Okey-dokey, yes, it was not "real" but a futuristic Art Deco "streamliner" band bus created for the '35 action-musical romp, "Stolen Harmony," starring tough guy George Raft, real-life big bandleader Ben Bernie (best remembered for penning "Sweet Georgia Brown"), debuting actor Lloyd Nolan and Bill Cagney, look-alike brother of James Cagney. Among the showgirls is Jane Wyman (future Ronald Reagan spouse) in an unbilled appearance. Bernie played screen bandleader Jack Conrad. And with a main score by Academy-Award-winner Max Steiner and makeup by Academy laurelist Edith Head, one might think the film had a lot going for it.
One would be wrong! LOL Maybe it should have been titled, "The Strange Voyage of the SS Jack Conrad"!
I think the movie is interesting, though, because it is SO typical of the fluffy, escapist entertainment often done during the depths of the depression, in particular by Paramount. Period charm noted, though, it almost seems as if there was no writer! What plot there is, is both shallow and a jumble of movie styles popular in the mid-'30s, seemingly stewed up merely for the sake of entertaining folks for an hour-and-a-half! "Stolen Harmony" is part music-and-dance (George Raft gets to dance!!!), part comedy, part gangster film, part car-chase/action film, and part showcase for the prop bus that looks as if Buckminster Fuller designed it during a severe hangover. (I suspect this film formula was used to craft most of the '60s Elvis films. Word!)
Anywho, none of the items available tell much at all about the drivetrain and chassis of this bus which, presumably, would have been based on a conventional chassis. They only mention the six wheels and the driver's "crow's nest." This appears mainly to have been for visual effect, 'cause it surely must have been a bitch to steer around corners, etc.! Forget about backing up or parking!
So, I am left with a burning desire to see and hear more about this movie-prop leviathan AND to know if it survived, somewhere??? I know, not likely, right? I do want to share an entertaining mini-synopsis about this VERY period flick, plus a link to an actual clip!!! Enjoy!
In this bouncy musical, a sax-playing ex-convict (Raft) joins a swing band and embarks upon a cross-country tour. He does really well until an old friend (Nolan) tries to tempt him into becoming a criminal again. The convict refuses the offer so the "friend" retaliates by doing the job anyway and leaving the con to take the rap. Then the band is kidnapped by a powerful person [get this!] desiring a private concert. The ex-con saves the band by informing on the crook. He is then allowed to play with them again and musical happiness ensues [Ah-h-h-h! A happy ending!]. Songs include: "Would There Be Love," "Let's Spill the Beans," "I Never Had a Man to Cry Over," and "Fagin Youse is a Viper."
Here's a link to a YouTube clip from the movie: