‘Babes on Broadway’ (Film)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Fastest Musical Show on Earth

I enjoyed ‘Babes on Broadway’. It’s not as good as ‘Strike Up The Band’, but it is an equally charming musical film with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as a pair who seek for fame and success on stage.

The movie has Mickey Rooney as Tommy Williams meet Judy Garland as Penny Morris who are unlucky in careers of musical theatre. They soon have their theatre and attempt to show their worth.

I enjoyed how the movie starts off with Mickey’s character of Tommy and his friends Ray and Hammy struggling to make a living out of music careers. They soon have praise from a lady producer.

Mickey Rooney delivers a sterling performance as Tommy in this movie. As ever, Mickey’s character is a story of him wanting success and making sacrifices on the way, especially when helping children.

I like how Tommy Williams comforts Penny Morris when she’s crying as they first meet. The two immediately bond with each other and form a romantic relationship, as you do in these classic films.

Judy Garland is equally superb as Penny Morris in this movie. Penny is also someone who wants to have a success in a musical career. But she also cares about ‘refugee’ children cut off from their homes.

Penny gets upset when Tommy sometimes puts his career first before starving children. I liked it when Tommy does a noble thing and Penny forgives him, leading into a romantic kiss between them.

This movie doesn’t feature a lot of musical numbers as I recall. But I enjoyed a lot of the numbers in the Ghost Theater Sequence between Mickey and Judy, especially when they get to dress up in this.

Yes, Mickey and Judy have a chance to dress as actors and actress from long ago like Richard Mansfield and Fay Templeton. Mickey also dresses up as a woman in the ‘Mama Yo Quiero’ number.

I enjoyed the little dance number between Mickey and Judy in the film. This included the song ‘How About You?’ between Mickey and Judy and when they dancing, getting a man annoyed downstairs.

The film features Fay Bainter as Miss ‘Jonesy’ Jones. I’ve seen Fay Bainter before in the 1945 film ‘State Fair’ and she starred with Judy Garland in ‘Presenting Lily Mars’. She’s really good in this film.

There’s also Virginia Weidler as Barbara Josephine ‘Jo’ Conway. Barbara is like Penny Morris’ best friend in the film and she’s also a keen supporter with getting refugee children back to their homes.

There’s also Ray McDonald as Ray Lambert and Richard Quine as Morton ‘Hammy’ Hammond, two of Mickey’s best friends. Both are talented like Mickey in musical theater, but are there for comic relief.

There’s also Donald Meek as Mr. Stone. I’ve also seen Donald Meek in the 1945 film ‘State Fair’ and he also starred in Frank Capra films like ‘You Can’t Take It With You’. It was so nice to see him here.

The film also features Alexander Woollcott as himself and James Gleason as Thornton Reed. There’s also Donna Reed as Miss Jones’ secretary. Donna would later star in the film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

There’s a little cameo appearance of Margaret O’Brien as an ambitious little girl at an audition for Mr. Thornton Reed. Margaret would later star in the film ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’, also with Judy Garland.

This film also features another blackface minstrel show sequence as in ‘Babes in Arms’. Again, Mickey and Judy get to dress up in blackface, which wouldn’t be allowed today for the film industry.

‘Babes on Broadway’ is a very enjoyable film about Mickey and Judy’s characters going through struggles to make a success of their musical careers. I liked Mickey and Judy’s performances in this.

The DVD special features are as follows. As well as an all-new introduction by Mickey Rooney, there’s also the ‘Peter Smith Speciality’ comedy short ‘How to Hold Your Husband – Back’; a classic cartoon called ‘Dance of the Weed’ and a theatrical trailer of ‘Babes on Broadway’. There are also audio bonuses including two ‘Leo Is on the Air’ radio promos; a radio show adaptation of ‘Merton of the Movies’ with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland and the ‘Chin Up! Cheerio! Carry On!’ song demo, performed by Burton Lane.

‘Babes on Broadway’ rating – 8/10

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