11 user

Garden of the Moon (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 1 October 1938 (USA)
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 »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Romantic misunderstandings abound when spouses suspect each other of being unfaithful, and a nightclub singer takes a cruise under a false identity.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Doris Day
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Stevenson, a British soldier fluent in Rumanian and German, goes undercover to sabotage a German poison-gas factory. He turns himself into Jan Tartu, a member of the Rumanian Iron Guard. ... See full summary »

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Robert Donat, Valerie Hobson, Walter Rilla
Love on Toast (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Ewald André Dupont
Stars: John Payne, Stella Adler, Grant Richards
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Lone Wolf tracks down Nazi spies in London during the German bombing.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Warren William, Eric Blore, Hillary Brooke
Biography | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin
Dames (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Multi-millionaire Ezra Ounce wants to start a campaign against 'filthy' forms of entertainment, like Broadway-Shows. He comes to his relatives families and makes them members of his ... See full summary »

Directors: Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Drama about former WW2 soldiers readjusting to civilian life and dealing with their mental and physical traumas.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, Guy Madison
Comedy | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Dolores Moran
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young


Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Blake
Don Vincente
Johnnie Davis ...
Slappy Harris
Mrs. Lornay
Mabel Todd ...
Mary Stanton
Miss Calder
Rick Fulton
Maharajah of Sund
Angus McGillicuddy
Edward McWade ...
Peter McGillicuddy
Larry Williams ...
Ray Mayer ...


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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

watch | waiter | singer | royalty | riot | See All (29) »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

No Mundo da Lua  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The roles played by John Payne and Margaret Lindsay were originally intended for Dick Powell and Bette Davis. Powell took a layoff rather than make this film. See more »


Slappy Harris: Say, you ought to be able to get us a lot of publicity. You know, Don is a solid tenor, when he gets nice and groovy, its out of this world.
Toni Blake: How's that?
Slappy Harris: I mean its a killer duck. Well, when he starts us cats sending, you ought to see the alligators pack around the grandstand.
Toni Blake: I don't mean to be rude, but, are you giving me the double-talk?
Don Vincente: Ha-ha. Nah, that's just a little swing lingo. He means the customers like our work.
Toni Blake: Does he speak English too?
Don Vincente: Of course he does. Slappy, say a few words in ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are printed into a restaurant menu and the pages are turned by a male hand. See more »


Love Is Where You Find It
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer
Sung by John Payne and Johnnie Davis with Davis on cornet
Played often in the score as the romantic theme
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Night Club Scandals of 1938
13 December 2004 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

GARDEN OF THE MOON (Warner Brothers/ First National Pictures, 1938), directed by Busby Berkeley, might have some distinctions of being a science fiction fantasy from the 1950s about some landscaper taking up residence in outer space. As the title indicates, it's the name of a high class nightclub located at the Royal Hotel in Los Angeles, California. With the name of Busby Berkeley credited as its director, this is a musical, and a musical without its Number One vocalist Dick Powell in the lead. Sources have it that Powell turned down this role, and was substituted by an unknown by the name of John Payne, which rhymes with John Wayne, but the same John Payne whose career peaked in the 1940s while at 20th Century-Fox, where his best known work happens to be MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1947) starring Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn.

The story for GARDEN OF THE MOON is lively, tuneful, simple but very predictable. It centers mainly upon John Quinn (Pat O'Brien), the ruthless proprietor of the famous bistro. After losing the engagement of Rudy Vallee and his Connecticut Yankees in a bus accident, Quinn hires Don Vicente (John Payne), an unknown band-leader under the recommendation of his publicity agent, Toni Blake (Margaret Lindsay). While Vicente plays wherever engagements are available, he readily accepts his assignment working for Quinn, but is not happy with only a two week engagement. Determined to make good in spite of everything, Vicente goes against Quinn's orders, causing Quinn to do whatever possible to discourage him. Vicente, on the other hand, is usually one up on Quinn, clashes leading to schemes and tricks upon one another(some backfiring), with Toni acting as referee.

