Down 40,541 this week

Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939)

 -  Short | Comedy | Musical  -  4 May 1939 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 5 user

The government has set up a special agency to stamp out what it considers the number one public menace: the jitterbug. They aren't after the many followers, but the primary perpetrator of ... See full summary »



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 1587 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
a list of 1057 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 919 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 108 titles
created 3 weeks ago
a list of 719 titles
created 1 week ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939)

Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Public Jitterbug No. 1.


Complete credited cast:
Hal Le Roy ...
Hal Sturges
Chaz Chase ...
Tom Emerson's Hillbilly Sextette ...
Hillbilly Sextette (as Emerson's Sextette)


The government has set up a special agency to stamp out what it considers the number one public menace: the jitterbug. They aren't after the many followers, but the primary perpetrator of the jitterbug, who they've coined "Public Jitterbug No. 1". Hal Sturges is one of several agents working on the case who goes undercover as a dancer in Broadway haunts to find and capture Public Jitterbug No. 1. In his investigation, Hal runs across the beautiful Betty, a seemingly innocent bystander. Hal and Betty fall for each other. However Betty is unaware that Hal is a federal agent, and Hal is unaware that Betty is Public Jitterbug No. 1. Will their roles as agent and public menace number one take priority over their roles of man and woman? Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Musical





Release Date:

4 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities: Public Jitterbug Number One  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone Production Reels #B240-241. See more »


Obviously the Gentleman Prefers to Dance
Music by Saul Chaplin
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by Betty Hutton and danced by Hal Le Roy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Public Jitterbug Number One is one of the earliest film appearances of one Betty Hutton
2 April 2008 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

I accidentally stumbled onto this obscure musical short after watching another Betty Hutton performance on YouTube. The nonsense plot has some agents on Capitol Hill looking for the title character since they deem such a person a menace to society. (Good thing rock 'n' roll hadn't been invented yet!) Many of them disguise themselves as a country-western band (actually Tom Emerson's Hillbilly Sextette), and one becomes a tap dancer (actually Hal LeRoy who has appeared as such in several features and shorts). In the middle of this party is a short person who literally eats lit matches and cigarettes, some flowers, and a part of his own vest! He's Chaz Chase who I reviewed last year in a late silent short he was in where he did the exact same things I just described here. And then there's the real reason anyone would want to watch this today: Ms. Hutton in one of her earliest film appearances. Initially subdued here, she dances up a storm by her second number that brings everything to a rousing finish before the plot abruptly concludes with an almost violent end. Musical and comedy spots make the story filler tolerable and Betty proves here why she was a force to reckon with during much of the '40s. Chase was amusing in his own weird way and LeRoy danced some pretty good steps. All in all, Public Jitterbug Number One is worth a look for fans of these kinds of vintage musical shorts that provided theatregoers with some distraction during the late stages of the Depression.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
New York City? JackBluegrass
Discuss Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: