6.2/10
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16 user 2 critic

Juke Girl (1942)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 30 May 1942 (USA)
Danny and Steve are migrant farm workers who wind up in Cat Tail, Florida. Cat Tail is run by Madden Packing and Danny works for Madden while Steve works for the underdog farmer named Nick.... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (from a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Steve Talbot
Richard Whorf ...
Danny Frazier
...
Nick Garcos
...
Henry Madden
...
Yippee
...
Skeeter
...
Cully (as Howard da Silva)
...
'Muckeye' John
...
Mister Just
...
Violet 'Murph' Murphy
...
Jo-Mo
...
Ike Harper
Spencer Charters ...
Keeno
...
Paley

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Storyline

Danny and Steve are migrant farm workers who wind up in Cat Tail, Florida. Cat Tail is run by Madden Packing and Danny works for Madden while Steve works for the underdog farmer named Nick. After the Tomato crop is destroyed by Madden, Steve takes Nick, Lola and the next crop to Atlanta where they sell it for big money. Danny is going up with Madden and thinks Steve is a sucker for working in the dirt. Lola stays in Atlanta while Nick and Steve go back to Cat Tail and the real trouble begins. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a good girl -- to let alone! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pés Inquietos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick sells his green beans for $4.50 a bushel - the equivalent of $65.75 in 2016. In 2015 a bushel of green beans goes for about $25 in Ohio. See more »

Goofs

When Nick gets to Atlanta, the amount of beans he is carrying decreases significantly between the time he shows the full bushel to the group of buyers and when he goes to see Paley. See more »

Quotes

Lola Mears: Look bud, every time a freight train shakes itself fleas like you come hopping out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in This Theatre and You (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Java Jive
(uncredited)
Music by Ben Oakland
Played at Muckeye's when Danny and Lola dance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cat By The Tail
25 July 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan connected in ways similar to William Powell and Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy and Kathryn Hepburn. Their crowning achievement was to appear as somewhat star crossed lovers in the Hollywood classic "King's Row," undoubtedly Ronald Reagan's best moments on the big screen. Since this film, "Juke Girl" was released the same year, understandably it was basically ignored in favor of the much grander screen adaptation of a popular novel. An other feature of this film that perhaps leads to its virtual neglect today is the title, which sounds like one of the tawdry passion pit flicks of the 1950's.

A possible surprise for today's viewer is the political stance taken by actor Reagan in "Juke Girl" for the migrant workers and small farmers against the corruption of the local business interests, much different that the position taken by President Reagan years later. But then this picture was made many years before Reagan would become enamored of Nancy Davis and make her his second wife. She turned Reagan around in more ways than one.

The story is a good one, though a bit bottom heavy in that much of the excitement and action, including a murder, comes near the end. Steve Talbot (Reagan) and his best buddy, Danny Frazier (Richard Whorf), are hoboing across the country (the Depression was just winding down in 1942 because of World War II) looking for work of any kind with Steve preferring farm labor when they get involved with local labor unrest in a nowhere place called Cat Tail, Florida.

Just before reaching the small, farming community, a girl called Skeeter (Betty Brewer) befriends them and takes a particular liking to Steve. Her place in the story is somewhat vague other than to add a bit of humor and a down-home quality to the film. Steve and Danny hook up with the juke girl of the title, Lola Mears (Sheridan), and her co-entertainer, Murph (Faye Emerson). Steve falls for Lola but Lola puts up a tough, don't tread on me veneer when obviously inside, her heart turns to mush when Steve is near.

Looking for jobs brings them into contact with the local boss, Henry Madden (Gene Lockhart), who virtually runs the town, except surprisingly not the law. Madden's henchman, Cully (Howard Da Silva), takes a dislike to Steve and Danny from the beginning and attempts to bully them around. Danny ultimately throws in with Madden while Steve throws in with a local farmer, Nick Garcos, the Greek (George Tobias), being exploited by Madden. Thus Steve and Danny become rivals and friendly enemies. A foreman for Madden, "Yip" (Alan Hale), befriends both Steve and Danny. Eventually, Lola throws in with Steve and Nick and the fun begins.

The acting is first rate. The two leads give their usual fine performances, with such great character actors as Donald MacBride, Fuzzy Knight, Eddy Waller, aka Nugget Clark, Guy Wilkerson, aka Panhandle Perkins, Glenn Strange, aka the Frankenstein monster, and even William Hopper, aka Paul Drake, helping out in bit parts. Ann Sheridan is given an opportunity to sing and dance which is always a treat. Of special note is the talented comedian, Willie Best, as a street vendor peddling lucky rabbit feet called Jo-Mo.

The crisp black and white photography by Bert Glennon captures the look and feel of the Depression in Florida. A few of the shots are reminiscent of those by Gregg Toland in John Ford's masterpiece, "The Grapes of Wrath," not surprising since Glennon assisted Ford from time to time with his cinematography.


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