A Young shoeshine boy must earn $6 by the end of the day so he can buy a second-hand bugle, because the next day he is going into the U.S. Army.



(original story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Complete credited cast:
Mel Bryant ...
Shoe Shine Boy (as Melvin Bryant)
Sam Levene ...
Walter Catlett ...


A show shine boy loves to listen to the horn more than anything. As such, he places a deposit for a bugle from a second hand shop, he needing to come up with an additional $2 to get the bugle, which he knows he will never get unless he comes up with the money before the store closes at the end of the day. As he hustles for business at a bar to raise that $2, the boy comes across two talent agents, Garry Goff and Lucky, who, on a lark, ask the boy to play the trumpet belonging to the bar's band's trumpet player. That incident promises to change the boy's life, but he may have other more pressing issues on his mind for just wanting the $2 to buy that second hand bugle. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical | Short






Release Date:

25 December 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)
See  »

Did You Know?


Trumpet Lament
Music by Phil Moore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A bugle boy needs $2 to buy a horn...forgettable trifle from the '40s...
20 July 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Harmless short subject from the '40s has a bugle boy story as inspiration when a black boy wants to buy a horn from a pawn shop but needs an extra $2 to cement the deal.

When WALTER CATLETT and SAM LEVENE hear him actually play the horn, they think they've discovered a goldmine and offer the kid a lucrative contract. But it turns out, he only wants to get the two dollars so he can play the horn before joining the army the next day.

As the end credits say: "He only loved two things--his horn and his country!" Film ends on a flag-waving note as the boy plays the bugle while we see a montage of soldiers training and in battle. This is the sort of cornball exercise in propaganda that audiences probably accepted in the early '40s but today's viewers will be a bit baffled by it.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who was the trumpeter? SHAWFAN
Discuss Shoe Shine Boy (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page