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Syncopation (1942)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, History, Music  |  22 May 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 4 critic

Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Schumacher
Kit Latimer
Robert Benchley ...
Walter Catlett ...
Ted North ...
Paul Porter
Todd Duncan ...
Rex Tearbone
Connee Boswell ...
Frank Jenks ...
Smiley Jackson
Jessica Grayson ...
Ella Tearbone (as Jessie Grayson)
Mona Barrie ...
Lindy Wade ...
Paul Porter - as a Child
Peggy McIntyre ...
Kit Latimer - as a Child
Charlie Barnet ...
Charlie Barnet


Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the outbreak of WWII. A romance between singer Kit Latimer, from New Orleans, and Johnny Schumacher, in which they share and argue over musical ideas ensues. Prior to the making of the film RKO held a contest for the readers of 'The Saturday Evening Post" to vote on the musicians to make up the All-American Dance Band featured in the film; the magazine's readers chose, in the above-the-title listing: Charlie Barnet, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Jack Jenney. Gene Krupa, Alvino Rey, Joe Venuti, and singer Connee Boswell. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Presenting THE ALL-AMERICAN DANCE BAND...Selected from among Readers in the SATURDAY EVENING POST POLL (original poster)


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cavalgada do Ritmo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, you see the names of the actors scroll up as "In front of the camera" and the crew as well as "Behind the camera" before the name of the movie finally appears. See more »


Under a Falling Star
Music by Leith Stevens
Lyrics by Rich Hall
Sung by Connee Boswell
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Music and Cast but Uneven Script
27 June 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Syncopation (1942)

** (out of 4)

Well-meaning but ultimately flat tale trying to teach Americans why "black music" is so important. Our film follows three people throughout a twenty-plus year period as George Latimer (Adolphe Menjou) sees his daughter (Bonita Granville) want to play music herself and she gets her chance when she meets a young man (Jackie Cooper) who wants to put a band together. This film starts off on a very weird note with the strangest credits I've ever seen. We get a quick glimpse of slaves being taken from Africa to America and then we get the credits, which simply introduce the "people in front of the camera" and then we see another group of names followed by "people behind the camera." Why they decided to do this I'm not certain but it was quite strange. SYNCOPATION offers up quite a bit of good including the music, which features Jack Jenney, Joe Venuti, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Charlie Barnet among others. The soundtrack to the film features some popular tunes and these here certainly help keep the viewer interested in everything that is going on. Another plus are the three lead performances, which are all pretty good. I thought Granville and Cooper had some nice chemistry together and even though it's obviously not them playing the instruments, I thought both of them sold it quite well. The biggest problem with this film is that it tries to hard to tell people that Jazz isn't evil. I thought the film was a bit too preachy about it at times and at other times it's almost like the filmmakers are trying to beat the viewer over the head. Another problem is that the story of this couple going through various eras of music just never really works as it just feels forced and there's not much holding it together. The film certainly means well and it's portrait of blacks is certainly a lot more positive than the majority of films from this period.

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