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The Hit Parade (1937)

Approved | | Musical | 26 April 1937 (USA)
Agent Pete Garland is fired by society singer Monica Barrett after he got her a new radio contract, because she thinks her lawyer friend Teddy Leeds fits in better with her social status. ... See full summary »


Gus Meins


Bradford Ropes (screenplay), Samuel Ornitz (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances Langford ... Ruth Allison (nee Ruth Swanson)
Phil Regan ... Pete Garland
Max Terhune ... Rusty Callahan
Edward Brophy ... Mulrooney
Louise Henry ... Monica Barrett
Pert Kelton ... Eadie White
Pierre Watkin ... J. B. Hawley
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Sgt. O'Hara
Monroe Owsley ... Teddy Leeds
Inez Courtney ... Tillie
William Demarest ... Parole Officer
George Givot ... Herman
Sammy White Sammy White ... Dancer
Paul 'Mousie' Garner ... Member, The Gentlemaniacs (as Paul Garner)
Sam Wolfe Sam Wolfe ... Member, The Gentlemaniacs


Agent Pete Garland is fired by society singer Monica Barrett after he got her a new radio contract, because she thinks her lawyer friend Teddy Leeds fits in better with her social status. To get even, Pete wants to make an unknown singer into a star. He finds Ruth Allison, drives her hard through rehearsals and makes her a star. But she is worried about her past, something she hasn't told Pete: She's an ex-convict and jumped bail in order to keep her partners in crime out of it. Further she's in love with Pete, but feels that he's still carrying a torch for Monica. When Monica's popularity is decreasing, Pete is able to get Ruth a stint on the program, the result is Monica is fired and Ruth get her job, but Monica takes revenge by revealing Ruth's past. Ruth considers it is best for her to disappear before being arrested, but she has become a star in public opinion. Will she get Pete or will she go to prison again ? Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Republic's star-studded production. A cast of screen and radio headliners.










Release Date:

26 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I'll Pick a Star See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
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Technical Specs


| (1950 re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Republic re-released this movie in a re-edited version See more »


Followed by Hit Parade of 1941 (1940) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Performed by Carl Hoff & The Hit Parade Orchestra
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User Reviews

Pleasant enough Republic musical has some pretty good music
5 February 2017 | by earlytalkieSee all my reviews

This was apparently an 83 minute film when it was originally released in 1937, but the version I got is 67 minutes long and re-titled I'LL REACH FOR A STAR. Phil Regan and Frances Langford fall in love and exercise their vocal chords to a good effect. Pert Kelton is on hand to deliver some wise cracks, and there is an unfortunate black face sequence with two performers named Pick 'N Pat. If they had to cut this version down for television distribution, I would think the film could have sacrificed this part. But you do get some big name orchestras helmed by Duke Ellington and Eddy Duchin. And, Carl Hoff and his Hit Parade Orchestra. (Most likely from the radio show.) The best tune in the picture is the catchy "Love Is Good For Anything That Ails You." Which was good enough to be dusted off for Steve Martin's dark musical, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (1981). This is a direct relative of those "big broadcast" pictures that Paramount favored in the 1930s. Not a bad way to kill a little over an hour, and the music IS hummable. This supposedly cost little Republic about half a million bucks, which would be a lot for the studio that specialized in Saturday matinée serials.

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