‘STRIKE UP THE BAND’
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The Merriest Pair on the Screen In A Great New Musical Show
This has to be my favourite film out of the ‘Mickey Rooney and Judy Collection’ on DVD. ‘Strike Up the Band’ is a charming and harmless film that sees the two film stars, Mickey and Judy at their best.
The film sees Mickey as Jimmy Connors and Judy as Mary Holden as two youngsters forming their own musical band at their school. They soon go off on a road to success and they journey to Chicago.
The story mostly focuses on Mickey’s character as Jimmy Connors who has ambitions to be a drummer and music band leader. I liked the trials and tribulations Jimmy went through in this movie.
Mickey also gets to have a chance to show off his skills as a drummer in this movie, especially when performing the number ‘Drummer Boy’. Mickey also gets to show off his comedic talents in this film.
Judy’s character of Mary Holden is her as Jimmy Connors’ best friend. Both share a common interest in getting their own school band together. She also had this secret crush on Jimmy during the movie.
But Jimmy doesn’t notice Mary’s feelings for him, despite considering her as his best friend. Mary gets to express her longing for being with someone in the song ‘Nobody’, sung well by Judy Garland.
This movie features a very special guest star in Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. Paul Whiteman as himself runs a competition for four school bands. He soon selects Mickey’s band as one of the four.
I like the variety of songs featured in this movie. These include ‘Our Love Affair’; ‘Do The La Conga’ and of course ‘Strike Up the Band’. Most of the songs are performed by Mickey, Judy and the cast.
The film also features June Preisser (who previously appeared in ‘Babes in Arms’) as Barbara Frances Morgan. She plays a similar character that is pretty; girly and giggly. She also fancies Jimmy Connors.
There’s also William Tracy as Philip ‘Phil’ Turner, who is another of Jimmy’s best friends. But Phil has a one track mind since he loves his girlfriend, Margaret Early as Annie, which gets on Jimmy’s nerves.
There’s also Larry Nunn as Willie Brewster, another of Jimmy and Mary’s best friends. Willie’s in love with Mary and sees when she’s unnoticed by Jimmy. He even proposes to her, despite him being 13.
There’s also Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Jessie Connors, Jimmy’s mom. The relationship between Jimmy and his mom was lovely to watch. She gradually comes to accept him wanting to be a musician here.
There’s also Francis Pierlot as Mr. Judd, the school’s principal. Jimmy and Mary persuade Mr. Judd to let them form their own music band. Mr. Judd is a kind-hearted man whom Jimmy was wrong about.
My favourite part of ‘Strike Up the Band’ is when Mickey, Judy and company perform a music melodrama show called ‘Nell of New Rochelle’. This was very funny with over-the-top performances.
What I like most about this musical film is that it contains a very human story. Despite the ambitions of Jimmy, Mary and the other kids to form their own music band, they truly care for each other here.
This especially happens when Willie is very ill and has to go to a hospital in Chicago. But Jimmy and Mary have to give up their $200 in order to get Willie to Chicago. It was pretty heart-warming in this.
‘Strike Up the Band’ is definitely my favourite film out of the ‘Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland Collection’. It’s funny and heart-warming at the same time and with some nice musical numbers in it.
The DVD special features are as follows. As well as an all-new introduction by Mickey Rooney, there’s also the ‘Pete Smith Speciality’ comedy short ‘Wedding Bells’; a classic cartoon called ‘Romeo in Rhythm’; the ‘Do the La Conga’ Stereo Remix Version and a theatrical trailer of ‘Strike Up the Band’. There are also audio bonuses including the ‘Leo Is on the Air’ radio promo; ‘Millions for Defense’; ‘Good News of 1938’ and two radio shows with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.
‘Strike Up the Band’ rating – 9/10
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