This Hollywood remake of Rodgers and Hart's brilliant 1937 Broadway musical roughly follows the original's "let's put on a show" story of the children of vaudevillians in the waning years of that form being left behind while their parents go on tour in a hope-against-hope effort to make their living. Mickey Moran (Mickey Rooney) tries to prove to his parents that he can be a part of their stage act with a series of performances in which he is assisted by his sweetheart Patsy Barton (Judy Garland) and his sister Molly (Betty Jaynes). His parents dismiss these efforts and leave without Mickey, who then enlists a bunch of local kids to put on a show of their own. The plot thickens when a couple of prissy locals try to get the kids put in an institution for being without adult supervision and when Mickey falls for a visiting child movie star Baby Rosalie Essex (June Preisser) who is cute and has cash, which almost makes Patsy quit…but she can't, right? It's Mickey and Judy! All turns out well.
The show has some issues. First, almost all of Rodgers and Hart's brilliant songs from the stage musical are jettisoned, but a rash of great alternative songs, old and new by the likes of Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed (3 from earlier films and a new one: "Good Morning", which later graces Singin' In The Rain, and Harold Arlen & Yip Harbug (whose "God's Country" from 1937's anti-war musical Hooray For What! somewhat weirdly raps the show), which are great in their own right if you can get over the disappointment. Second, there is a a blackface scene, which is only bearable as an historical curiosity. The most sensitive in the audience might want to take the opportunity of using the facilities at this point of the film.
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(1904) George M. Cohan (w/m)
(1918) Bob Carleton (w/m)