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Mr. Dodd Takes the Air

Mr. Dodd Takes the Air(1937)

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Twenty-three-year-old electrician Claude Dodd of the small town of Pewamo is heard singing by Hiram P. Doremus, president of Morpheus Mattresses, who sponsors a national radio hour at the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company in New York. Doremus brings Claude to New York to appear in his show as "the Master Baritone." When he arrives, however, Claude develops a sore throat and, following an operation, becomes a tenor. Doremus accuses him of falsely selling himself as a baritone and fires him, but the public loves him. MBC secretary, Marjorie Day, helps Claude secure a big contract, and soon his fan club has 217,000 members. Tired of the publicity, Claude spends an evening with Marjorie eating doughnuts and coffee and fixes her radio with an unpatented apparatus he has designed. Marjorie encourages Claude to develop an "artistic temperament" in order to get what he wants, and he becomes an egotist, falling prey to the machinations of blonde golddigger, Jessica Stafford, who hopes to steal his invention through seduction. Jessica introduces Claude to opera prima donna, Mme. Sonya Moro, who takes him under her wing. Meanwhile, Jessica and Jim Lidin scheme to steal Claude's radio gadget, and when Claude finds his house torn apart, Jessica tells him that Marjorie is in league with Lidin. While Mme. Moro finds Claude a penthouse and Jessica spends his money, Marjorie loses her job and Claude plans to marry her. He swears his love and they kiss, but Jessica enters and accuses Marjorie of applying for a patent in her own name. Marjorie tries to convince Claude she filed for the patent to protect him, but he leaves with Jessica. Gossip columns tout the rivalry between Mme. Moro and Jessica for Claude's hand in marriage, but he searches for Marjorie in the rain and lands in the hospital. Another operation changes him back into a baritone. Both Jessica and Mme. Moro visit him as his fiancée, but he tells them he will marry neither of them. When Claude next takes the air, he pretends not to be able to sing in order to get out of his contract and then returns to Pewamo. Meanwhile, his ex-manager, Sniffer Sears, who has won the heart of Mme. Moro, tracks down Marjorie, and she arrives in Pewamo with the patent in Claude's name. Claude tells her he never lost his voice and sings to her after she promises to marry him.