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They Shall Have Music (1939)

Passed  -  Music | Drama | Family  -  18 August 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 283 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

A boy runs away from home and ends up at a music school for poor children. When the school suffers hard times, he enlists the aid of violinist Heifetz to save the day.



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Title: They Shall Have Music (1939)

They Shall Have Music (1939) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jascha Heifetz
Andrea Leeds ...
Ann Lawson
Gene Reynolds ...
Professor Lawson
Terry Kilburn ...
Porter Hall ...
Walter Tetley ...
Chuck Stubbs ...
Tommy Kelly ...
Gale Sherwood ...
Betty (as Jacqueline Nash)
Alfred Newman ...
Musical Director
Mary Ruth ...
John St. Polis ...
Alexander Schoenberg ...
Menken (as Alexander Schonberg)


A boy from the streets of New York finds music tickets to a Heifetz concert, which rekindles his earlier interest in the violin. He subsequently runs away from home and happens across a music school for children (played by members of the Peter Meremblum California Youth Symphony Orchestra). He is taken in by kindly Professor Lawson, the head of the school and resumes violin study while sleeping in the basement of the school. Despite the best efforts of Peter and Ann to raise money, the school is about to be foreclosed upon by Flower and associates. The kids in the school, led by Frankie, try to raise money themselves, and run across Heifetz in the process. After many more well-trodden cinematic paths have been navigated, Heifetz finally is convinced to sponsor the school. Written by Butch <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music | Drama | Family


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ragged Angels  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the few films in which conductor Alfred Newman actually makes an on-screen appearance. See more »


The movie was spliced together from many takes, so there are numerous continuity holes, especially during the performaces. See more »


Andante cantabile
from "String Quartet No.1 in D, Op.11" (1871) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
In the score during the opening credits
Reprised a bit by Gene Reynolds (violin)
See more »

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User Reviews

Very enjoyable movie
2 December 2008 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie, and I'm not a classical music fan. The story of the tough street kid discovering classical music and changing his ways was great to watch, without being sentimental or too unbelievable, although some details had me scratching my head (Frankie and his dog can live in the basement of the school without any of the students or teachers discovering him? Where did he eat? Bathe? Did he ever get a change of clothes? What did he feed his dog? The owner of the school didn't think it was important to notify the police about finding a missing boy, but let him live in the basement indefinitely? :-) ). But we can let such unrealistic details slide and just enjoy the touching, fun, and slightly suspenseful (for me, anyway) story and wonderfully talented children.

I loved the scene with the mothers standing shoulder to shoulder on the steps barring the policemen from entering the school: I doubt they would get away with that nowadays. And I liked the nice touch about the boy Frankie stole from turning the tables on him (although that never really went anywhere), and Frankie's friends helping him out in the end.

All in all, a great movie for everyone!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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