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Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Musical | 16 August 1938 (USA)
3:42 | Trailer
This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.


Henry King


Kathryn Scola (screen play), Lamar Trotti (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Alexander (Roger Grant)
Alice Faye ... Stella Kirby
Don Ameche ... Charlie Dwyer
Ethel Merman ... Jerry Allen
Jack Haley ... Davey Lane
Jean Hersholt ... Professor Heinrich
Helen Westley ... Aunt Sophie
John Carradine ... Taxi Driver
Paul Hurst ... Bill Mulligan
Wally Vernon ... Wally Vernon
Ruth Terry ... Ruby
Douglas Fowley ... Snapper
Chick Chandler ... Louie
Eddie Collins ... Corporal Collins
Joseph Crehan ... Stage Manager


Roger Grant, a classical violinist, disappoints his family and teacher when he organizes a jazz band, but he and the band become successful. Roger falls in love with his singer Stella, but his reluctance to lose her leads him to thwart her efforts to become a solo star. When the World War separates them in 1917, Stella marries Roger's best friend Charlie. Roger comes home after the war and an important concert at Carnegie Hall brings the corners of the romantic triangle together. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An American Cavalcade! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


A British Movietone Newsreel survives of the London premiere at the Regal Cinema, believed to be some time in Fall 1938. Leslie Mitchell describes the events, and Irving Berlin is present. Mitchell asks Berlin what is his favorite song that he wrote, and Berlin responds: "Well, what do you think!" indicating the title of this film. Also present is George Sanders, Clive Brook, Bobby Howes, Mary Maguire, Margaret Lockwood and Flora Robson. See more »


When Wally Vernon comes forward to do his specialty number, he passes Alexander twice, glancing at him both times. See more »


Jerry Allen: [from the lyrics of "Heat Wave"] "She started the heat wave / By letting her feet wave"
[bowdlerized from original "By letting her seat wave"]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The music that Tyrone Power "conducts" during the film's opening credits is the song "Marching Along With Time", which was ultimately cut from the film. The song, however, as sung by Ethel Merman, has survived as an outtake and can be seen as an extra feature on the DVD. See more »


Marching Along with Time
(1938) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman
(cut from the film release, but the outtake is on the DVD)
See more »

User Reviews

A Classic With Good Music
2 June 1999 | by Lin-4See all my reviews

Alexander's Ragtime Band is a combination musical/drama with Alice Faye belting out Irving Berlin songs and making eyes at her leading man, Tyrone Power. Young Power is far more beautiful than his leading lady and is good as the wealthy classic musician turned band leader who shapes a cheap Faye into a classy performer. Worthwhile to see because of the song Faye sings "to" Power and the kiss they share afterward.

Otherwise, the movie is melodramatic with its storyline stretching over many years, rivalry, and World War I. But what else do you expect from a musical? A classic worthy to be seen.

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Release Date:

16 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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