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Babes in Arms [VHS]
 
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Babes in Arms [VHS] (1939)

Mickey Rooney , Judy Garland , Busby Berkeley  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser
  • Directors: Busby Berkeley
  • Writers: Anita Loos, Annalee Whitmore, Edgar Allan Woolf, Florence Ryerson, Jack McGowan
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: May 2, 2000
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790749459
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Comedy


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
(25)
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Mickey and Judy! May 13, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This classic film stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as teenagers living in Seaport, Long Island, NY just before the Great Depression struck. Vaudeville is dying; thus Rooney's family business as show biz perfomers is very much at stake. When the older folks leave Seaport to put on a show and prove to the world that Vaudeville is not dead yet; they leave the younger folks behind. What to do? Put on a show! Rooney's character trys to woo some fading child star so she can put up the money for the show and bumps Garland from the lead. She inevitably retakes the lead in the show and everything ends happily ever after when out of nowhere some hot-shot producer likes what he saw in the barn show scene. (By the way, one cautionary note: the barn show scene includes a minstrel show; although typical of that era it is not only dated but potentially ofensive to some viewers.) The viewer also gets an extra treat: Margaret Hamilton has a small role as the nasty old lady who runs welfare in the town and wants to send the kids off to a vocational school. All in all, this really is a very goood movie and great fun to watch. I would add that this is an obvious must-have for any Garland or Rooney fan. A BUY!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Essential for Rooney-Garland Fans April 19, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
In the 1939 Mickey Rooney was among the top box office draws in the world. Judy Garland had appeared as a supporting player in two Rooney films, and the two had significant chemistry--more over, Garland had just completed photography for THE WIZARD OF OZ--a film that MGM rightly expected would launch her to international stardom. The time was right to costar the two, and MGM did it with BABES IN ARMS.

The film was released not long after OZ and was an immediate and major hit, becoming one of the most admired musicals of the year. But time has a way of changing our perspective. Seen today, BABES IN ARMS feels a little strange, a little strained, and at times just downright, well, ODD.

BABES IN ARMS was originally a Rogers and Hart show that proved a smash on the New York stage--a slightly satirical script with one of the most powerful scores of the 1930s. MGM specifically purchased the property for Rooney and Garland and then promptly threw out the script, most of the score, and transformed the thing into the tale of young teenagers who decide to put on a show in a barn.

Although well performed, the songs that replaced the original score simply do not measure up to the play's original score, and viewers are likely to be startled by a minstrel show number that find Mickey and Judy romping in blackface. In justice to the film, it should be remembered that while minstrel shows had their heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they remained popular well into the 1950s, and such great stars as Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor performed in full blackface well into the 1930s. While the number is stereotypical, that was in fact the essence of minstrel show; it is not meanspirited, and if nothing else it offers a glimpse into a now dead theatrical tradition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for Mickey and Judy! December 7, 2003
A Kid's Review
Format:VHS Tape
The plot is almost exactly like those in Mickey and Judy's other films together, eg "Strike up the Band." But still, it's better than the junky movies Hollywood makes today.
Margaret Hamilton once again is excellent as the villian, a rich, elegant woman who wants to see Mickey, Judy, and the other children sent to boarding school to get a "proper education." Like "Wizard of Oz" in which she played the Wicked Witch, she seems to be always there though she is only on screen for a matter of minutes.
All in all, this is a good family movie for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but charming. August 5, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I just saw it on TCM for only the second time in my life. I agree with most of the previous comments, but offer this anecdote. Indeed, much of the score from the stage BIA is not in the film, but that's not the ego of Freed, that's the ego of Hollywood. Hollywood has been tampering with the scores of stage musicals since the year 1. There's been stage-to-screen tampering done with SHOW BOAT, ON THE TOWN, BRIGADOON, GAY DIVORCE, SWEET CHARITY, and even A CHORUS LINE, to name a few. And Rodgers & Hart and Cole Porter were decidedly more sophisticated, adult composers; they had to endure the wrath of the puritanical Hollywood image back then. This is why I've always preferred musicals orignally created for the screen; no one looking for a stage predecessor would be offended. That was just the mentality of all film studios then. As it is, they did keep "The Lady is A Tramp" in the background and allowed "Where or When" to be performed in its entirety, albeit as part of a botched band rehearsal. But I loved the treatment of the title song (with its bonfire-rally choreography), and Judy Garland's torch solo "I Cried For You" is a stunning piece of poignancy which makes you forget that she is only 17 years old. As for the 'dated film' accusations: America just entered the war at the time of this release, and it's probably no coincidence that the film's finale "God's Country" is an especially long musical sequence. I mean, how ageless can it be with Mickey Rooney doing an impersonation of President Roosevelt?!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Babes in Arms September 9, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Great old movie, good watching for the times we live in. A lot of good music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Muddied Script is Redeemed by Great Performers and Director
Busby Berkeley is acknowledged as one of the great choreographers of stage and screen. But the 1939 film "Babes in Arms" reveals that this was also one of Hollywood's... Read more
Published 12 days ago by James Norwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic!
Published 26 days ago by Rector Praetorius
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Can't beat Rooney and Garland together. Great movie.
Published 2 months ago by Laurie Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to kick your feet back with and enjoy. Babes In Arms is a...
The 1930's and 40's were the golden years of the MGM musicals. And this film is definitely one of them. Read more
Published 9 months ago by BullDog
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie
This movie was too good! I rented it 3 times in a week and a half. mickey Rooney is my favorite actor and after him comes Judy Garland and they are both in this movie. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Arthur
3.0 out of 5 stars "Applesauce!"
Incomprehensibly, Mickey Rooney was nominated for Best Actor for his role in this film, against the likes of Clark Gable (Gone with the Wind), Lord Laurence Olivier (Wuthering... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Einsatz
4.0 out of 5 stars Great talent
This is a great musical with some great talent. It is wonderful to watch the acting, singing, dancing and musical talent the actors had in these early days of film. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Anthony L. Poselenzny
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it
i loved it, its bittersweet because knowing how hard they worked both mickey and judy and they hardly got paid for these great movies
Published 13 months ago by irene rivas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
We loved it because we remember seeing it at our local theater's Saturday matinee... Younger folks would probably think it is "corney", a word only seniors would know the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Racist.
I did not read the customer reviews but I did read the Amazon synopsis. There is a shamfull minstral scene where Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland are in black face (I love both of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jdoggs
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