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Something to Sing About (1937)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 480 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

A New York bandleader journeys to Hollywood when he is offered a contract with a studio, but he is determined to do things his way and not theirs.

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(story), (screenplay)
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Title: Something to Sing About (1937)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Terrence 'Terry' Rooney (stage name of Thadeus McGillicuddy)
Evelyn Daw ...
Rita Wyatt
...
Hank Meyers
Mona Barrie ...
...
Bennett O. 'B.O.' Regan
Philip Ahn ...
Ito (Terry's servant)
Marek Windheim ...
Mr. Farney (dialogue director)
...
Mr. Easton (makeup supervisor)
Johnny Arthur ...
Mr. Daviani (wardrobe supervisor) (as John Arthur)
William B. Davidson ...
Mr. Richards (nightclub owner) (as William Davidson)
Richard Tucker ...
Mr. Blaine (the director)
Kathleen Lockhart ...
Miss Amy Robbins (newspaper columnist)
James Newill ...
Jimmy - Band Member
Harry Barris ...
Pinky (pianist in the band)
Cully Richards ...
Cully (band member)
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Storyline

Popular New York band leader Terry Rooney (Cagney) is offered a lucrative film contract out in Hollywood. Rooney and his wife pack up and head for California. Upon arriving, they meet Mr. Regan, the head of the studio, who believes that Rooney's true lack of desire for stardom is arrogance on the band leaders part. When his first film is huge success and hit for the studio, Regan tries to hide the truth from Rooney. Feeling a need to get away from Hollywood, Rooney takes his wife on a South Seas cruise, only to return to the real truth of his fame. Written by SindyMac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Cagney You Have Never Seen! Dancing...Romancing and Packing a Real Wallop! THE No. 1 Dynamo of the Screen Goes to Town in His Latest and Greatest Role. It's something to cheer about! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Battling Hoofer  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Grand National Pictures head Edward L. Alperson had previously paid $25,000 for the rights to the perfect James Cagney vehicle, "Angels with Dirty Faces", and was literally begged by staff producer Edward Finney to film that property first. Inexplicably, Alperson went ahead with this film, a pet project of director Victor Schertzinger, which went way over schedule and budget, and flopped big time. Its failure broke the fledgling Grand National studio, which despite its profitable Tex Ritter series of low-budget westerns, went into bankruptcy in early 1940. See more »

Goofs

Rita is in New York when she reads of Terry's supposed relationship with Steffie on the front page of the "Express" newspaper. Meanwhile in Hollywood, Terry learns of the false rumours in exactly the same way, from the exact front page of an identical "Express" newspaper. Props used the same newspaper for both coasts. Highly unlikely. See more »

Quotes

Rita Wyatt: [laying down winning cards] You now owe me 129 million dollars.
Terrence 'Terry'; Rooney: A mere bagatelle.
Rita Wyatt: I'll settle for a box of candy.
Terrence 'Terry'; Rooney: You'll take chewing gum and like it.
See more »

Connections

References The Gold Racket (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Any Old Love
(uncredited)
Written by Victor Schertzinger
Sung by James Cagney and chorus ('Three Shades of Blue') in the movie he makes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rich Score Enlivens Film.
10 March 2002 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Weary of railing against Warner Brothers for the studio's mishandling of him, James Cagney moves to small Grand National, which produces for the star this sprightly musical compote. Cagney brings along all of his vigor and verve, and the little-known studio supplies a substantial budget for this tale of a Manhattan hoofer and bandleader, Terry Rooney (Cagney), and his sweetheart/wife (Evelyn Daw), who journey to Hollywood when Rooney is offered a film contract. Down-to-earth Rooney is resistant to receiving the prescribed "star treatment" and the head of the studio, Mr. Regan, (Gene Lockhart) construes his attitude as hauteur; when the initial film made with Rooney unexpectedly becomes wildly successful, the studio boss tries to keep the compass of his triumph from the budding star to prevent the latter from becoming more arrogant. Meantime, Rooney places his film experiences behind him by taking his bride on a lengthy cruise in a tramp steamer to the South Seas, and when they return and discover his exploding fame, comedic complications ensue. Cagney displays his customary class in his every scene with the musical production numbers being particularly effective, his dancing skill being a prominent element. True soprano Evelyn Daw performs beautifully throughout, and the classically trained singer makes for a comely female lead as well, while William Frawley as a press agent, Mona Barrie as the studio diva, and Philip Ahn, who plays Rooney's houseboy, all provide enjoyable turns. Director Victor Schertzinger utilizes his own Academy Award nominated score to a liberal extent throughout and the product becomes a tuneful and rather undervalued musical comedy.


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