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Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

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

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Writers:

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

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Cast

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

Trivia

This was the first time that composer Irving Berlin had worked with Ethel Merman. He told her that he was so impressed with her talent that he would work with her again. He kept that promise and wrote two Broadway shows especially for her: "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1946 and "Call Me Madam" in 1950, the latter of which also starred Merman in the film adaptation: Call Me Madam (1953). Merman also later starred in a film that, like this one, was a cavalcade of Irving Berlin songs, There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). 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

What'll I Do
(1924) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by an offscreen chorus
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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