7.0/10
1,431
29 user 10 critic

Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 August 1938 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, Freddie Bartholomew
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The invasion of Mexico by Cortez, as seen by a young Spanish officer fleeing the Inquisition.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, John Sutton
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Illiterate peasant Juan Gallardo rises meteorically to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena only to sow the seeds of his own fall.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth
Brigham Young (1940)
Adventure | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1844, after the assassination of Mormon leader Joseph Smith by an angry mob in Illinois, the Mormons choose Brigham Young as their new leader and follow him to a new promised land in Utah.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Dean Jagger
Second Fiddle (1939)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Studio publicist (Power) discovers Minnesota skating teacher (Henie) and takes her to Hollywood. She goes back to Minnesota but he follows her.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Sonja Henie, Tyrone Power, Rudy Vallee
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A scientist obsessed with the past transports himself back in time to 18th-century London, where he falls in love with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Tyrone Power, Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

An American Cavalcade!

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Grady Sutton (Babe), James Gordon (Equity President) and Joan Castle (Equity Secretary) were in studio records/casting call lists for those roles, but they did not appear in the film. See more »

Goofs

Alexander returns from World War I after it ended, which occurred in late 1918. Even allowing for a year or two's delay, the women he meets upon his return are wearing clothing from the wrong era - they are immediately dressed in late 1930s fashions (appropriate for the year the film was released) instead of the lower hemlines and low (close to the face) hat styles of the early '20s. Hemlines didn't rise to just below the knee until the mid '20s, and women's body silhouettes were mannish, with the bust and waistline de-emphasized, unlike the fitted suit worn by Alice Faye when she sees Alexander upon his return. See more »

Quotes

Stella's Sailor freind: So, did you ever learn long division?
Stella Kirby: I never even learned short division!
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 »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
(1919) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Despite the polish, it's pretty much what you'd expect and nothing more.
25 October 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film starred the top talent at Twentieth-Century Fox. Tyrone Power (who could not sing or play music), Alice Faye and Don Ameche star in this film directed by Henry King and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. Clearly it was a prestige film for the studio--a large budget film with high expectations for success.

The film begins with Power playing sophisticated music for a crowd of high-class folks. Only moments later, however, he's playing Ragtime music for a crowd in a bar--and it's obvious that he's torn between the world of society and popular music. Quite by Hollywood accident, the feisty Alice Faye is pulled into Power's band and the way she and Power meet and get along is very clichéd--you know, the misunderstanding that results in them becoming enemies and you KNOW they'll be in love sooner or later! She is a low-class dame and over time, Power is able to polish her image and make her a success--along with his band. On hand is another cliché--the nice-guy friend (Ameche) who loves the girl but demurs when his friend and the dame become a pair. You almost feel sorry for Ameche getting such a thankless role as the 'nice' friend...though I am sure his enormous checks from the studio more than made up for this! And then there's the final big cliché when Faye and Power break up--only, naturally, to be reunited by the film's conclusion. The only question is what, exactly, will happen in between--and there are certainly a lot of twists that occur in the interim in their parallel journeys. WWI, another woman (a younger and amazingly pretty Ethel Merman), marriage and bootlegging all are among the things the film explores during this portion. And if all this seems familiar, it is if you've seen many Fox musicals. This plot, with a few changes, was used in "King of Burlesque" and many other films with Alice Faye.

As for the film overall, it's pretty much what you expect from the studio--a lot of music (way too much, actually), a lot of polish and the best sets money can buy (Twentieth-Century Fox and MGM were the kings of such lavish productions). But, beneath all the polish, it is all formula and clichés--the sort of film that is pleasant but certainly not a must-see. Plus, oddly, the music, for the most part, isn't exactly Ragtime--often it's more the typical sort of musical numbers you'd see in just about any Fox production of the day.

By the way, in the WWI portion, I noticed that some of the soldiers were amazingly old and fat. Were we THAT desperate for men?! And get a load of those devil-girl dancers at about the 75 minute mark!


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The cane. Mimi38
various little oddities Rheli
vocal arrangements seasoningspice
Renewed 1966 on VHS version ?? dwpollar
Discuss Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?