian Maclaren - Auntie Pru (as Ian McLaren)
    Vera Van Vera Van - Vera Van
    Lester Cole & His Texas Rangers Lester Cole & His Texas Rangers - Lester Cole & His Texas Rangers
    Rosita & Fontana Rosita & Fontana - Rosita & Fontana
    The Heat Waves The Heat Waves - The Heat Waves
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