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Garden of the Moon (1938)

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John Quinn is the ruthless manager of the night club Garden of the Moon. He has booked Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees for a season as his band, but due to a car accident Vallee can't... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Garden of the Moon (1938)

Garden of the Moon (1938) on IMDb 6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Quinn
Toni Blake
Don Vincente
Johnnie Davis ...
Slappy Harris
Melville Cooper ...
Isabel Jeans ...
Mrs. Lornay
Mabel Todd ...
Mary Stanton
Penny Singleton ...
Miss Calder
Dick Purcell ...
Rick Fulton
Curt Bois ...
Maharajah of Sund
Granville Bates ...
Angus McGillicuddy
Edward McWade ...
Peter McGillicuddy
Larry Williams ...
Ray Mayer ...
Jerry Colonna ...


John Quinn is the ruthless manager of the night club Garden of the Moon. He has booked Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees for a season as his band, but due to a car accident Vallee can't work for a while, Quinn's secretary Toni Blake is only able to get the unknown band of Don Vincente. Quinn makes it clear to Vincente, that he has only to work for a fortneight, untill Valle is able to work. Vincente doesn't like the way of Quinn handling his personal and they start their small private war against each other. Vincente falls in love with Toni Blake, and when Vincente becomes famous, inspite of Quinn's trials to make a fool out of him and gets an offer for a radio programm, he gladly accepts. But Toni Blake don't want to leave her job in the Garden of the Moon, so Quinn starts his game to get Vincente back. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hoax | party | revenge | pickpocket | dancing | See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Garden of the Moon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to 'Ronnie Defore', who maintains a fan website on his father at, Don DeFore' appeared uncredited in this film. See more »


M-O-T-H-E-R, a Word that Means the World to Me
(1916) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse
Lyrics by Howard Johnson
In the score whenever Quinn breaks his watch
See more »

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User Reviews

This Is Obviously the Cocoanut Grove
2 December 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Garden of the Moon is the name of a nightclub in Los Angeles and it is obviously meant to represent the Cocoanut Grove Night Club which was located in the Ambassador Hotel. It was THE premier nightspot in Tinseltown and only the best acts appeared there.

The Ambassador Hotel also entered history for a tragic reason, it was there that Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Some twenty years after that the Ambassador was torn down and the old Cocoanut Grove was razed. It hadn't been operating for some years before that.

But in this film it's the Garden of the Moon and it's run by the fast talking, imperious Pat O'Brien. The only time O'Brien ever slowed down the tempo of his dialog was to play priests in Angels With Dirty Faces and The Fighting 69th while he was with Warner Brothers. But Pat was always entertaining.

O'Brien was most often teamed with James Cagney, but also he did several films with Dick Powell usually as a manager, agent, mentor, etc. for Powell who would sing. Powell was getting tired of doing musicals and the role of the band-leader/crooner in this film was so obviously written for him.

A newcomer named John Payne got a break here playing the Powell part. He gets a telegram from O'Brien signing him for an appearance at the Garden of the Moon and he and the band race across the country and then find out it's only for two weeks. For the rest of the film O'Brien and Payne are at each other's throats and Payne is helped by nightclub publicist Margaret Lindsay who works for O'Brien, but has fallen big time for Payne.

Songs here are by Harry Warren and Al Dubin and the director is Busby Berkeley. Like Dick Powell, they were coming to the end of their Warner Brothers contracts. Berkeley didn't break any new ground and no hit songs emerged from the score, but the three of them did their jobs in their usual professional style.

Curiously enough John Payne right after this was signed by 20th Century Fox to be a musical Tyrone Power who he resembled. And also Payne's career followed a similar path to Dick Powell's in that eventually he eschewed musicals for dramatic parts and did them as well as Powell did.

It's minor league Busby Berkeley, but even in the minor leagues it's still good entertainment.

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