With music and lyrics by Harry Warren, Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, the motion picture soundtrack is as follows: "Garden of the Moon" (sung by Mabel Todd, but never in its entirety); "Love Is Where You Find It" (sung by John Payne and Johnnie Davis); "The Lady on the Two-Cent Stamp" (sung by John Payne and band); "Confidentially" (first sung by Mabel Todd, but after much difficulty in trying to vocalize, since Payne does not use girl singers in his band, she is drowned out by the loud playing, causing her to walk out and Payne to take over); "Love Is Where You Find It" (reprise by Payne); "The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish" (sung by John Payne and band); and "Confidentially" (sung by John Payne and cast).

Other members of the cast include: Melville Cooper, Isabel Jeans, Richard Purcell, Larry Williams, Granville Bates, Edward McWade, Curt Bois (as the fired pickpocketing waiter posing as the famed Maharajah); and Edgar Edwards (Chauncey, the Ape Man). Penny Singleton, best known for her leading role in the popular "Blondie" film series (Columbia, 1938-1950) appearing briefly as Miss Calder, Quinn's brunette secretary, with horn-rim glasses. Special billing in the opening and closing cast credits goes to newspaper columnist Jimmie Fidler appearing as himself. This became his one and only screen appearance. Now there's one for the "Who's Who in Journalism."

Unlike WONDER BAR (1934), Busby Berkeley's earlier musical set entirely in a night club, GARDEN OF THE MOON has no lavish scale production numbers, no smiling chorines nor overhead camera shots. It consists mainly of tunes vocalized by John Payne and his oddity of characters in the band. Berkeley keeps his camera moving though, focusing on each individual band member consisting of Jerry Colonna, Ray Mayer, and Joe Venuti and his Swing Cats. "The Lady on the Two-Cent Stamp," is tuneful, and at times the score sounds a lot like the earlier Warren and Dubin song, "You Gotta Know How to Dance," introduced in COLLEEN (Warners, 1936) starring Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. This number, along with "The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish," are both played strictly for laughs, with the latter having Colonna (the one with the big rolling eyes, mustache and loud yell), as the "Girl Friend" with a veil concealing "her" face and with his visible big round eyes rolling around in all directions, but not simultaneously, as the band members sing and clown it up.

As mentioned before, GARDEN OF THE MOON is predictable, but predictable in the sense of Pat O'Brien's character, a fast-talking promoter, which he's many times before, in this instance, self-centered, ruthless, but quite deceitful. The running gag here is having him breaking his "mother's" watch in anger only to gain sympathy so he could get what he wants from others. One pleasant surprise is finding Margaret Lindsay in a musical film. Lindsay's pleasant personality and dark-haired features simply add some simplicity of the story. Aside from this being her only musical for Warners, GARDEN OF THE MOON goes on record as Busby Berkeley's final musical for the studio before moving his assignments to MGM.

Virtually forgotten, and nowhere near as good as ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND (20th Century-Fox), another musical about a leader (Tyrone Power) of the band, GARDEN OF THE MOON, like many Berkeley musicals, predates some future musical genres, in this case, that of the "big band". GARDEN OF THE MOON doesn't present the score in the "big band" manner, nor legends like Benny Goodman, for example, (though he previously appeared in Berkeley's Hollywood HOTEL in 1937), but a movie musical style that would become popular in the 1940s.

GARDEN OF THE MOON, at 94 minutes, has never been distributed on video cassette. It does turn up occasionally on Turner Classic Movies. Occasionally bright and breezy, sometimes silly but often amusing, the movie itself, with some slow spots during its last half hour, is no masterpiece but passable screen entertainment, especially for curiosity seekers of obscure 1930s cinema such as this one. (***)

18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Vince Giordano NewtonFigg
Band lynda618
Pat O'Brien FourHbcaps
Discuss Garden of the Moon (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: