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24 user 6 critic

Something to Sing About (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 30 September 1937 (USA)
A New York bandleader journeys to Hollywood when he is offered a contract with a studio, but he is determined to do things his way and not theirs.

Writers:

Victor Schertzinger (story), Austin Parker (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Thadeus McGillicuddy aka Terry Rooney
Evelyn Daw ... Rita Wyatt
William Frawley ... Hank Meyers
Mona Barrie ... Stephanie 'Steffie' Hajos
Gene Lockhart ... Bennett O. 'B.O.' Regan
Philip Ahn ... Ito
Marek Windheim Marek Windheim ... Mr. Farney
Dwight Frye ... Mr. Easton
Johnny Arthur ... Mr. Daviani (as John Arthur)
William B. Davidson ... Mr. Richards (as William Davidson)
Richard Tucker ... Mr. Blaine
Kathleen Lockhart ... Miss Amy Robbins
James Newill ... Jimmy - Band Member
Harry Barris ... Pinky - Band Pianist
Cully Richards Cully Richards ... Cully - Band Member
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Storyline

Popular New York band leader Terry Rooney (Cagney) is offered a lucrative film contract out in Hollywood. Rooney and his soon-to-be wife pack up and head for California. Upon arriving, they meet Mr. Regan, the head of the studio, who believes that Rooney's true lack of desire for stardom is arrogance on the band leader's part. When his first film is huge success and a hit for the studio, Regan tries to hide the truth from Rooney. Feeling a need to get away from Hollywood, Rooney takes his wife on a South Seas honeymoon cruise, only to return to the real truth of his fame. Written by SindyMac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two-fisted James Cagney in a drama about Hollywood where private lives are public gossip . . . James Cagney in his latest and greatest picture See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When I'm with You See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ship Terry and Rita sail on for their honeymoon to the "South Seas" is the Swedish cargo ship M/S Hallaren. Launched in 1929, it sailed routes in both the Atlantic and Pacific. However, its most important service was to bring food from Sweden to the starving population of the Netherlands in the spring of 1945 under the banner of the Red Cross near the end of WWII. It was scrapped in Belgium in 1972. See more »

Goofs

Rita is in New York when she reads of Terry's supposed relationship with Steffie on the front page of the "Express" newspaper. Meanwhile in Hollywood, Terry learns of the false rumours in exactly the same way, from the exact front page of an identical "Express" newspaper. Props used the same newspaper for both coasts. Highly unlikely. See more »

Quotes

Terrence 'Terry'; Rooney: I'll stand up here and let you stick pins in me, but one more tickle, and I'm going to tear off one of your legs and wrap it around your neck for a scarf.
See more »

Connections

References White Legion (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Something to Sing About
(uncredited)
Written by Victor Schertzinger
Sung over the opening credits by Evelyn Daw
Sung by James Newill
Reprised by Evelyn Daw
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why Couldn't James Cagney get good musical properties?
20 June 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Something to Sing About was produced at Grand National Studios where James Cagney was working while under a contract dispute with the brothers Warner. He did two films for this B studio, neither of which rank high in the Cagney credits.

One of the great losses to cinema is the fact that Jimmy Cagney did so few films that utilized his terrific dancing abilities. The two that come to mind immediately are Yankee Doodle Dandy and Footlight Parade. Two lesser films are The West Point Story and Never Steal Anything Small. Cagney himself said he never used to watch anything but his musicals in retirement. So why did he make so few of them?

Well this one was all wrong. The plot of Something to Sing About concerns a hoofer who fronts for a band who's discovered and given a movie contract. There are the usual complications of a conniving studio boss and a conniving press agent played respectively and well by Gene Lockhart and William Frawley. His contract calls for a no- marriage clause, so Cagney and band girl singer lady Evelyn Daw marry in secret. Then we get the complication of a publicity driven studio romance with screen leading lady Mona Barrie. I think you can figure where this is going.

The most disappointing thing about Something to Sing About is the lack of dance numbers for Cagney. He dances briefly at the beginning and the end of the film and nothing in the middle. Evelyn Daw had a nice singing voice and the charisma of a ham sandwich. She got the musical numbers such as they were. I'm sure the movie-going public was paying their tickets to see Cagney dance.

Also in addition to giving him some dance numbers a female dance partner would have been nice. He danced well with Ruby Keeler in Footlight Parade and with Virginia Mayo and Doris Day in The West Point Story. Weren't Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell or Ruby Keeler available?

No memorable songs came out of this. And Daw's voice is waisted as well. She has a Jeanette MacDonald soprano voice which was so out of place with a swing band.

No wonder Cagney went running back to Warner Brothers. But they should have given him some decent musicals.


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