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Babes in Arms (1939)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,479 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 18 critic

The struggle of two talented young artists, to make their own way in the show business.

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(screen play), (screen play), 8 more credits »
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Title: Babes in Arms (1939)

Babes in Arms (1939) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Charles Winninger ...
Joe Moran
Guy Kibbee ...
Judge Black
June Preisser ...
Rosalie Essex
Grace Hayes ...
Florrie Moran
Betty Jaynes ...
Molly Moran
Douglas McPhail ...
Don Brice
...
Jeff Steele
Leni Lynn ...
Dody Martini
Johnny Sheffield ...
Bobs (as John Sheffield)
...
Madox
Barnett Parker ...
William
Ann Shoemaker ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"How About You" (uncredited), music by Burton Lane, instrumental background music (lyrics were added at a later date for the film (Babes On Broadway (1941)_). See more »

Goofs

During the girls' duet, Patsy Barton begins her solo, and Mickey Moran switches from cello plucking to piano thumping. However, the music continues as it was before, and we don't hear any amazing sounds on the piano in spite of Mickey's efforts. See more »

Quotes

Michael C. 'Mickey' Moran: No, no, no, judge! You don't understand; she don't understand, either. Oh, she don't mean no harm to us, but... we're not her kind of people - or yours, either. We belong in show business. We gotta start young so we can get some steel in our backbone. Well, gee, we're developing. You couldn't teach us a trade: we've GOT one. And you couldn't do without it... Oh, we're only kids now, but someday we're gonna be the guys that make ya laugh and cry and think that there's a little stardust left on ...
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #10.23 (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?)
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Bernard Hanighen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Wild and Uneven Ride with a highly caffeinated Mickey Rooney
22 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, I just finished watching "Babes in Arms", and my head is spinning. We old movie fans are used to seeing ethnic humor and even the occasional bit of blackface in early Hollywood films; but what "Babes in Arms" gives us is outrageous by any definition: an entire cast of a "show within a show", numbering at least 50 to 75 people, including Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, every one in blackface, performing not just a minstrel skit, nor a single musical number, but an entire 20 minute full-blown minstrel show in spectacular MGM full-production mode. It goes on and on and on. Dialect jokes. Banjoes and songs about Alabammy. And finally, Judy Garland, having removed her blackface, comes out and performs an additional number ("I'm Just Wild About Harry") as an only slightly darkened black woman. Wow.

On the other hand, is it really possible that the manic Mickey Rooney was only 19 when he made this? He really shows why he may be the single most talented American performer of the last century. He dances, he sings, he does drama, he does comedy, and he has incredible control over his every move and muscle. And he does unbelievable and hilarious impressions of Clark Gable and Lionel Barrymore. And Franklin Roosevelt.

A few quick notes: June Priesser, who plays "Baby" Rosalie, was a terrible actress. But watch out for her stomach-churning contortionist back-rolls when she first comes out on a stage.

The child actor who plays Mickey Rooney at age 5 dancing on a Vaudeville stage for a few moments early on really does look like Mickey Rooney!

I think Judy Garland actually has some of the same lines in this movie as she does in "Wizard of Oz", done in this same year. Watch out for when Mickey Rooney feints early in the film; Garland reacts to this exactly, and I mean exactly, as she does in Oz when the Lion feints. Eerie!

When Judy Garland, as Eleanor Roosevelt, sings "My day, my day", she is referring to an actual long-running newspaper column written by E.R. from 1936 to 1962.

Finally, the final song and dance number is the most mind-numbing, over-the-top tribute to America, dancing, how we are not Nazis, American Indians, Asian Indians, dancing, the Roosevelts, and dancing, that I have ever seen. Yes, it was early WWII, but still, you wonder if anyone even in 1939 thought this was a little too much?

Recommended for its high energy, its Rooney and Garland, its more Rooney, its offensiveness, and its too much of everything. It is history, and should be watched by all.


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