The first and only female leader in the Big Band era. Lots and swing and dancing.




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Credited cast:
Herself (as Rita Rio)
Emily Adrien ...
Bill Furrow ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rita Rio's All Girl Orchestra ...


The first and only female leader in the Big Band era. Lots and swing and dancing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Music | Musical





Release Date:

1 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melody Masters (1938-1939 season) #16: Rita Rio and Her Orchestra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #B229. See more »


When You're Smiling (the Whole World Smiles with You)
Written by Larry Shay, Mark Fisher and Joe Goodwin
Played on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

Despite a nice story, the music and dancing didn't do much for me.
28 August 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is one of the later Vitaphone shorts--known as a "Melody Master". These later musical shorts generally were more straight forward and had simpler sets and no real story to tie it all together--just a famous band of the day doing their stuff.

This in an unusual short in that it features a female band leader and her all female band. It begins with Rita herself dancing to the song "When You Are Smiling" in her apartment as her mother yells at her. Finally, the frustrated mother calls the doctor as Rita won't stop dancing. However, her boyfriend steps in--announcing he will make her a star. Then, after a quick montage, you see the VERY energetic Rita dancing about with maracas--singing a Mexican-inspired ditty. Then, Emily Adrian comes out and dances, though her dancing looked more like an acrobatic routine than dancing. It was NOT especially graceful. The way the songs are linked and with the beginning of the short it all comes off more like a condensed film than just a music video--which I liked. However, I was not a huge fan of the music itself. It wasn't bad--but didn't exactly bowl me over like many of the other Vitaphone shorts.

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