International House

The manic, boisterous energy that marks many Hollywood comedies of the early sound era owes to the vaudeville stars who found second careers on the big screen. INTERNATIONAL HOUSE features “a fortune in marquee material,” including WC Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Peggy Hopkins Joyce. The story begins when eccentric Dr. Wong (Edmund Breese) calls an international conference at a swanky hotel in “Wu Hu, China” to demonstrate his latest invention, the radioscope, which can pick up images and sound from anywhere in the world. As potential investors descend on the hotel—literally in the case of Fields’s Professor Quail, who arrives via “autogyro”—various storylines emerge. Adding to the mayhem are performances on Dr. Wong’s device by popular radio entertainers Rudy Vallee, Baby Rose Marie, and Cab Calloway.

Genres: Comedy