Cast & Crew
While George White sells tickets to his musical revue, George White's Scandals , which is being held at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, Miss Lee, a visiting reporter, points out tobacco tycoon John R. Loraine and his spoiled daughter Barbara. Barbara is notorious for hiring male singers for her father's radio show in order to romance them. She has successfully hooked George's star attraction, Jimmy Martin, who will be making his first appearance on the Loraine Tobacco Hour in a broadcast from the stage that night. Jimmy's longtime partner, Kitty Donnelly, who is in love with Jimmy, is very unhappy with the situation, and she is comforted by her friend and fellow performer, Happy McGillicuddy, who is in love with her. To further complicate the romantic tangles, Happy is pursued by Patsy Dey, who is the beloved of Stew Hart, and in between their numbers, the foursome sigh and squabble over one another. After Kitty confronts Barbara, who is trying to persuade Jimmy to leave the show, she confides to Happy that she herself will leave the show if Jimmy does, which makes Happy threaten to do the same. This starts a chain reaction, and, with all of his stars determined to quit, George tries to find a solution. The show continues while George plots to demonstrate to Jimmy what kind of woman Barbara really is. George asks Stew to pretend to be a former intimate friend of Barbara's, but their ruse does not work and Jimmy decides to quit the show. He is discussing this with George when they see Barbara hugging a former boyfriend, wrestler Pete Pandos. Convinced now that Barbara is not the woman for him, Jimmy asks George to help square the situation with Kitty, whom Jimmy now realizes he loves. While George is orchestrating a grand finale for the show and the lovers, Happy finally agrees to marry Patsy. Jimmy and Kitty then begin their number "Sweet and Simple," which includes a pretend wedding ceremony. George has tricked Jimmy and Kitty into signing a marriage license, and, much to everyone's delight, the wedding ceremony is real and the couple is married on stage.
Ed Le Saint
Edna May Jones
The Meglin Kiddies
Edwin J. Brady
J. L. Lindsey
Mary Anne Todd
Mary Jane Carey
Theo De Voe
La Verne Leonard
Peggy La Rue
Lu Ann Meredith
Louis De Francesco
W. F. Fitzgerald
E. F. Grossman
Siegfried M. Herzig
Robert T. Kane
A. L. Von Kirbach
George White's Scandals (1934)
She soon got a job in New York with "George White's Scandals," one of the city's premier revue shows, headed by burlesque producer George White. In short time, Rudy Vallee heard her sing and offered her a spot on his popular radio show; the audience loved her and a singer was born.
When Vallee and George White signed a deal with Fox for a film version of the "Scandals" with Vallee playing the lead, Faye ended up getting an even bigger break. Originally she was to go along with the company to Hollywood and sing one song in the picture; little did she dream she would get the role of the leading lady! The role was supposed to have been played by Lilian Harvey, a half-English, half-German actress who had been a significant star in Germany and whom Fox was now trying to build into a star in America. She had appeared in four movies for the studio, including the bizarre oddity I Am Suzanne (1933), but she was so unhappy about being cast in George White's Scandals - finding it unworthy of her talents - that she dissolved her contract and walked out. In an interview years later, Faye sympathized with Harvey's decision, saying "the truth was that she was simply not right for the role as it had been written. [It was] a light bit of froth." (Harvey eventually returned to Germany. After more films there, she was forced to escape the Nazi regime and returned to the U.S., though she was unable to revitalize her Hollywood film career due to the stigma of being German.)
When 28-year-old Harvey left, the Fox brass momentarily scratched their heads for a replacement. Faye, all of 18 years old, had already recorded her number for the film, "Nasty Man," and had done a superb job. Giving her a shot at the lead would be a gamble, but the girl had something. They took the gamble, paying Faye $500 per week and even launching a big publicity campaign for her. It paid off in spades. Faye was a hit, Fox signed her to a contract, and just like that, they had a new, rising star who in the years ahead would become one of the public's favorite screen personalities. Ironically, Faye hadn't even gone on this trip to Hollywood with the intention of starting a movie career. Even more ironically, George White's Scandals was really designed as a vehicle for Rudy Vallee, and as Faye's career afterward quickly shot up, Rudy Vallee's started a steady decline.
The movie itself doesn't have much plot, functioning instead as a sketchy framework to enable lots of musical numbers to be delivered in the style of a revue. Faye biographer W. Franklyn Moshier has written, "Scandals holds up remarkably well due to impressive work on the part of a capable cast, some excellent music, and cleverly staged musical numbers... The film shows expensive mounting, superb costume design in the gowns worn by the principals and the chorines alike, and clever, if not always original, production numbers... Alice's main number is a show stopper complete with miniature trick photography requiring a chorus girl to dive from the edge of a hand-held champagne glass into the bubbly."
The New York Times called Faye's "Nasty Man" number a "hot tune which comes closest to the cinematic patterns evolved during the current cycle by Busby Berkeley," and also praised "'Hold My Hand,' which is the most melodious of the songs and virtually the only one with grace. Alice Faye, a flashy blond newcomer, puts over the 'Nasty Man' lyrics in great style, while Rudy Vallee, returning after many months to croon sonorously in her ear, pleads to have his hand held."
