Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remote Control (1930)

In just one scene, Cliff Edwards runs away with Remote Control, as a hog caller trying to get a radio gig. He's one of several character actors vying for the job, including Benny Rubin, Polly Moran (sadly underused here) and Roscoe Ates. William Haines is the radio producer they're auditioning for and the actics keep forcing him to break character and crack up.

The same vibe carries through the movie, a crime "drama" that's not really a drama. John Miljan (twelve feature film performances on the same year, 1930!) plays a gang leader providing coded gang info through his radio monologues as a psychic. Suspicious William Haines keeps getting in his way, until he's kidnapped by the gang...

If you like Haines' improvised and childish antics, you'll like Remote Control. Even those who dislike him may find themselves having a laugh or two at this slightly stagy, but fast paced diversion.

Mary Doran plays Haines' unlikely love interest. Charles King is her brother, but doesn't have much to do.

Remote Control was directed by at least three directors, none of whom are credited: Nick Grinde, Edward Sedgwick and Malcolm St. Clair. I'd love to know the story behind that.

Remote Control has been released on Warner Archives DVD-R.

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