Roman Scandals

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Roman Scandals
Directed byFrank Tuttle
Written byWilliam Anthony McGuire
based on the story by George Kaufman
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
StarringEddie Cantor
CinematographyRay June
Gregg Toland
Edited byStuart Heisler
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • December 29, 1933 (1933-12-29)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
BudgetUS$1,000,000 (est.)
Box office$2,443,000[1]

Roman Scandals is a 1933 American black-and-white pre-Code musical film starring Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart, Edward Arnold and David Manners. It was directed by Frank Tuttle. The film features a number of intricate production numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley. The song "Keep Young and Beautiful" is from this film. In addition to the starring actors in the picture, the elaborate dance numbers are performed by the "Goldwyn Girls" (who in this film include future stars such as Lucille Ball, Paulette Goddard and Barbara Pepper). The title of the film is a pun on Roman sandals.


In the middle-America community of West Rome, Oklahoma, Eddie is employed as a delivery boy.

A self-styled authority of Ancient Roman history, Eddie bemoans the fact that the local shanty community is about to be wiped out by scheming politicians, certain that such an outrage could never have happened during Rome's Golden Days. After a blow to the head, Eddie wakes up in Imperial Rome, where he is sold on the slave auction block to good-natured tribune Josephus. Eddie soon discovers that the evil emperor Valerius is every bit a crook and grafter as the politicians in West Rome, and he intends to do something about it.

He gets a job as food taster for Valerius—a none-too-secure position, inasmuch as the emperor's wife, Agrippa, is constantly trying to poison him—and does his best to smooth the path of romance for Josephus and the recently captured Princess Sylvia. Eddie's well-intentioned interference earns him a session in the torture chamber, but he escapes and commandeers a chariot. On the verge of capture, Eddie wakes to find himself in West Rome, OK again, where he quickly foils the modern-day despots and brings about a happy ending for all his friends.



Eddie Cantor as Oedipus in Roman Scandals
  • "Build a Little Home"
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Eddie Cantor and chorus
Reprised by Eddie Cantor and chorus
  • "No More Love"
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Ruth Etting
Danced by chorus
  • "Keep Young and Beautiful"
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Eddie Cantor with chorus
Danced by chorus
  • "Put a Tax on Love"
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "All of Me"
Music by Gerald Marks
Lyrics by Seymour Simons
Sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "Dinah"
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "Kickin' the Gong Around"
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "Turkey in the Straw"
Played in the opening scene

Critical response[edit]

A written media review is located in Monthly Film Bulletin (UK), Vol. 1, Iss. 8, September 1934, (MG)


The film was one of United Artists' most popular films of the year.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?". The Argus. Melbourne. 4 March 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved 6 August 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ By D. W. (1934, Nov 25). "TAKING A LOOK AT THE RECORD". New York Times Retrieved from ProQuest

External links[edit]