Behind Your Radio Dial: The Story of NBC.

This late-40s film gives the viewer a filmed tour of NBC studios at Radio City in New York, back when NBC was mainly a radio network. I love old-time radio, so I found this very interesting. We get to see radio stars such as Fred Allen or Fibber McGee and Molly performing, musical performances by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and the NBC orchestra, and the news being announced by H.P. Kaltenborn. Kaltenborn’s section on radio news is particularly fun, since he narrates it very bombastically. He also tells us that all news broadcasts were permanently recorded for posterity on wax transcription discs––wouldn’t you like to get ahold of that library! The film has a wistful quality, as its final section deals with the fledgling NBC television network, without even a hint of anticipation of the juggernaut of tv running over and killing network radio. A fascinating historic document of an entertainment medium that doesn’t exist anymore, that’s fun to watch as well.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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