9 user 1 critic

It's a Great Life (1929)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 6 December 1929 (USA)
Casey and Babe are sisters who work in a department store and each year the store puts on a show. As expected, things are going wrong with every act until Casey comes out to help Babe with ... See full summary »


Sam Wood


Byron Morgan (story), Leonard Praskins (story) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Rosetta Duncan ... Casey Hogan
Vivian Duncan ... Babe Hogan
Lawrence Gray ... Jimmy Dean
Jed Prouty ... Mr. David Parker
Benny Rubin ... Benny Friedman


Casey and Babe are sisters who work in a department store and each year the store puts on a show. As expected, things are going wrong with every act until Casey comes out to help Babe with her song. They are a hit, but in the final act, Casey again comes out and this time the president sees her act and fires both her and Babe on the spot. Benny is able to book Casey, Babe and Dean into Vaudeville and their act is popular. But before they have their shot at stardom, Dean and Babe leave Casey and the act. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Put this down as one of the triumphs of the screen that talks! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Palace Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Jan 14, 1930) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Future star Ann Dvorak is easily spotted among the chorus dancers and is the featured dancer on the left in the 'Hoosier Hop" number. See more »


When the man upstairs says he'll call police, the audio doesn't match the movement of his mouth. See more »


[first lines]
Babe Hogan: Did you get the pocket book?
Casey Hogan: Yeah! Come on, let's beat it!
See more »


Edited into Hello Pop (1933) See more »


Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy Day
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal and Francis Wheeler
Performed by unseen male singer in the theater
See more »

User Reviews

Incredibly old fashioned and dated...so much so that it's actually painful to watch.
25 November 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I love old movies and have a very high tolerance for old fashioned style films, but "It's a Great Life" was very, very hard for me to watch. When seen today, you wonder how the Duncan Sisters could have been such a successful stage act, as they are, at times, godawful and hard to take.

When the story begins, Casey and Babe (Rosetta and Vivian Duncan) are working at a department store and hate the job. Once thing they like, however, is the upcoming store talent show. Unfortunately, the acts bomb one after another and it culminates with Babe performing a terrible song. To try to save it, Casey goes on stage and tries to inject some laughs into the act...and it is a hit. Soon the sisters plan on doing a vaudeville version of this act but this plan is scuttled when Babe gets married...and Casey absolutely hates her new husband, Jimmy. So Babe and Jimmy try their hand at performing...and fall flat on their faces. Casey does better but longs to get back with her sister....but her hatred of Jimmy stops any chance of reunification. What's to come of this?

The main problem with this film is that the singing is just horrid...so bad that it's painful to watch. Some of the acting isn't especially good either (the end with Casey and Babe is just horrible) but frankly these non-singing portions are the highlights! Overall, a curio...just not a very good one. And, frankly, I cannot understand the reviews giving it scores of 8-10. This is NOT another "Broadway Melody" and is best seen for it's historical importance and NOT its entertainment value...which is nil.

Incidentally, if you subject yourself to this one (DON'T!), you'll get to see a couple two-color Technicolor sequences.

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Release Date:

6 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cotton and Silk See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone) (Western Electric System)


Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (two sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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