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Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

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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 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:

An American Cavalcade!

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 3, 1940 with Alice Faye reprising her film role and Ray Milland and Robert Preston in the Power and Ameche roles. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Stella's Sailor freind: So, did you ever learn long division?
Stella Kirby: I never even learned short division!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: James Coburn (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Say It with Music
(1921) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
classic entertainment
24 November 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

The last time I saw this movie was probably the late '60s, when I watched it on television with a group of friends. I just saw it again on DVD, and it's as much fun as I remember it. In 108 minutes, I wouldn't be surprised if 90 minutes was music, and what music! One Irving Berlin song after another, sung by either Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman, or Jack Haley. A young Merman, with a sexy figure, really pops in this film with her exciting belt voice.

A thinnish plot surrounds the songs. It's the story of a classical musician (Tyrone Power) who forms a swing band and, because of the song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" takes the name Alexander for himself and the Ragtime Band for his group. The movie takes us loving, losing, and playing music through World War I and into the swing era, though there's not a gray hair to be found among our heroes.

Ameche and Power were friends before either one of them was signed by 20th Century Fox, and with Faye, they made "In Old Chicago" together plus this film - and both Faye/Ameche and Faye/Power made other films together as well. The three work very well as an ensemble. Faye is especially lovely in this. She sings in a commanding contralto, wears some great fashions, and is appropriately feisty, low-class, or classy as the part demands.

As lovely as she was, though, she's no competition for the most gorgeous one in the movie, Tyrone Power. He's pretty darn breathtaking in that tuxedo of his. He could have conducted me anywhere.

Monumentally entertaining music and plenty of eye candy - highly recommended.


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