6.5/10
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37 user 13 critic

Babes in Arms (1939)

Unrated | | Comedy, Musical | 13 October 1939 (USA)
A group of vaudevillians struggling to compete with talkies hits the road hoping for a comeback. Frustrated to be left behind, all of their kids put on a show themselves to raise money for the families and to prove they've got talent, too.

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Writers:

Jack McGowan (screen play), Kay Van Riper (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... Mickey Moran
Judy Garland ... Patsy Barton
Charles Winninger ... Joe Moran
Guy Kibbee ... Judge Black
June Preisser ... Rosalie Essex
Grace Hayes ... Florrie Moran
Betty Jaynes ... Molly Moran
Douglas McPhail Douglas McPhail ... Don Brice
Rand Brooks ... Jeff Steele
Leni Lynn ... Dody Martini
Johnny Sheffield ... Bobs (as John Sheffield)
Henry Hull ... Madox
Barnett Parker ... William
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Barton
Margaret Hamilton ... Martha Steele
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Storyline

Mickey Moran, a talented singer and musician, is son of a veteran from show business. Mickey has a partner, Patsy Barton, a pretty girl and also a very talented singer. One day, a big opportunity arrives for Mickey, a big contract to set up his own show. However, things don't go well, and in order to avoid being sent to a work farm, he'll improvise a show in the country, despite the awful weather conditions. Patsy's in love with Mickey, he loves her, too, but for him the show must go on, and his big dream maybe will come true: to formally stage his play in a big scenario, with a huge production. Written by Alejandro Frias

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big musical fun show!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la farándula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$748,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland-Busby Berkeley full-throttle production number, "God's Country" (music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg), had been introduced on Broadway by Jack Whiting and The Five Reillys in the 1937 musical, "Hooray for What!" MGM bought the screen rights to the show, which never was filmed. See more »

Goofs

When Judy Garland & Betty Jaynes are singing their duet, there is part of one line where Judy's lips aren't moving but you can hear her singing. You can see her singing "We're really..." and then the view changes and there's a close-up of the two girls. As they sing the words "...just like...." Judy's lips aren't moving and she's just staring straight at the camera. Then she continues lip-syncing "...two peas in a pod..." See more »

Quotes

Don Brice: [singing] Play day is done, we've a place in the sun we must fight for / So, babes in arms, to arms!
Kids: [singing] To arms, to arms, babes in arms!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some older television prints delete the minstrel show sequence. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #10.23 (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
In the score at Christmas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I admit, i'm a sucker for good song and dance.
30 January 2006 | by jackhammer111See all my reviews

This is not good because it's a Busby Berkley film. It's not good because of the corn fed mom country and apple-pie sentiment. It's not good because of the Rogers and hart score.

This is great to watch because it comes from the hard years of the depression where even in hard times young people learned how to sing, or dance, or act, or sing dance and act.

This large cast of performers is packed with showbiz musical theater talent born of Vaudeville, that represents an era that was unparalleled and we will never see again. For all his goofiness Rooney does it all here. And Judy, oh dear Judy, she shines in absolutely every thing she does. Giving more than we have a right to expect in every thing she does.

Even with it's flaws as an over the top movie, the black face routine is not defensible even in it's own time, there are moments in this moving where if you don't see the awesome musical theater talent of the whole cast of "PERFORMERS", you are miserable indeed.


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