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Strike Up the Band (1940)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  27 September 1940 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 840 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 14 critic

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 »

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) (as Fred Finklehoffe) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Strike Up the Band (1940)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mary Holden
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra ...
Performers
June Preisser ...
Barbara Frances Morgan
William Tracy ...
Phillip Turner
Larry Nunn ...
Willie Brewster
Paul Whiteman ...
Margaret Early ...
Annie
Ann Shoemaker ...
Mrs. Connors
Francis Pierlot ...
Mr. Judd
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. May Holden
George Lessey ...
Mr. Morgan
...
Mrs. Morgan
Howard C. Hickman ...
Doctor (as Howard Hickman)
Sarah Edwards ...
Miss Hodges
Edit

Storyline

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 able to convince him, that their band is good enought, so he lents sem the money. But then one of their friends becomes seriously ill and had to be carried in a hospital per plane, they had to use Whiteman's money for this. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEIR SUNNIEST, FUNNIEST, DOWN-TO-MIRTHIEST HIT! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armonías de juventud  »

Box Office

Budget:

$838,661 (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

The original camera negative was destroyed in May 1978 during a nitrate film fire in the George Eastman House archives. The fire also destroyed 328 other films' original camera negatives. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy Conners claims to have gone to Chicago for the World Series three years before. The World Series is always played at the home stadiums of the competing teams and the 1937 series was between the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. The 1938 World Series was indeed between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees, but that would have been only two years before the film was released. See more »

Quotes

Paul Whiteman: Take that boy on the street. Teach him to blow a horn and he'll never blow a safe.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Odd Couple: Strike Up the Band or Else (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Limehouse Blues
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Philip Braham
Played as background music during the travel and contest montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
High energy musical comedy perfect for 1940 and all time
30 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a high energy film about music, talent, success, family, imagination, fun and teenagers growing up in a "typical" Midwestern town of the time. The year is 1940, and the world is on the brink of war. The recovery from the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in America was in its infancy. The movie studios of Hollywood were in their heyday. MGM was leading in the battle to produce the best musicals, and it had some hot talent in two young stars.

Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were 20- and 18-year-old actors who had proved their talent. Rooney had been in movies since early childhood, and had made a successful transition into older boy roles. He had made "Boys Town," "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," and was a huge success in the Andy Hardy series. Garland's rising star was even more recent. She had some songs in a couple of small musicals and sang two numbers in the 1938 Andy Hardy film, "Love Finds Andy Hardy." Then she made the classic fantasy adventure musical, "The Wizard of Oz." To round out 1939, the two were paired as the leads of a comedy musical and they scored a smashing success in "Babes in Arms." So, MGM had all the proof it needed for future box-office success with this dynamic duo.

"Strike Up the Band" had even more going for it than its two stars. Busby Berkeley had directed "Babes in Arms" and got the nod again. But in this film, he inserted some of the extravaganza of music and dance that were his forté. And Arthur Freed brought his considerable resources in music, story and sets as producer.

The talent in "Strike Up the Band" isn't only in the music – the performances and numbers headed by Rooney and Garland, or in Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. Rooney and company do a splendid job with a Gay Nineties spoof, ala Vaudeville, that had me laughing out loud a number of times. And a fantasy dream sequence with pieces of fruit as men playing instruments for a dream number show some creative talent in the Freed unit and MGM studio. It's the only example of clay-animation I can think of in early movies. Some 50 years later, Will Vinton and others would make "claymation" much more popular in film and on TV. The chorus lines, great choreography, costumes, and dance and show numbers staged by Berkeley round out this talent spectacular.

All-in-all, this is an excellent film that showcases some of the rising stars of the time. It has a big-name band, great imagination, and wonderful musical numbers. And, it's topped off with clever scenes, lots of laughs and tons of energy. As for Rooney's high energy that some may find over the top at times – it was as much a part of the story and movie as all the other pieces that, put together, add up to a very good comedy musical. It's first rate entertainment. Oh, yes – there are a few tender, serious moments, and those fit very nicely.


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