6.4/10
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23 user 5 critic

Something to Sing About (1937)

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:

A Cagney You Have Never Seen! Dancing...Romancing and Packing a Real Wallop! THE No. 1 Dynamo of the Screen Goes to Town in His Latest and Greatest Role. It's something to cheer about! 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:

Battling Hoofer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zion Meyers Productions See more »
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

Parts of the film are based on James Cagney's own experience. In the film, Cagney's character, Terry Rooney, is a New York band-leader and hoofer who goes to Hollywood to make a "tough guy" movie. When he gets back from his honeymoon cruise, Rooney discovers the movie has made him a star, and he is mobbed by autograph seekers outside a movie theater where his film is showing. Likewise, Cagney himself was a Broadway hoofer who went to Hollywood in 1930 to make movies. After several supporting roles, Cagney filmed his breakout movie, The Public Enemy (1931), in early 1931. When filming was completed, Cagney returned to New York, thinking the movie would be nothing special. A few months later, he was surprised to see a long line of movie-goers outside a New York theater where The Public Enemy (1931) was being shown. Cagney had become a star. 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

Hank Meyers: Well, good morning. How's everything, Snooks?
Stephanie 'Steffie' Hajos: Don't Snooks me!
See more »

Connections

References The Shadow Strikes (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner (1850)
Played in a jazz version by the band
Danced to by James Cagney and Evelyn Daw
See more »

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User Reviews

 
but not for the accountant
20 March 2004 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

This very well produced film from Grand National was it's downfall.

Costing $900k in 1937 to produce (3 times more than 42nd Street or a quarter of Gone With The Wind) it never recovered its costs and sank the studio. A mini major wannabe of its day, it grew from the reshuffle in 1934 that saw Monogram, Liberty, Mascot and Majestic studios all become Republic. Tiffany studios had gone dark about 1932 and Grand National reopened that lot in 1935 amid the talent and exec merry go round of forming and shedding.

A Warners squabble saw Cagney suspended so he walked to Grand National who much have thought they had won the talent lottery. To create industry credibility in their production values for any Cagney film, they had to spend big, and GREAT GUY in 1936 worked. But in 1937 their swing musical based loosely on their own studio tales (and lot) cost far too much and the loss by 1938 shortened their schedule and they went dark. Most jumped ship to re-formed Monogram Pictures and series films like the Shadow and Renfrew Of the Mounted Police had a new life there. Grand National had big hopes and plans and it is a huge shame they did not continue. It is a fascinating true story of ambition and crash and should be a film in itself. SOMETHING has been available in Australia on tape and DVD for years and is widely available here..like a lot of weird and small RKO titles. Lucky us and lucky you if you can find them. Grand national was a good outfit. The opening and closing nightclub scenes in this film are really smart and quite elaborate. There's even a BIG-like keyboard dance solo. And that Logo! Wow!


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