YOULL FIND OUT
As with The Cat and the Canary, which was set around the persona of Bob Hope, a popular entertainment figure of the day, You'll Find Out has been constructed around the presence of big band leader Kay Kyser. Although almost entirely forgotten today, Kay Kyser gained enormous popularity as a bandleader on his radio show Kay Kysers Kollege of Musical Knowledge, which aired between 1938 and 1949. From there, Kysers popularity spread to cinema screens where he starred as the lead character in a number of films beginning with Thats Right, Youre Wrong (1939). You'll Find Out was the second of these and was followed by the (non-genre) likes of Playmates (1941), My Favorite Spy (1942), Around the World (1943), Swing Fever (1943) and Carolina Blues (1944), as well as a short-lived tv series Kay Kysers Kollege of Musical Knowledge (1949-50). In most of these, Kyser played himself in a plot written around his and the bands exploits.
The presence of Kay Kyser and his orchestra leads to several sappy routines. The film stands still at length several times for Kyser and his boys to conduct various musical numbers the opening routine, for instance, goes on for about 10 minutes. Indeed, You'll Find Out is more of a musical than it ever is a haunted house comedy. Kay Kyser himself is a balding, bespectacled, jumped-up personality with a high-pitched voice that these days would be characterised as the tightass nerd of the show. His hyped cheer is rather dreadful and dated, although You'll Find Out does emerge with an undeniable likeability.
The Old Dark House angle is mostly relegated to some lame variants on slapstick bumblings around in dark cellars people falling through revolving doors, Kay Kyser taking what he believes is a hand only to find it is a stuffed gorilla and such like. There is only one point where the film ever rises to a moment of genuine atmosphere and that is during the seance. With floating objects, glowing faces and spooky voices, these scenes momentarily achieve something eerie. Of course, You'll Find Outs casting ace in the hole is the presence of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre, three of the reigning horror stars of the era, who bring a degree of dignity and professionalism to the exercise that the amateur bandsmen lack.
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