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
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30-minute CBS Radio adaptation of the movie on November 9, 1941 with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland reprising their film roles. See more »
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 »
Play day is done, we must wait in the sun, we must fight for. So babes in arms to arms!
To arms! To arms, babes in arms!
See more »
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.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?