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Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 August 1938 (USA)
3:42 | Trailer

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This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander (Roger Grant)
Jerry Allen
Davey Lane
Professor Heinrich
Aunt Sophie
Taxi Driver
Wally Vernon ...
Wally Vernon
Eddie Collins ...
Corporal Collins
Stage Manager


Roger Grant, a classical violinist, disappoints his family and teacher when he organizes a jazz band, but he and the band become successful. Roger falls in love with his singer Stella, but his reluctance to lose her leads him to thwart her efforts to become a solo star. When the World War separates them in 1917, Stella marries Roger's best friend Charlie. Roger comes home after the war and an important concert at Carnegie Hall brings the corners of the romantic triangle together. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | ragtime | violinist | singer | dance | See All (60) »


An American Cavalcade!


Drama | Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


33 Irving Berlin compositions were used in the filming, although 3 didn't survive through to the final cut. See more »


An on-location establishing shot shows the Cliff House, a famous San Francisco restaurant, sitting on a cliff overlooking Ocean Beach. A 1930's model car drives by in the foreground. However, this scene takes place before World War I in the movie, so the car is about 25 years too early. See more »


Stella Kirby: You haven't left me with a word to say.
Charlie Dwyer: That's good. People talk too much anyway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The music that Tyrone Power "conducts" during the film's opening credits is the song "Marching Along With Time", which was ultimately cut from the film. The song, however, as sung by Ethel Merman, has survived as an outtake and can be seen as an extra feature on the DVD. See more »


Referenced in The Muppet Show: James Coburn (1980) See more »


(1925) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Alice Faye
See more »

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User Reviews

An All-Time Classic
4 November 2003 | by (Ottawa) – See all my reviews

"Alexander's Ragtime Band" has always been a personal favorite of mine and an excellent example of the kind of lively and jubilant musicals Fox specialized during the golden age. It was a huge hit in its day and remains a huge improvement over the monotonous "In Old Chicago"(1937). I saw "Alexander's Ragtime Band" again last night and it may well be my favorite Fox musical, though I have dozens of other favorites. Directed by the underrated Henry King with a rich and endlessly tuneful score, the film is a fictionalized account on the early days of jazz, and contains close to 30 Irving Berlin songs. Alice Faye never looked so ineffably beautiful, Tyrone Power never more charismatic, Don Ameche never more genial. It's all about the music and the stars. A great timeless classic that becomes more entrancing and enriching with each viewing.

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