Kid Nightingale


57m 1939
Kid Nightingale

Brief Synopsis

A waiter becomes a singing prizefighter.

Film Details

Also Known As
Kid Caruso, The Singing Swinger
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Sports
Release Date
Nov 4, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Synopsis

Boxing manager Skip Davis is desperate to discover a new pugilistic sensation, and consequently, when he sees singing waiter Steve Nelson slug several of his hecklers, he offers to groom the kid for the championship. Rather than slug his way to fame, however, Steve wants to sing his way there, and agrees to enter the ring only if Skip hires opera coach Rudolfo Terrassi to train him. When fight promoter Charles Paxton witnesses the adulation of Steve's female audience, he proposes going into partnership with Davis, dubbing Steve "Kid Nightingale" and building him into a heavyweight title contender with a series of fixed fights. Paxton and Skip then plan to bet all their winnings on Steve's opponent and retire as rich men. The first part of their scheme works, and women flock to watch Steve warble his victory over each opponent. When Steve demands his singing lessons, Paxton dresses up Strangler Colombo, a professional wrestler, as a music professor and introduces him as the great Rudolfo Terrassi. Steve sings his way to the championship until Judy Craig, his fiancée, recognizes Rudolfo as the Strangler and seeks out the real professor. She brings him to the ringside of the championship bout, where all watch in amazement as Steve, thinking that he is seeing double, floors his opponent, thus destroying David and Skip's elaborate hoax.

Film Details

Also Known As
Kid Caruso, The Singing Swinger
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Sports
Release Date
Nov 4, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Articles

Kid Nightingale


This featherweight Warner Brothers boxing comedy stars John Payne as a singing waiter who loses his job when he decks a heckler - a choice that leads to a second career when fight promoters Walter Catlett and Charles D. Brown see a goldmine in the "golden-voiced terror with a lullaby in each fist." Only a few years into his film career, Payne's wholesome handsomeness and plummy baritone binging voice got him assigned to such lightweight fare as Tin Pan Alley (1940), Weekend in Havana (1941), and Sun Valley Serenade (1941); at this point the actor was still a decade away from his career-making turn in the Fox holiday perennial Miracle on 34th Street (1949) and subsequent starring roles in such film noir classics as Kansas City Confidential (1952) and 99 River Street (1953). Also on deck for greater glory was leading lady Jane Wyman, then newly married to actor Ronald Reagan and a few years shy from her own career turning point, playing Ray Milland's understanding fiancée in The Lost Weekend (1945), from an Academy Award nomination for The Yearling (1947), and from earning Oscar gold playing the title role in Johnny Belinda (1948). First-time director George Amy was better known in Hollywood as an editor, having cut such films as Doctor X (1932), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), and Kid Galahad (1937), about a hotel bellhop who becomes a reluctant prizefighter.

By Richard Harland Smith
Kid Nightingale

Kid Nightingale

This featherweight Warner Brothers boxing comedy stars John Payne as a singing waiter who loses his job when he decks a heckler - a choice that leads to a second career when fight promoters Walter Catlett and Charles D. Brown see a goldmine in the "golden-voiced terror with a lullaby in each fist." Only a few years into his film career, Payne's wholesome handsomeness and plummy baritone binging voice got him assigned to such lightweight fare as Tin Pan Alley (1940), Weekend in Havana (1941), and Sun Valley Serenade (1941); at this point the actor was still a decade away from his career-making turn in the Fox holiday perennial Miracle on 34th Street (1949) and subsequent starring roles in such film noir classics as Kansas City Confidential (1952) and 99 River Street (1953). Also on deck for greater glory was leading lady Jane Wyman, then newly married to actor Ronald Reagan and a few years shy from her own career turning point, playing Ray Milland's understanding fiancée in The Lost Weekend (1945), from an Academy Award nomination for The Yearling (1947), and from earning Oscar gold playing the title role in Johnny Belinda (1948). First-time director George Amy was better known in Hollywood as an editor, having cut such films as Doctor X (1932), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), and Kid Galahad (1937), about a hotel bellhop who becomes a reluctant prizefighter. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this picture were The Singing Swinger and Kid Caruso. Although the opening credits attribute the screenplay to Raymond Schrock and Charles Belden and the story to Lee Katz, the Screen Achievements Bulletin credits Schrock and Katz with original story and Belden with screenplay. This picture marked the directorial debut of former film editor George Amy.