Swing Fever (1943), starring Kay Kyser, Marilyn Maxwell, Nat Pendleton
In Swing Fever, a country boy (Kay Kyser) comes to the big city and gets entangled with a crooked fight manager.
Review of Swing Fever
In short, Swing Fever is a light-hearted, fun, musical comedy. It centers around the zany bandleader Kay Kyser, playing the part of a country bumpkin. But a country bumpkin with a hypnotic ability — the “evil eye”. A dishonest boxing manager wants to use that to his advantage, the typical romantic triangle ensues, etc.
It’s not the most original story — but it’s executed very well, with lots of fun music and zany comedy. I enjoyed it, and hope that you do as well. I rate it 3 stars out of 5.
- Lowell Blackford (Kay Kyser, You’ll Find Out). A backwoods band leader, who has the “evil eye” – a hypnotic ability to put people to sleep. It’s that special ability that’s coveted by:
- ‘Waltzy’ Malone (William Gargan, Who Done It?). A boxing manager/gambler/mobster, who wants to use the Evil Eye to guarantee a boxing match win by:
- ‘Killer’ Kennedy (Nat Pendleton, Buck Privates, At the Circus). The none-too-bright boxer that Malone is betting heavily on. And is willing to do anything to win …
- Ginger Gray (Marilyn Maxwell, The Lemon Drop Kid, Lost in a Harem). Gargan’s lovely fiancée, whom Gargan uses to keep Blackford busy. And when Blackford falls in love with her, he even has her go along. But she begins to fall for Blackford …
- Ish Kabibble (M.A. Bogue). A member of Kay Kyser’s band – who’s zany, funny, and punny.
Songs in Swing Fever
- Sh-! Don’t Make a Sound, Written by Sunny Skylar, Sung by Marilyn Maxwell, Played by Kay Kyser and His Band
- Mississippi Dreamboat, Music by Sammy Fain, Lyrics by Lew Brown and Ralph Freed, Sung by Marilyn Maxwell, Played by Kay Kyser and His Band
- I Planted a Rose, Music by Nacio Herb Brown, Lyrics by Lew Brown and Ralph Freed, Sung by Harry Babbitt, Played by Kay Kyser and His Band
- One Girl and Two Boys, Music by Nacio Herb Brown, Lyrics by Lew Brown and Ralph Freed, Sung by Marilyn Maxwell, Played by Kay Kyser and His Band
- (I’ve Grown So Lonely) Thinking of You, Music by Walter Donaldson, Played by Kay Kyser and His Band
- You’re So Indifferent, Music by Sammy Fain, Lyrics by Mitchell Parish, Sung by Lena Horne
Editorial review of Swing Fever courtesy of Amazon.com
For one generation, he needs no introduction. For the next, he’s the greatest Pop star they’ve never heard of. Regardless of where you fall, let’s all make time to get reacquainted with the master of mirth and music, Kay Kyser. Bandleader Kyser rose to the top thanks to his talented band (including the legendary Ish Kabibble) and his trademark “Ol’ Professor” persona, through which Kay quizzed and enthralled audiences on stage, studio, and screen. Swing Fever finds Kay using music and hypnosis to turn a chump into a champ. Featuring Lena Horne, the Merrill Abbott Dancers, & Ava Gardner.