Andy's girlfriend Polly is planning to spend Christmas at her grandmother's, which puts a kink in his plans to take her to the country club Christmas party. He agrees (for a fee) to pretend... See full summary »
Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »
With his high school graduation behind him, Andy Hardy decides that as an adult, it's time to start living his life. Judge Hardy had hoped that his son would go to college and study law, ... See full summary »
Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Judy Bellaire, played by Judy Garland, is the center of trouble at her exclusive private and very conservative school. She is expelled when she starts singing in a Jazzy style in her music ... See full summary »
Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of ... See full summary »
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
"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 »
Camera shadow on front row of violin players just before Mickey covers his ears. See more »
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...
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A Wild and Uneven Ride with a highly caffeinated Mickey Rooney
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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