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Film / Swing Parade of 1946

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Swing Parade of 1946 is a Public Domain musical comedy movie directed by Phil Karlson, starring The Three Stooges and Gail Storm (later of My Little Margie fame).

It tells the story of Carol Lawrence (Storm), a down-on-her-luck fledgling singer. One day, Carol - after several misunderstandings and after kitchen staffers Moe, Larry and Curly vouch for her - lands a job singing in Danny Warren's (Phil Regan) new nightclub. But Danny and his right-hand man, Moose are on the lookout for process servers sent by Danny's father (a newspaper man who considers the nightclub biz beneath Danny and a waste of time), looking to shut the place. Can Danny make a go of the place before his father can having him shut down? Will Danny and Carol act on their attraction to each other?

The movie also features musical numbers by Connee Boswell and the Louis Jordan and Will Osborne orchestras, as well as Storm herself singing "Stormy Weather" and "The Sunny Side of the Street."


It is available in its entirety in various places online and as a RiffTrax download.

Swing Parade of 1946 contains examples of the following tropes.

  • Alternate DVD Commentary: Riffrax took a swing at the movie, badum tssh.
  • Bad Boss: Played for Laughs, but Moose absolutely counts. Every moment, he's screaming or slapping the Three Stooges around. He rarely displays anything aside from vaudevillian rage around them, so much so that you have no idea why they're still employed there by the end of the film.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Stooges might as well be an "and" credit, as they barely appear in the film and their antics basically have almost nothing to do with the very thin main plot.
  • Ear Worm: "Caldonia" is actually pretty damn catchy.
  • Excuse Plot: The movie is very transparent that it just wants to have over the top musical numbers. The "plot" of Danny's father trying to shut down the club is thin at best and is illogically, easily solved at the end.
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  • Love at First Sight: Carol for Danny, or so the film wants us to believe.
  • Mistaken for Servant: Carol (while trying to serve Danny with legal papers from his father) is waylaid by Danny's dance director, who thinks she's one of the dance girls.
  • Mistaken for Spies: Moe, Larry and Curly humiliate and eject the senior Mr. Warren after mistaking him for someone trying to serve a dispossession notice.
  • Non-Indicative Title: There is no parade to be found, and most of the music in the movie isn't swing. There is however, a song called "Swing Parade".
  • Overly Long Gag: Several, but most notably the bit with the Stooges trying to find Moose's watch, and the painfully unfunny Windy trying to convince Moose his poorly done impressions should be included in Danny's show lineup.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Inverted: After the encounter with Danny's dance director, Carol is so flustered and upset, that when she finally gets face to face with Danny, she hands him her own eviction notice, rather than the cease and desist order from his father. But Danny thinks she did it on purpose to try and tug at his heartstrings. In the end, she gets the audition she'd been turned away from earlier (the first time she showed up, Moose thought she was trying to serve the papers she actually did have the second time she showed up).
    • Played straight later, when a process server (let in by Curly) does get to Danny, and mentions that Carol was paid by him to show up when she did. Danny tells her off without letting her explain. And when he's informed how it actually went down with Carol, she runs off without letting him apologize. Or at least she tries: Danny drags her back to the club and Moose keeps her from running off while Danny sings an apology song.
  • Public Domain Feature Films
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Danny's club is so incredibly opulent that even the Rifftrax guys can't believe their eyes. He has a huge venue, an enormous number of chorus girls and male dancers all in fancy gowns and tuxedos, wait staff, composers and a symphony and a band, elaborate sets for the singing numbers, headliner musicians...the amount of money it must take to run these shows every single night has got to be absurd. He'd have to charge a thousand dollars a table to turn a profit, but obviously he's well off enough not to care to downsize the operation.
  • Society Marches On: The sketch with Carol spending the night is downright cringeworthy by today's standards. What happens is she gets upset and tries to serve Danny the dispossession, but instead accidentally hands him her eviction notice. Danny feels bad and ushers her back inside, asking Moose to prepare his suite for her to spend the night since she's been kicked out of her place. Carol misinterprets this to mean Danny expects her to sleep with him to get the job, a theory not helped by Danny's longing stares. Moose gets her into the suite and Carol is panicking as he sets up dinner, begging for Moose to stay so she won't be assaulted by Danny. Then the Stooges show up in their night attire and Carol faints. She wakes up the next morning wearing Danny's clothes and is even more afraid until she finds out one of the female staff members is the one who changed her clothes overnight. It's Played for Laughs but to be honest, it's downright uncomfortable to watch.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: It's possible there is some kind of additional context from the 1940s or earlier that the audience ought to know, but the opening number of the movie is "Don't You Worry 'Bout that Mule" and it is exactly what the title suggests—an entire song about not worrying about a mule going blind. It's bizarre, to say the least, given that almost every other song in the movie is a love song of some variation.
  • Worf Had the Flu: If Curly's performance seems a bit... off, it's because, at this point, Curly's health was on a downward slope , exacerbated by a stroke he'd had not a year earlier.