6.9/10
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Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Musical | 16 August 1938 (USA)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

2 Hours of Unforgettable Entertainment Featuring 28 Matchless Melodies! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Musical director Alfred Newman got his early musical training in Tin Pan Alley, and he served as the musical director on a number of big Broadway shows in the 1920's before relocating to Hollywood in 1930. He won the first of his nine academy awards for Alexander's Ragtime Band. See more »

Goofs

An on-location establishing shot shows the Cliff House, a famous San Francisco restaurant, sitting on a cliff overlooking Ocean Beach. A 1930's model car drives by in the foreground. However, this scene takes place before World War I in the movie, so the car is about 25 years too early. See more »

Quotes

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"]
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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 »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: The Great American Songbook (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
(1919) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman
See more »

User Reviews

An All-Time Classic
4 November 2003 | by KalamanSee all my reviews

"Alexander's Ragtime Band" has always been a personal favorite of mine and an excellent example of the kind of lively and jubilant musicals Fox specialized during the golden age. It was a huge hit in its day and remains a huge improvement over the monotonous "In Old Chicago"(1937). I saw "Alexander's Ragtime Band" again last night and it may well be my favorite Fox musical, though I have dozens of other favorites. Directed by the underrated Henry King with a rich and endlessly tuneful score, the film is a fictionalized account on the early days of jazz, and contains close to 30 Irving Berlin songs. Alice Faye never looked so ineffably beautiful, Tyrone Power never more charismatic, Don Ameche never more genial. It's all about the music and the stars. A great timeless classic that becomes more entrancing and enriching with each viewing.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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