11 user 2 critic

They Shall Have Music (1939)

Passed | | Music, Drama, Family | 18 August 1939 (USA)
A boy runs away from home and ends up at a music school for poor children. When the school suffers hard times, he enlists the aid of violinist Heifetz to save the day.


Archie Mayo


Irma von Cube (screenplay) (as Irmgard von Cube), John Howard Lawson (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jascha Heifetz ... Jascha Heifetz
Joel McCrea ... Peter
Andrea Leeds ... Ann Lawson
Gene Reynolds ... Frankie
Walter Brennan ... Professor Lawson
Terry Kilburn ... Limey
Porter Hall ... Flower
Walter Tetley Walter Tetley ... Rocks
Chuck Stubbs Chuck Stubbs ... Fever
Tommy Kelly ... Willie
Gale Sherwood ... Betty (as Jacqueline Nash)
Alfred Newman ... Musical Director
Mary Ruth Mary Ruth ... Suzie
John St. Polis ... Davis
Alexander Schoenberg Alexander Schoenberg ... Menken (as Alexander Schonberg)


A boy from the streets of New York finds music tickets to a Heifetz concert, which rekindles his earlier interest in the violin. He subsequently runs away from home and happens across a music school for children (played by members of the Peter Meremblum California Youth Symphony Orchestra). He is taken in by kindly Professor Lawson, the head of the school and resumes violin study while sleeping in the basement of the school. Despite the best efforts of Peter and Ann to raise money, the school is about to be foreclosed upon by Flower and associates. The kids in the school, led by Frankie, try to raise money themselves, and run across Heifetz in the process. After many more well-trodden cinematic paths have been navigated, Heifetz finally is convinced to sponsor the school. Written by Butch <butch@unix.mclv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music | Drama | Family


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ragged Angels See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the movie, the newspaper account lists Jascha Heifetz's stolen Violin as a Stradivarius. Heifetz actually used a Guarnarius in the picture and favored that violin in real life, but the producers felt that the name of Stradivarius would be more recognizable. See more »


Throughout the picture, the kids in the orchestra are caught looking into the camera or eyeing it sideways, licking their lips, fidgeting, etc. See more »


Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28
(1863) (uncredited)
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
Played by Jascha Heifetz (violin) with an orchestra conducted by Alfred Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Very enjoyable movie
2 December 2008 | by debo-millsSee all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie, and I'm not a classical music fan. The story of the tough street kid discovering classical music and changing his ways was great to watch, without being sentimental or too unbelievable, although some details had me scratching my head (Frankie and his dog can live in the basement of the school without any of the students or teachers discovering him? Where did he eat? Bathe? Did he ever get a change of clothes? What did he feed his dog? The owner of the school didn't think it was important to notify the police about finding a missing boy, but let him live in the basement indefinitely? :-) ). But we can let such unrealistic details slide and just enjoy the touching, fun, and slightly suspenseful (for me, anyway) story and wonderfully talented children.

I loved the scene with the mothers standing shoulder to shoulder on the steps barring the policemen from entering the school: I doubt they would get away with that nowadays. And I liked the nice touch about the boy Frankie stole from turning the tables on him (although that never really went anywhere), and Frankie's friends helping him out in the end.

All in all, a great movie for everyone!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed