October 03, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

When Eddie Cantor, insouciant and electric, prances across the screen to put over ”My Baby Just Cares for Me” (in Whoopee!, 1930) or ”My Honey Said Yes, Yes” (in Palmy Days, 1931), you forget the hokey jokes; you know you’re in the presence of a master showman. The scripts to the six lavish films Cantor made for Samuel Goldwyn creak at times, but Cantor’s commandingly theatrical song-and-dance scenes (often augmented by Busby Berkeley) are a must for anyone seriously interested in musicals. A tonic for Depression audiences, Cantor (1892-1964) became by 1934 one of America’s highest-paid film actors. A year or so later, he left Goldwyn — a serious misstep; his later films never came near the luster of the films in Eddie Cantor Giftset Collection: Kid From Spain, Palmy Days, Strike Me Pink, Kid Millions, Roman Scandals, Whoopee!. A-

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