14 user 3 critic

Naughty But Nice (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 1 July 1939 (USA)
Professor Hardwick teaches at Winfield College and detests the new swing music that is the craze. He has written a rhapsody which he takes to New York to be published. Staying with his Aunt... See full summary »


Ray Enright


Richard Macaulay (screenplay), Jerry Wald (screenplay)
4,516 ( 54,377)


Learn more

More Like This 

Lucky Night (1939)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A wealthy woman meets a bum on a park bench and marries him the same evening.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Joseph Allen
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rare booksellers Joel and Garda Sloane are engaged to find who is stealing rare books from a private library.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Reginald Owen
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh
Battle Cry (1955)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of young Marines have adventures in love and war.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, Mona Freeman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A juror in a murder trial takes pity on the recently acquitted defendant and invites her to move into his family's home and his son soon falls in love with her.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Brian Aherne, Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of disparate travelers are caught and thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold
Central Park (1932)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Gangsters posing as police officers offer a woman a chance to make money if she helps them out.

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Joan Blondell, Wallace Ford, Guy Kibbee
Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-police/army dog (German Shepherd), named King inherits a fortune from an eccentric millionaire. But someone poisons him for his fortune, and he gets to go back to earth as a human ... See full summary »

Director: Lou Breslow
Stars: Dick Powell, Peggy Dow, Joyce Holden
Adventure | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A beautiful but amoral gypsy girl entices a young dragoon to betray his honor and get cashiered from the service, and for her sake he soon turns to a life of crime.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, Ron Randell
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Heiress Nancy Crocker Fleming will only receive her inheritance if she marries a "plain American." Her late father was afraid a foreign gigolo would steal her heart and money. So Nancy pays... See full summary »

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Lucille Ball, James Ellison, Lee Bowman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Wonder Pictures' seedy publicity man Lanny Morgan has put the studio's biggest star, Annabel Allison, in one crazy stunt after another. His latest scheme has Annabel pretending to be a maid... See full summary »

Directors: Benjamin Stoloff, Lew Landers
Stars: Jack Oakie, Lucille Ball, Ruth Donnelly


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Sheridan ... Zelda Manion
Dick Powell ... Professor Donald 'Don' Hardwick
Gale Page ... Linda McKay
Helen Broderick ... Aunt Martha Hogan
Ronald Reagan ... Ed 'Eddie' Clark
Allen Jenkins ... Joe Dirk
Zasu Pitts ... Aunt Penelope Hardwick
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Killer (as Maxie Rosenblum)
Jerry Colonna ... Allie Gray
Luis Alberni ... Stanislaus Pysinski
Vera Lewis ... Aunt Annabella Hardwick
Elizabeth Dunne Elizabeth Dunne ... Aunt Henrietta Hardwick
William B. Davidson ... Samuel 'Sam' 'Simsy' Hudson - Music Publisher (as Bill Davidson)
Granville Bates ... Judge Kennith B. Walters, Superior Court
Halliwell Hobbes ... Dean Burton, Winfield College


Professor Hardwick teaches at Winfield College and detests the new swing music that is the craze. He has written a rhapsody which he takes to New York to be published. Staying with his Aunt Martha, he is surrounded by swing and after a few drinks, he is photographed hanging on the chandelier. He finds that he can only sell his rhapsody to Eddie and Miss McKay puts lyrics to it. It is a big swing sensation and the partnership of Hardwick and McKay crank out the hits until Zelda breaks up the team. Zelda wants to sing the hot songs and have Hudson, the Home of the Hits, publish the music. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The "Oomph" Girl's Greatest Tri"Oomph"


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Professor Steps Out See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Monday 24 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Albuquerque Saturday 6 October 1956 on KOAT (Channel 7), in Phoenix Tuesday 23 October 1956 on KVOS (Channel 12), in Boston Friday 26 October 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Salt Lake City Tuesday 12 February 1957 on KUTV (Channel 2), and in Portland OR Sunday 24 March 1957 on KOIN (Channel 6). See more »


Referenced in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) See more »


I Don't Believe in Signs
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Ann Sheridan in a radio program
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Disappointment All Round...
4 May 2001 | by wireshockSee all my reviews

As a Dick Powell fan, the premise of this picture sounded great: a college music professor, despite his disapproval of "swing" music, ends up becoming the best-selling composer on the pop hit parade. The comic opportunities in this scenario, not to mention Powell's mellifluous singing voice, are needlessly squandered however--no doubt this movie disappointed Powell's fans back in '39 as much as it did this viewer in 2001.

The story promises great things and delivers on none of them:

Powell writes hit songs with a beautiful lyricist, but we never see them working together. Powell never even sings in this picture, despite 5 new songs by the same team (Johnny Mercer & Harry Warren) who gave us "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" which Powell crooned to Olivia de Havilland in the previous year's "Hard to Get".

They don't even let Dick Powell BE Dick Powell: he plays a nerdy guy lacking in social grace and appeal--and two women vie for his attention. Granted, Powell plays a convincing, somewhat lovable "four-eyed" geek, but the plot keeps hinting that, with a few potent "lemonades", he's a dancing dynamo and the life of the party! But everytime he heads out to the dance floor to strut his stuff there's a fade out and we only find out what a blast he had the night before from an item in the newspaper.

What great fun it might have been if the college prof learned to sing, swing and love. But he stays a nerd, writes hit tunes reluctantly and ends up with the girl formulaically without a spark between them. [Sigh...]

7 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Made the Star of "The Rook" Scream at Her TV?

If you were around in the early aughts, you might've had the same reaction. Emma Greenwell of the new STARZ series lets us in on her "Fleabag" fandom and more.

Watch now

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed