Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


The irrepressible Mickey as Carmen Miranda!
BABES ON BROADWAY (1941). Director: Busby Berkeley.

Tommy Williams (Mickey Rooney) and Penny Morris (Judy Garland) are talented young people who dream of being on Broadway. Penny gets the idea of putting on a show to raise money for some orphans to get a vacation in the country, but when Tommy learns of a possible engagement in Philadelphia, he's ready to chuck the whole thing until his conscience catches up with him. (The point is made that aspiring artists are often thinking more of themselves than others when it comes to charitable performances.) Like most of the Rooney-Garland musicals, this one is sheer fantasy in terms of how to get on Broadway, but the duo are in top form and the picture is quite entertaining. The highlights include Mickey doing one number as Carmen Miranda, and another as Cyrano de Bergerac. Ray McDonald [All Ashore] is a stand-out, especially when he dances, and there's a cute little kid (Richard Hall of Shadow of the Thin Man) who plays a number on the piano. The excellent song numbers include "How About You?'; "Hoedown," and especially "Carry On," which in a sobering moment refers to the London Blitz. Burton Lane was one of the composers.

Verdict: An unbeatable combo of Rooney and Garland. ***.


angelman66 said...

I love this one too. You are right, Rooney and Garland were an amazing team.
- Chris

William said...

Incredible bundles of talent!