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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.

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Writers:

(screen play), (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:
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Joe Moran
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Judge Black
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Florrie Moran
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Douglas McPhail ...
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Jeff Steele
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Dody Martini
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Bobs (as John Sheffield)
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Madox
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William
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Mrs. Barton
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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:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la farándula  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"How About You" (uncredited), music by Burton Lane, instrumental background music (lyrics were added at a later date for the film (Babes On Broadway (1941)_). See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on front row of violin players just before Mickey covers his ears. See more »

Quotes

Prologue: 1921 - During that happy yesterday of entertainment which was called vaudeville, its pulsating heart was the Palace Theatre.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Babes on Broadway (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Babes in Arms
(1937)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Played during the opening credits
Sung by Douglas McPhail (uncredited), Mickey Rooney (uncredited), Judy Garland (uncredited) and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Well you have to admit -- it took a hurricane to stop me."
30 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

The children of struggling vaudeville stars decide to put on a musical show to save their homes. Yes, it's a Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland "let's put on a show" musical. Their first such movie, I think, and probably their most famous. Mickey & Judy are great. Mickey does Lionel Barrymore and Clark Gable impressions that are a hoot. He also has a fight scene in a drug store which is amusing. The supporting cast is made up of fine character actors like Guy Kibbee, Charles Winninger, and Henry Hull. Adorable June Preisser steals every scene she's in. Margaret Hamilton plays the villain, a busybody who tries to get the kids taken away from their parents. Garland & Hamilton filmed this right after Wizard of Oz, by the way. Interestingly, this was actually a bigger hit at the box office than Oz was in 1939.

Most of the songs are nice but none wowed me. Several classic Rodgers & Hart tunes from the Broadway musical this was based on are either omitted altogether or featured too briefly to make an impact. An ear-splitting operatic version of "You're My Lucky Star" by Betty Jaynes is probably the worst song in the movie. Judy's "I Cried for You" is best. Salute to minstrel shows with cast members in blackface will upset some so prepare yourself if you're one of them. Directed by Busby Berkeley, as evidenced by his distinct touches on the "God's Country" closing number. Speaking of which, that number has Mickey & Judy satirizing FDR & Eleanor. After FDR's death this part was cut out of future showings and it remained that way until the '90s. It's a lively number and the added historical value is a plus. Good old-fashioned fun. Charming, innocent, and yes, a little corny, but an enjoyable movie overall.


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