A group of entertainers visit the home of a radio singer to try to get her to book them on her show.

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(story "Wake Up and Dream"), (screenplay) (as Jerry Cady) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Patty Andrews ...
Patty Andrews
Maxene Andrews ...
Maxene Andrews
Laverne Andrews ...
Laverne Andrews
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...
...
Sue Courtney
...
Marvo the Great
...
...
...
...
Susan Levine ...
Tag-a-Long (as Tag-a-Long)
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Storyline

J. P. Courtney (Charles Butterworth) wants to update the music on the radio program he sponsors, but his wife, Agatha Courtney (Billie Burke), is the final authority and addicted to the classics and won't allow him to replace Professor Bistell (Franklin Pangborn) and his symphonic orchestra. Conspiring with his daughter Sue (Gloria Jean) and her friends, Marvo the Great (Leo Carrillo), the Andrews Sisters, Anne Payne (Jane Frazee and bandleader Woody Herman (Woody Herman), they devise a sabotage plot that gets rid of Professor Bistell, and a new sound is soon heard on the program. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's A Swingeroo... Rootin', zootin' swing-stars... 'teen-stars... hot licks and hep-cats!

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

20 February 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canta niña canta  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Blue Flame
(uncredited)
Music by James Noble
Played by Woody Herman and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Decent "B" Musical by Universal
30 July 2005 | by (Las Vegas, NV) – See all my reviews

During the war years of the 1940's, Universal produced a string of "Hep-cat" musicals, one of which "What's Cookin'?". The general idea of these movies was to cram in as much song, dance, comedy, variety, and "hep" talk as possible---then build a story around that. The movies, which were usually the second half of a twin-bill, were built to appeal to the young crowd; as such, they were fast-paced, light, breezy fare.

"What's Cookin'?" was no exception. The plot, an adaption of the Edgar Allan Woolf story "Wake up and Dream", was tailored to the teen viewers: The kids want a swing concert, but a stuffy highbrow adult prefers the classics. The kids contrive to get their way, and swing music wins.

The music and other entertainment is excellent: The Andrews Sisters headed the bill. Popular teen singer Gloria Jean has a prominent part in the movie. There were plenty of other stars of the day: Woody Herman and orchestra, Jane Frazee, Robert Paige, Billie Burke, and The Jivin' Jacks and Jills, to name a few.

But the movie is probably most noteworthy as being the first one made by Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan as a song/dance team. They were listed ninth and tenth in the credits.....something that never happened again in the twelve movies they appeared together in (not counting "Follow the Boys", which featured nearly every star in Universal's employ as well as many who were not).

As is the case with most of the "B" musicals of the 1940's, this one is rarely seen, and finding a copy of it is difficult. However, you can get a copy of this movie from Gloria Jean herself on her website. IMDb policy forbids the posting of URL's in reviews; however you can find her website by using your favorite search engine and her full name of "Gloria Jean Schoonover".

All in all, "What's Cookin'?" is good entertainment, although a lot of the dialog is dated to that era. If you like the old musicals, you'll probably enjoy this one.


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