5.8/10
158
11 user 5 critic

Ready, Willing and Able (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 6 March 1937 (USA)
Two songwriters want to cast a British star in their new show.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Colleen (1936)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Jack Oakie
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Dick is watching the fleet come in when he sees June. Dick has no intention of joining the Navy, which is a family tradition, and June, having lost her father and brother in the Navy, does ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Lewis Stone
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A college Principal objects to a nightclub opening near his campus.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Ruby Keeler, Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Al Howard may be a star on Broadway, but he is no longer welcomed by any producer. It seems that he just trots off to Mexico any time he wants causing shows to close and producers to lose ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Glenda Farrell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An 1890s widow has two daughters and two sons. The daughters fall in love with the same gentleman.

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Anne Shirley, Ruby Keeler, James Ellison
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Musical-romance with Dick Powell as a private stationed in Hawaii who gets involved with Ruby Keeler, the general's engaged daughter. In order to avoid a scandal, the pair break up, but ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Pat O'Brien
Certificate: M Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

In this comedy-satire on conformity, Dick Van Dyke plays a Manhattan bank teller who grows a beard when he develops a rash from a bee sting. He is promptly fired from his job while his ... See full summary »

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Angie Dickinson, Rosemary Forsyth
Housewife (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Brent, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Medicine Bend, a crooked businessman has the town mayor and sheriff in his pocket while his henchmen raid the wagon trains passing through the region.

Director: Richard L. Bare
Stars: Randolph Scott, James Craig, Angie Dickinson
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A charming bailiff's assistant poses as a young woman's butler until she can pay her debts.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Charlotte Greenwood, Irene Purcell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

There have been a spate of London police murders, the victims always killed by a long knife (which the police know is a sword cane), the murders always taking place in a deserted but ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar Selwyn, Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth Allan, Lewis Stone
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The murder of a socialite leads to a sensational trial, with a close governor's race hanging on its outcome.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Angie Dickinson, Jack Kelly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane
Lee Dixon ...
Pinky Blair
...
J. Van Courtland
...
Clara Heineman
...
Barry Granville
...
Angie
Hugh O'Connell ...
Truman Hardy
Wini Shaw ...
Teddy Hart ...
Yip Nolan
...
Edward McNeil
Al Shaw ...
Moving Man (as Shaw)
Sam Lee ...
Moving Man (as Lee)
...
Sir Samuel Buffington (Credits) / Bloomington (in Film)
...
Dot
May Boley ...
Mrs. Beadle
Edit

Storyline

Two songwriters want to cast a British star in their new show.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amores de Opereta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film of Ross Alexander, who died two months before this film was released. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Honeymooners: The $99,000 Answer (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Little Old House
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played on piano by and sung and danced to by Lee Dixon
Reprised a cappella by Adrian Rosley
Reprised on accordian by Lee Dixon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Show Girl From England
16 March 2001 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

READY, WILLING AND ABLE (Warner Brothers, 1937), directed by Ray Enright, is a lightweight backstage story produced in late 1936 that marked the en of an era for Ruby Keeler as the tap dancing darling of Warner Brothers musicals. With Lee Dixon, Allen Jenkins and Louise Fazenda listed below Keeler's name, the main focus is actually on Ross Alexander, billed fifth in the casting credits. Sadly, upon completion of this musical, Alexander had committed suicide in January 1937, leaving one to wonder how far he could have gone in motion pictures, which began for him in 1932, followed by a Warner Brothers studio contract in 1934.

The plot in brief finds Barry Granville (Ross Alexander), a songwriter, actor and producer, who, along with Pinky Blair (Lee Dixon), hoofer and partner, hope to get their show, "Fair Lady" (no, NOT "My Fair Lady") produced on Broadway. McNeil (Addison Richards), an agent from Amalgamated Pictures, agrees to back the show if they can get a well known personality to appear in it. It is suggested they try to get Jane Clarke, an English musical-comedy star currently making headlines. They so happen to locate a Jane Clarke (Ruby Keeler), an aspiring dancer and student of Broadfield College returning home from England with her classmates. After the ship docks New York, she is approached and mistaken for the English singer by J. Van Courtland (Allen Jenkins), a theatrical agent sponsoring Granville. Jane is coaxed by her friend, Angie (Carol Hughes) to sign an immediate contract with Granville, feeling this would be her big opportunity to crash Broadway. Granville, of course, falls in love with his young "English" star, which makes it difficult for the guilt-ridden Jane to get enough courage to tell him the truth about herself. She does continue, however, with her masquerade, British accent and all. The jig is up, however, when the real Jane Clarke (Winifred Shaw) arrives from England after learning that she's to appear in a show she knows nothing about. However, the English Jane Clarke turns out to also be a fraud, which causes further conflict for Barry.

As with the latter MGM musicals that starred Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the late 30s/early 1940s, the cast in READY, WILLING AND ABLE is so energetic, especially Alexander and Jenkins, that it's ashame they couldn't rise above a mediocre script. Alexander's singing voice is obviously dubbed and Lee Dixon (who looks more like a movie cowboy than a Broadway hoofer) tap dances like a puppet on a string. An average score by Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting includes: "The World is My Apple" (sung by Lee Dixon); "Handy With Your Feet" (sung and danced by Keeler); "Just a Quiet Evening" (sung by Alexander/ danced by Keeler and Dixon at dinner party), "Sentimental and Melacholy" (sung by Winifred Shaw); and the hit tune, "Too Marvelous for Words," which is plugged three times during the story, becoming the closing production number in which Keeler and Dixon tap dance on keys to a giant typewriter, compliments of choreographer Bobby Connolly, whose dance direction is usually mediocre at best. This production number was, however, nominated for an Academy Award for best dance direction. Aside from the song and dance, Louise Fazenda and Teddy Hart do a very familiar comedy routine during dress rehearsal, one that better served comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in THE NAUGHTY NINETIES (Universal, 1945). Look for it. Featured in the supporting cast are Hugh O'Connell as Keeler's middle-aged but uninteresting fiancé, Truman Hardy; Shaw and Lee as the piano movers who do tap routines; Barnett Parker as a authentic English waiter; and a very young and cute Jane Wyman as a sharp-tongued secretary.

In spite of mistaken identity plot used numerous times in 1930s musicals, the best being GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, READY, WILLING AND ABLE failed to become a classic. One of the few channels to have aired this musical at one point of time was WPHL, Channel 17, in Philadelphia, prior to 1974. Currently available on Turner Classic Movies, take notice whenever READY, WILLING AND ABLE is preceded by a three minute theatrical trailer that most of the major leads and their scenes are described and highlighted with the exception of Ross Alexander. His dubbed singing is heard, but is never seen.

On a personal level, the chemistry between Keeler and Alexander fails to register that certain spark and charisma Keeler made opposite Dick Powell in those seven musicals, and once opposite her overgrown husband Al Jolson. If remembered at all, READY, WILLING AND ABLE would be noted for its introduction to the popular tune of "Too Marvelous For Words." (**1/2)


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Too Marveloous For Words laoksen
Musical number jamerson5
DVD now available directly from Warner Home Video! simonhowson
Discuss Ready, Willing and Able (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?