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 »

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Cast

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

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

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Genres:

Short | Comedy | Musical

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Details

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Release Date:

4 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1939-1940 season) #8: Public Jitterbug Number One  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone Production Reels #B240-241. See more »

Soundtracks

Public Jitterbug No. 1
(uncredited)
Music by Saul Chaplin
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Played during the opening credits
Also performed by Betty Hutton toward the end
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User Reviews

Don't Put Your Hands Around Chase
22 June 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

This Warner two-reeler has the government going after the title character so a bunch of G-Men head to a nightclub where they witness a few acts while they try to determine who their bad guy is. The first act is Hal LeRoy who does some tap dancing. Up next is the strange Chaz Chase who eats anything he can get his hands on. There's also Betty Hutton who does a couple dance numbers and sings. Of course, today's viewers are going to mainly interested in this for their chance to see Hutton in her film debut. I can't say that had I seen this short in 1939 that I would have picked her out for stardom but there's no question she has a certain style that the camera captures and her dancing here is quite good. With that said, the main reason to watch this short is for the Chase act because he really does eat everything. He starts off eating his cigarette, all the matches in the book and then he gets to his clothes, flowers and even his napkin. This act is more weird than funny but it's certainly the highlight of the picture. For the most part all of the acts are entertaining enough and they make the film worth sitting through even with the rather silly story.


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