Babes on Broadway 1941 NR CC

(12) IMDb 6.8/10
Watch Trailer

Show-biz hopefuls stage a benefit for an orphanage.

Starring:
Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland
Runtime:
1 hour, 58 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Musical, Comedy
Director Busby Berkeley
Starring Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland
Supporting actors Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald, Richard Quine, Donald Meek, Alexander Woollcott, Luis Alberni, James Gleason, Emma Dunn, Frederick Burton, Cliff Clark, William Post Jr., Carl Stockdale, Rene Austin, Dick Baron, Barbara Bedford, Robert Bradford, St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I loved this movie it's a classic. But there is a scene in the end where the charicters come out in black face. Some people say that seeing that ruined the movie, and made them uncomfortable. But i say it just shows how innocent the time was. No one was worried about being politically correct in fact the notion didn't even exsist. This movie, like many other musicals of it's time, is not trying to make a statement, it's a celebration of all the things that make life worth living. So just sit back and relax and enjoy this movie for what it truely is. In this time in our life we could use somthing so innocent that's just pure fun and games. I loved it and I can't wait till my son is old enough(he's seven months old now)so i can show it to him.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on April 13, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This film featured some very clever song/dance routines by Mickey and Judy -- and if you watch carefully, you will conclude that he was a better dancer than she (though Judy won hands down in the song department).
This was one of the few movies starring Richard Quine (in a supporting role) before he reached his acting zenith (Brad Craig in 1943's "We've Never Been Licked"), and in was good to see this outstanding future director in FRONT of the camera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Glasser VINE VOICE on August 8, 2006
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Babes on Broadway is another one of the Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland teamings, and because of their chemistry, the film is pretty good. Rooney plays a guy who feels it is his destiny to make it big on Broadway. Although Garland has similar ambitions, she is not willing to step on other people to get what she wants. The two team up to start their own musical extravaganza to raise money for some poor children to visit the country, a dream that though promised has never materialized. With lots of talent in their hands but many problems to face, they unravel a simple but fun story.

Garland is at her most beautiful in this film, a true joy to watch. Seeing this film would make you think she'd be soon jumping into films as a romantic lead, not struggling to grow up on the screen. Her magical voice was both an asset and her downfall; it kept her typecast in sunny musicals. Rooney is a ball of energy as always, but somehow even moreso than ever. His impression of Carmen Miranda is very funny. Some might find him annoying, but his love for showing off is really catching, like a puppy doing tricks. Virginia Weidler does a good job as well as a secondary character and Ray McDonald does a great job dancing. Busby Berkeley directs the musical numbers, which is obvious by some of the overhead shots and the choreography.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kenney on April 10, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
BABES ON BROADWAY is a lively musical featuring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland singing and dancing up a storm. Busby Berkeley directing these two in their prime is bound to produce an entertaining movie even if the plot is just a trite story about two young people trying to make it big in New York. The supporting cast includes Richard Quine, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald, Donald Meek and Alexander Woollcott.
Mickey does several impersonations such as one of the equally energetic Carmen Miranda. This film definitely deserves a better reputation and a release as a DVD except maybe for one infamous and politically incorrect scene.
BABES ON BROADWAY was nominated for an Academy Award in 1942 for Best Song ("How About You"). The winner in that category was "White Christmas" from HOLIDAY INN.
Busby Berkeley had a hand in creating several other great musicals including 42ND STREET.
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Format: VHS Tape
Several young, talented New York stage performers combine their goals of beginning their careers with raising funds for a local orphanage. Led by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, the company succeeds in renting a dilapidated Broadway theater to stage their show and support the children.

The goal of helping the orphans includes a patriotic element with more children arriving from England during the Battle of Britain. In 1941, the film sought to provide moral support for Great Britain during the period of Lend-Lease. In this case, the British children were lent to the orphanage, and the performers paid for the lease of the Broadway playhouse!

While "Babes on Broadway" originally made an enormous profit for MGM, the film has not aged well over time. The "orphans" resemble child actors on the payroll of the studio, and the narrative includes too many far-fetched conflicts, such as an official from the New York board of safety shutting down the kids' show in mid-performance. Most disgraceful of all, the film recycles the abhorrent conventions of the minstrel show, which serves as the grande finale to the program.

There is one memorable musical number from this film, and, of course, it showcases Judy Garland. In a sparkling duet with Rooney, Garland is incandescent as she sings "How About You?", the popular tune composed by Burton Lane with lyrics by Ralph Freed. The Busby Berkeley choreography is dazzling as Judy and Mickey inventively use the furniture in her apartment for their dance routine. Judy's golden voice is apparent to the degree that it will be impossible to ever hear this song again without thinking of this arrangement.

The rest of the film is virtually unwatchable. The final, elaborate scene featured the exclusively Caucasian cast painted in blackface. With that scene, the film serves to memorialize the age of Jim Crow and apartheid in America in 1941. It does not merit anything above a one-star rating.
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