After their annual free concert at Chicago's Dearborn Settlement, Benny Goodman and his band are packing up to move on to their next engagement at a military camp, when a kid, Tony Birch, ... See full summary »
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André De Toth
After their annual free concert at Chicago's Dearborn Settlement, Benny Goodman and his band are packing up to move on to their next engagement at a military camp, when a kid, Tony Birch, steals Goodman's clarinet. Goodman and Popsie pursue him to a tenement flat where he has led them to hear his brother, Johnny Birch, play the trombone. Goodman offers him a job, over Popsie's protest, with the band. Aboard the train, Johnny accidentally enters the compartment of the band's singer, Pat Sterling, and gets his face slapped. At the military camp, which turns out to be a boy's military academy (which accounts for juvenile players such as Dickie Moore and Harry McKin running around with such titles as General and Major), Goodman finds a real audience in the jive-mad, jitterbug kids. Masquerading as a sweet, 16-year-old girl friend of one of the cadets who is, in reality, her nephew, Trudy Wilson meets her old friend Goodman who introduces her to Johnny, whose music she admired. However, ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Plot-- A blue-collar trombone player joins Goodman's orchestra but lets it go to his head. So he has to learn humility before he can be a real success.
The movie is typical of the musical programmers turned out during the war. It's Goodman's name and his swing band that's intended as the draw. Among the leads, Bari and Darnell look enough alike to be sisters-- same hair-do, same coloring, same features. In fact, I got them mixed up, at times. Seems unusual to find two such look-alikes in the same movie, but they're sure a lot of eye candy. Then there's poor Cardwell, who's got all the charisma of dried cement, which doesn't help. Good thing his trombone playing is well dubbed. Good thing too that Oakie's on board to supply comedy relief.
The sequence at the military school is the funniest, and the music and dancing the movie's best. Most of the numbers I didn't recognize, but that's okay since it's the trademark Goodman sound. Anyway, TCF was obviously counting on the big band name to put this slender B-production over to wartime audiences who doubtless could use some musical uplift.
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