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Tin Pan Alley (1940)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 318 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

Songwriters Calhoun and Harrigan get Katie and Lily Blane to introduce a new one. Lily goes to England, and Katy joins her after the boys give a new song to Nora Bayes. All are reunited ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Tin Pan Alley (1940)

Tin Pan Alley (1940) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Katie Blane
Lily Blane
Jack Oakie ...
Harry Calhoun
Skeets Harrigan
Esther Ralston ...
Nora Bayes
The Nicholas Brothers ...
Dance Specialty
Ben Carter ...
John Loder ...
Reggie Carstair
Joe Codd
Fred Keating ...
Harvey Raymond
Lillian Porter ...
Telephone Operator
Princess Vanessa Ammon ...
The Brian Sisters ...
Specialty (as Brian Sisters)


Songwriters Calhoun and Harrigan get Katie and Lily Blane to introduce a new one. Lily goes to England, and Katy joins her after the boys give a new song to Nora Bayes. All are reunited when the boys, now in the army, show up in England. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | songwriter | sister | singer | army | See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tin Pan Alley  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"When You Wore a Tulip (And I Wore a Big Red Rose)" (music by Jack Mahoney, lyric by Percy Wenrich), performed by Betty Grable was cut from this film. See more »


Featured in Wing and a Prayer (1944) See more »


The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(1917) (uncredited)
Written by Shelton Brooks
Played as background music during the opening credits
Reprised by a nightclub band
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

Great showpieces
2 May 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

"All good-lookin' like he is, there's no use in getting' yourself all messed up", a black boy ponders, when 'Skeets' Harrigan (John Payne) drops out of a promising boxing career to pursue his dreams of becoming a renowned Tin Pan Alley song publisher with his friend from the Midwest, Harry Calhoun (Jack Oakie). On their way to the top they meet the Blane sisters, Katie (Alice Faye) and Lily (Betty Grable). 'Skeets' and Katie fall in love, but he is adamantly focused on his career and when he gives a song meant for Katie to a famous musical star, she has had it and leaves for London with her sister. That is when World War I erupts ...

'Tin Pan Alley' has more charm than it has plot, and it's a delightful watch with charismatic actors. Faye and Grable are a wonderful pair of tap-dancing sisters, Oakie is genuinely funny as the befuddled average Joe playing at being a tough guy, and John Payne, a Robert Taylor look-alike, clearly in a role that must have been written for typical Faye co-star Tyrone Power, rises to the occasion and delivers his all, a perfect mix of athletic hunkiness and crooning abilities, not the easiest performance to pull of, as 'Skeets' is quite callous in the way he presses forward.

The film abounds with great music and showpieces, 'Honeysuckle Rose' in Faye's very nice rendition with a boy chorus, 'The Sheik of Araby' featuring glorious tap-dancing by The Nicholas Brothers, the rousing "America, I Love You", and the only song actually written for the film, Harry Warren's 'You Say the Sweetest Things (Baby)", utilized to the fullest in a clever montage.

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