6.6/10
1,767
33 user 19 critic

Babes in Arms (1939)

Unrated | | Comedy, Musical | 13 October 1939 (USA)
The struggle of two talented young artists, to make their own way in the show business.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Joe Moran
...
Judge Black
...
Rosalie Essex
...
Florrie Moran
Betty Jaynes ...
Molly Moran
Douglas McPhail ...
Don Brice
...
Jeff Steele
...
Dody Martini
...
Bobs (as John Sheffield)
...
Madox
...
William
...
Mrs. Barton
...
Martha Steele
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Storyline

Mickey Moran, a talented singer and musician, son of a veteran from the show business. Mickey has a partner, Patsi Barton, a pretty girl and also a very talented singer. One day, a big opportunity arrives for Mickey, a big contract to set up his own show. However, things don't go well, and in order to avoid being sent to a work farm, he'll improvise a show in the country, despite the awful weather conditions. Patsi's in love with Mickey, he loves her too, but for him the show must go on, and his big dream maybe will come true: formally stage his play in a big scenario, with a huge production. Written by Alejandro Frias

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big musical fun show!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la farándula  »

Box Office

Budget:

$748,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart songs "My Funny Valentine", "I Wish I Were in Love Again", "Way Out West", and "Johnny One Note" are songs from the original Broadway musical, but were eventually unused in the final film. "The Lady Is a Tramp" is heard instrumentally several times as the theme for June Preisser's character Rosalie Essex. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stand-in for Patsy as they climb the ladder during "[We Are] Babes in Arms" at the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Michael C. 'Mickey' Moran: Listen, are you kids willing to stick together and pull yourselves out of a hole? I've got an idea. Our folks think we're babes in arms, huh? Well, we'll show 'em whether we're babes in arms or not. I'm gonna write a show for us to put on right here in Seaport! Why, it'll be the most up-to-date thing these hicks around here have ever seen. Opening night we'll have Max Gordon, Sam Harris, Lee Schubert down to give us the once over. How about it, kids? We'll get every kid in this town on our side...
See more »

Connections

Features The Broadway Melody (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Morning
(1939)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Judy Garland (uncredited) and Mickey Rooney (uncredited)
Reprised at rehearsal and danced by the girls
Played during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Good, but not Great

This Busby Berkeley musical of the 1930s represents Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland at their best, which in the end really doesn't say "greatness." The film, which involves a recurring reminiscence on the "nostalgia" of the 1910s, is often over-acted, over-sung, and over-choreographed. Judy Garland's portrayal of a girl in love but shunned is reminiscent of almost all of the MGM musical roles in which she partook during her stint that lasted into the late 1940s. The minstrel act is a particularly interesting look at the virulent racism that still plagued American cinema during the Studio Age-Judy Garland in blackface is perhaps one of the most frightening images I have ever encountered.

Though, one cannot approach a film like this with more than a hint of cynicism: Busby Berkeley is arguably the greatest choreographer in the history of film, and though he does not show off the spectacle of his earlier films, like Gold Diggers of 1933 and Gold Diggers of 1935 (which he did not direct), his dance numbers are interesting (for instance, when the town's teenagers partake in a book-burning, throwing into the flames symbols of conformity). The film is sweet, fresh, and bright, and, as the first Arthur Freed musical, serves as one of his better (though certainly not his best).

In all, I give it a 3 out of 4 stars (***).

On a side note, three of the songs that appear in Singing in the Rain appear in this film, predating the Gene Kelly musical by over 15 years: Good Morning, Good Morning, Singing in the Rain (which appears in a montage showing previous MGM musicals), and You Are My Lucky Star.


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