Despite all the success, not everything was peaches and cream for Alice Faye at this time. Vallee was going through a divorce, and his bitter wife publicly accused Faye of being one of three women with whom Vallee had been having affairs. There was a storm of negative publicity, but the charges were baseless and never proven, and luckily for Faye, the publicity died down before George White's Scandals was released. If it had continued, the studio might easily have decided not to sign her.
Faye biographer Jane Lenz Elder has written of Faye's early, platinum-blonde years at Fox that the actress found the otherworldly costumes and makeup made her "feel like another, more glamorous person. 'I never thought I was really beautiful when I was young,' [Faye] recalled. 'When the people at the studio were through putting me together, by ten o'clock in the morning I thought I was pretty beautiful.'" Generally, however, Faye was happier when, in the years ahead, the studio did away with her platinum-blonde image and allowed her to look more like a natural "girl next door."
One year (and four films) after her debut, Faye starred in a new movie version of the "Scandals" entitled George White's 1935 Scandals. For that film, she was top-billed for the first time. A third "Scandals" picture, released in 1945 by RKO, was made without Faye's involvement.
Look for Shirley Temple in the number "Following in Mother's Footsteps."
Producer: George White
Director: Thornton Freeland, Harry Lachman, George White
Screenplay: George White, Jack Yellen
Cinematography: Lee Garmes, George Schneiderman
Film Editing: Paul Weatherwax
Cast: Rudy Vallee (Jimmy Martin), Jimmy Durante (Happy Donnelly), Alice Faye (Mona Vale), Adrienne Ames (Barbara Loraine), Cliff Edwards (Stew Hart), Gregory Ratoff (Nicholas Mitwoch), Dixie Dunbar (Patsy Day), William Bailey (Harold Bestry).
by Jeremy Arnold
W. Franklyn Moshier, The Alice Faye Movie Book
Jane Lenz Elder, Alice Faye: A Life Beyond the Silver Screen
George White's Scandals (1934)
This film was reviewed by Variety and a pre-release Motion Picture Herald article as Scandals. Although the onscreen credits list only George White as the storywriter and credit only Jack Yellen with additional dialogue, the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library confirm that Siegfried M. Herzig and Samuel Shipman wrote the original screen story, William Conselman wrote the screenplay, Joseph Cunningham wrote the dialogue, and Henry Johnson, Ray Henderson and Irving Caesar contributed to the dialogue. This was Broadway producer White's first film, and it was based on his highly successful series of theatrical musical revues, which began in 1919. The legal records reveal that White was contracted to direct and produce five "Scandals" pictures for Fox over a five-year period, although he only made this film and George White's 1935 Scandals for the studio (see below). A letter in the legal records states that either Fox or White could cancel their contract if, after each film had been in release for four months, it did not appear that the film would accumulate a gross of $1,400,000. White produced George White's Scandals for RKO in 1945. It was directed by Felix E. Feist and starred Joan Davis and Jack Haley.
A November 29, 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Fox was trying to get Raoul Walsh to direct the picture, and the legal records note that White replaced dance director Russell Markert with Georgie Hale before production began. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, M-G-M initially refused to loan Jimmy Durante to Fox, although he does appear in the completed film, and songwriter Irving Caesar was considered for a "comedy role," although his participation as an actor in the finished picture has not been confirmed. A Los Angeles Times news item notes that the Loomis Sisters were scheduled to be in the cast, but their participation in the final film has also not been confirmed. According to contemporary sources, Jack Haley and Lilian Harvey were set for leading roles, and Marie Ormiston, who was a member of the Broadway George White's Scandals cast, was also to be in the picture. None of them appear in the finished film. Lilian Harvey was replaced by Alice Faye, who made her screen-acting debut in this picture. Faye had appeared in the eleventh edition of White's Broadway show, which opened in 1931, and soon after became a regular on Rudy Vallee's radio show. Modern sources note that Faye was originally scheduled to sing just one number in the picture, but was given Harvey's part when she left the production before filming began. Several contemporary reviews noted that public curiousity over Faye would bring in audiences. The Variety review pointed out: "For box office, Scandals must rest its case on the title, Rudy Vallee's personal draw and probable romantic speculation over, and public interest in, the joint presence of Vallee and Alice Faye." Modern sources note that in January 1934, Vallee's wife named Faye as a co-respondent in her divorce suit against Vallee. Shirley Temple, who was a member of The Meglin Kiddies, is included in the number "Following in Mother's Footsteps," which chronicles the future careers of former "Scandal Girls'" daughters.
According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the Hays Office objected to three "gags" contained in the picture: a scene during the "So Nice" song in which "Stew Hart" picks up a toilet seat and tells "Patsy Dey" that she can use it as a frame for a picture of her mother; another scene from "So Nice" in which "Stew" picks up a catalog and states that he is leaving the room; and a sequence in which "Patsy," who is bending over to peer through a keyhole, rejects "Stew's" proposal and tells him to "put that in your pipe and smoke it." In response, "Stew" states: "Well, I guess I'll have to get a bigger pipe." Although the other scenes were left in, the catalog gag was apparently shortened, and the picture received a seal of approval from the Hays Office. After the film was released, however, many state and city censor boards and civic organizations lodged protests against it with the Hays Office and Fox. The three scenes mentioned above were objected to, as were the song "Nasty Man," sung by Faye, and the Meglin Kiddies sequence in which one of the children does a fan dance and sings "Nasty Man." The film was banned by the Legion of Decency and was withdrawn from release by Fox on February 15, 1935.