6.4/10
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14 user 1 critic

Banjo on My Knee (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 11 December 1936 (USA)
Ernie Holley runs away on his wedding night because he thinks he has killed a wedding guest. His father Newt and bride Pearl find him in New Orleans and persuade him to come home.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pearl Elliott Holley
...
Ernie Holley
...
Newt Holley
...
Buddy
...
Grandma
...
Warfield Scott
...
Chick Bean (as Anthony Martin)
...
Leota Long (as Katherine De Mille)
Victor Kilian ...
Mr. Slade
...
Ruby
Spencer Charters ...
Judge Tope
Hall Johnson Choir ...
Vocal Ensemble (as The Hall-Johnson Choir)
George Humbert ...
Jules
...
Gurtha
Cecil Weston ...
Hattie
Edit

Storyline

Ernie Holley runs away on his wedding night because he thinks he has killed a wedding guest. His father Newt and bride Pearl find him in New Orleans and persuade him to come home.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Laughing, Fighting, Singing...and Loving! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mississippi-Melodie  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the three original songs from the movie became top ten hits on the music charts. "Where the Lazy River Goes By" went to #7 in a recording by Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra with a vocal by Midge Williams on the Brunswick label and "There's Something in the Air" by Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra, with a vocal by Bob Goday, on the Bluebird label went to #5. See more »

Quotes

Pearl Elliott Holley: Shuck or be shucked
See more »

Connections

Featured in Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by W.C. Handy
Performed by Walter Brennan often, Theresa Harris with the Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarre musical starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea
12 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Banjo on my Knee" is a 1936 film that will keep you guessing as to which direction it's headed nearly every time there's a scene change. McCrea plays a shantytown boy who marries a land girl (Stanwyck). The patriarch of McCrea's family, played by Walter Brennan, is desperate for a grandchild. Unfortunately, Stanwyck and McCrea can't seem to get their marriage consummated. On their wedding night, they think McCrea has murdered someone (he hasn't), so McCrea takes off for six months and sees the world while his wife waits none too patiently. The day he comes home, he talks about moving the family to Aruba and says he'll go down first for a month and then send for her. The couple get into a terrible fight because Stanwyck doesn't want to be left again. The two of them then split up again - that instant. She goes to New Orleans to work for a slimy photographer, but no sooner does she get to his apartment that she bolts and takes a job as a dishwasher in a bar.

Soon, the entire population of Shantytown is in New Orleans looking for her and for McCrea. At the bar, Tony Martin is a saloon singer who falls for Stanwyck, and soon, Buddy Ebsen, another Shantytown resident, and Walter Brennan are big hits performing there, and Stanwyck is doing duets with Martin. It goes on from there.

Some of the music is great, the highlight being "St. Louis Woman" with Brennan and the Hall Johnson Choir. Martin looks and sounds like an angel - his voice is just stunning in "There's Something in the Air" and "Where the Lazy River Goes By." Stanwyck sings just like she talks

  • her voice is low, pleasant, and natural. The cast is uniformly good,
and Katharine DeMille has a showy role as Leota, who's in love with McCrea. McCrea, of course, is tall, handsome, and boyishly gorgeous.

I wasn't expecting a musical, and in the beginning, "Banjo on My Knee" seemed like a drama, so I never was sure what I was watching. Odd though the film may be, it was loads of fun.


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