Artists and Models (1937): Raul Walsh’s Oscar-Nominated Musical Comedy, Starring Jack Benny and Ida Lupino

In Artists and Models, a musical comedy directed by the versatile Raoul Walsh at Paramount, Jack Benny, in one of his first starring roles, plays Mac Brewster, an advertising executive who tries to land a silverware account, and then hold on to it as his biggest client.

The artists of the title include the gifted comedian-cartoonists Peter Arno and Rube Goldberg.

The silver company is run by Alan Townshend (Richard Arlen), who employs in the office Paula Sewell (Ida Lupino), a woman longing to compete in the Artists and Models Ball and win the title of Queen.

Poor Paula: professional models are frowned upon at the Ball, and all entrants must be debutantes. Among them is the snooty Cynthia Wentworth (Gail Patrick), who looks to be a shoo-in to win. But Paula has a plan of how to win the desirable crown—and more.

Among the highlight is a scene in which the brilliant jazz musician Louis Armstrong performs a tune with Martha Raye.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Song; Whispers in the Dark, music by Frederick Hollander; lyrics by Leo Robin

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Best Song Oscar Award went to Harry Owens’ “Sweet Leilani” from the musical, “Waikiki Wedding.”




Running time: 95 Minutes.

Directed by Raoul Walsh.



Jack Benny as Mac Brewster

Ida Lupino as Paula Sewell

Richard Arlen as Alan Townsend

Gail Patrick as Cynthia Wentworth

Ben Blue as Jupiter Pluvius II

Judy Canova as Toots/Specialty