Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1940. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by John Monks Jr., Fred F. Finklehoffe. Cinematography by Ray June. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Leo Arnaud, George Stoll. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Gile Steele, Dolly Tree. Film Editing by Ben Lewis. Academy Awards 1940.
The best of the Mickey Rooney–Judy Garland ‘Let’s Put On A Show!’ movies was this exciting MGM musical that has both stars at the peak of their teenage talents (though Garland would definitely blossom as an adult actress much later). The pair play a shyly romantic couple who decide to enter a nationwide band contest and, naturally, put on a big show to raise funds. Trouble comes when talented June Preisser shows up and sweeps Rooney off his feet: sure, he’s attached to Judy, but June’s got lots of money that could help the band in the tap of a shoe. Garland’s rousing numbers include ‘Drummer Boy’, ‘Our Love Affair’ and the rousing title finale. Marvelous entertainment that far outdoes its predecessor Babes In Arms, which ran along a similar theme.