Strike Up the Band (1940)

115 or 120 mins | Musical | 27 September 1940

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Although onscreen credits list Howard Hickman as the doctor, the Call Bureau Cast Service sheets credit Harlan Briggs with the role. The working title of this film was Babes on Broadway , which was later used as a title for the 1941 M-G-M film starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. It was a follow-up to M-G-M's 1939 picture, Babes in Arms which also starred Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and was directed by Busby Berkeley and produced by Arthur Freed. The story that Morrie Ryskind and George S. Kaufman wrote for George and Ira Gershwin's musical hit Strike Up the Band (New York 14 Jan 1930) bears no resemblance to this film. A news item in HR notes that Vincente Minnelli staged Garland's dance routines for this film. Modern sources add that Minnelli, whose experience was as a director of Broadway musicals, was invited to Hollywood by Arthur Freed. After studying film technique, he was eased into directing by staging isolated musical numbers in this film and in M-G-M's 1941 musical, Babes on Broadway . This film also marked Phil Silvers' film debut. The picture won an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. It was nominated for Best Score, and the song "Our Love Affair" was nominated for Best Song. Modern sources add the following song titles to the film: "My Wonderful One, Let's Dance," "The Gay Nineties" and "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl." In 1940, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the ... More Less

Although onscreen credits list Howard Hickman as the doctor, the Call Bureau Cast Service sheets credit Harlan Briggs with the role. The working title of this film was Babes on Broadway , which was later used as a title for the 1941 M-G-M film starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. It was a follow-up to M-G-M's 1939 picture, Babes in Arms which also starred Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and was directed by Busby Berkeley and produced by Arthur Freed. The story that Morrie Ryskind and George S. Kaufman wrote for George and Ira Gershwin's musical hit Strike Up the Band (New York 14 Jan 1930) bears no resemblance to this film. A news item in HR notes that Vincente Minnelli staged Garland's dance routines for this film. Modern sources add that Minnelli, whose experience was as a director of Broadway musicals, was invited to Hollywood by Arthur Freed. After studying film technique, he was eased into directing by staging isolated musical numbers in this film and in M-G-M's 1941 musical, Babes on Broadway . This film also marked Phil Silvers' film debut. The picture won an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. It was nominated for Best Score, and the song "Our Love Affair" was nominated for Best Song. Modern sources add the following song titles to the film: "My Wonderful One, Let's Dance," "The Gay Nineties" and "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl." In 1940, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Sep 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Sep 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 40
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
17 Sep 40
pp. 1-4.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Sep 40
p. 26.
New York Times
30 Sep 40
p. 13.
Variety
18 Sep 40
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Contr to trmt and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Fruit models
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's ward
Men's ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Music presentation
Chorals and orch
Chorals and orch
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance routines
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
SONGS
"Our Love Affair," words and music by Roger Edens and Arthur Freed
"Drummer Boy," "Nobody," "Nell of New Rochelle" and "La Conga," words and music by Roger Edens
"Strike Up the Band," words by George Gershwin, music by Ira Gershwin
+
SONGS
"Our Love Affair," words and music by Roger Edens and Arthur Freed
"Drummer Boy," "Nobody," "Nell of New Rochelle" and "La Conga," words and music by Roger Edens
"Strike Up the Band," words by George Gershwin, music by Ira Gershwin
"Father, Dear Father, Come Home," words by Henry Work, music by Roger Edens
"Heaven Protect the Working Girl," words and music by A. Baldwin Sloane and Edgar Smith
"Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay," words and music by Henry J. Sayers.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Babes on Broadway
Release Date:
27 September 1940
Production Date:
Began late April 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 September 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9949
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
115 or 120
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6367
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

High school band drummer Jimmy Connors decides to inject some excitement into the Riverwood High School Band by converting it into a swing orchestra. After convincing Mary Holden to join the band as a vocalist, Jimmy asks Mr. Judd, the school principal, to allow the group to perform at the school dance. As the band rehearses for the dance, Mary becomes frustrated that Jimmy is more interested in her vocal abilities than their courtship. At the dance, the band is a hit, and Jimmy decides to enter Paul Whiteman's school band contest in Chicago. To raise their traveling expenses, the band stages a Gay Nineties melodrama for the Elks Club, but afterward they are still short fifty dollars for the trip. Jimmy's troubles multiply when Barbara Frances Morgan, a precocious blonde, enrolls in Riverwood and decides to pursue him. However, Jimmy's interest in Barbara grows when Mr. Morgan hires Paul Whiteman and his band to play at his daughter's birthday party. At the party, Jimmy and his band stage an impromptu performance, which attracts Whiteman's attention. Whiteman offers Jimmy a job playing drums, but Jimmy refuses, remaining loyal to his band. Whiteman then advances Jimmy the fifty dollars they need to go to Chicago, but on the day of their departure, Willie, one of the band members, falls gravely ill from an injury that he suffered during the Elks show and needs an operation in Chicago to save his life. When Jimmy selflessly offers the band's travel money to charter a plane to fly Willie to Chicago, a sympathetic Mr. Morgan sends the band to Chicago aboard one of his company's trains. ... +


High school band drummer Jimmy Connors decides to inject some excitement into the Riverwood High School Band by converting it into a swing orchestra. After convincing Mary Holden to join the band as a vocalist, Jimmy asks Mr. Judd, the school principal, to allow the group to perform at the school dance. As the band rehearses for the dance, Mary becomes frustrated that Jimmy is more interested in her vocal abilities than their courtship. At the dance, the band is a hit, and Jimmy decides to enter Paul Whiteman's school band contest in Chicago. To raise their traveling expenses, the band stages a Gay Nineties melodrama for the Elks Club, but afterward they are still short fifty dollars for the trip. Jimmy's troubles multiply when Barbara Frances Morgan, a precocious blonde, enrolls in Riverwood and decides to pursue him. However, Jimmy's interest in Barbara grows when Mr. Morgan hires Paul Whiteman and his band to play at his daughter's birthday party. At the party, Jimmy and his band stage an impromptu performance, which attracts Whiteman's attention. Whiteman offers Jimmy a job playing drums, but Jimmy refuses, remaining loyal to his band. Whiteman then advances Jimmy the fifty dollars they need to go to Chicago, but on the day of their departure, Willie, one of the band members, falls gravely ill from an injury that he suffered during the Elks show and needs an operation in Chicago to save his life. When Jimmy selflessly offers the band's travel money to charter a plane to fly Willie to Chicago, a sympathetic Mr. Morgan sends the band to Chicago aboard one of his company's trains. At the big broadcast, Jimmy and his band are crowned the winners, thus Jimmy's dreams are realized. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.