6.8/10
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Babes on Broadway (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | January 1942 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(original story) (as Fred Finklehoffe), (screen play) (as Fred Finklehoffe) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Barbara Jo
Ray McDonald ...
Ray Lambert
...
Morton Hammond
...
Mr. Stone
Alexander Woollcott ...
Alexander Woollcott
...
Nick
...
Thornton Reed
...
Mrs. Williams
Frederick Burton ...
Mr. Morris
Cliff Clark ...
Inspector Moriarity
William Post Jr. ...
Announcer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Man (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 her gets the idea to promote a show to send orphaned children on a country holiday. But he is only using the kids to get on himself, which Penny soon realises. With his romance off, an engagement in Philadelphia he can't get to, and, indeed, war in Europe, life can be difficult. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fastest musical show on Earth, biggest song and dance spectacle of all time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Débuts à Broadway  »

Box Office

Budget:

$940,068 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first Hollywood musicals to acknowledge that World War II was taking place. See more »

Goofs

During the "Hoe Down" number, both Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland's voices are heard singing, but Judy is not singing the words. See more »

Quotes

Maxine, Little Girl at Audition: Please wait don't send my brother to the chair, don't let him burn, please please warden please
See more »

Connections

References Down Argentine Way (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Chin Up, Cheerio, Carry On
(uncredited)
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Judy Garland and the St. Luke Choristers
Contains portions of "Rule Britannia"
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Lyrics by James Thomson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another vehicle for Rooney to annoy people...
21 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the first Arthur Freed (1939--MGM) production featuring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Even by the standards of 1930s--this--as well as the other three--were fairly miserable productions. Rooney must be the most annoying actor Hollywood ever produced. And this does not take away what talent he had for dancing, miming, singing. By contrast, Judy Garland produces excellence whenever she appears. The songs are more than memorable--they are worthy of the Great American Songbook. But like the other three, the film grows tiresome after one viewing--I'm good for another twenty years before I see it again. But one would never say "My Fair Lady", "Three Penny Opera", "Gigi", Rodgers & Hammerstein, or Kern & Hammerstein, or Astaire & Rogers ever are tiresome. Those films always seem enjoyable with every presentation.

Part of the problem and the film's leitmotif is high school students acting like grownups. Think a high school production of Hamlet. No matter how good it is, the production is still a high school production of Hamlet. And while both Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were in fact teenagers in this film--that only added to the annoyance level. (Mickey was 17 or 18 when the film was made; Judy was about 15 or 16--so they were high school age kids.) And the viewer sorta had to wonder just how tall everyone was. Mickey at 5'2" and Judy a little taller; Guy Kibbee, etc...) During the Minstrel Show Mickey and Judy seemed to shine with excellence as dancers, such infectious enthusiasm. The Minstrel Show would have been part of the memory of most actors of that era. They had seen Minstrel shows as part of American Theatre. The Blackface of the Minstrel was not intended as an insult to Black Americans. (The Jim Crow laws were intended to insult Black Americans.) In the end, for me, the series of four films was more annoying than anything else. While the songs were great, while the production values were excellence--the combination of Freed and Busby Berkeley saw to that--while the talent was superb and rendition of songs was superb--the end product couldn't transcend the limitations of poor storyline, and Mickey Rooney's annoying personality. (And yet I can't think of anyone who should have played against Judy Garland in these vehicles.)


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