The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (Babes in Arms / Babes on Broadway / Girl Crazy / Strike Up the Band)
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Babes in Arms (1939)
This is the first film the two did together and was adapted from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart Broadway hit of the same name. Busby Berkeley directed the film and also did the choreography. This film is being shown as it was in its initial release in 1939, complete with the minstrel numbers that might seem offensive today and a sequence involving the impersonation of FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt that was cut shortly after FDR's death since MGM didn't want to appear disrespectful under the circumstances. The plot is simple - Rooney plays a kid trying to prove his musical talent and therefore decides to put on a show. Garland plays another talented youngster who decides to help him do it.
DVD Special Features:
Introduction by Mickey Rooney
Commentary by historian John Fricke
Vintage Our Gang short Duel Personalities
Classic cartoon The Mad Maestro
1939 Newsreel with Mickey and Judy
Leo Is on the Air radio promo
3 different radio shows with Rooney and Garland
Strike up the Band (1940)
This one has more of a plot than the first, plus some great music. Rooney plays self-involved musician Jimmy Conners who impresses bandleader Paul Whiteman so much that he offers him a job in New York City. However, a friend's medical emergency makes Rooney choose between his own plans and his friend's health, and he chooses his friend in the end. Rooney's character now has to come up with a way to replace the travel money.Read more ›
The hardback book includes reproductions of what seem to be newspaper ads, lobby cards, miniature poster reproductions along with John Fricke's meticulous research and unparallaled knowledge of all-things-Garland lovingly stamped all over this collection before you even pop in the first DVD to watch. The 5th bonus DVD features more than 20 Garland performances spanning 1938 through 1954 as well as 10 trailers for the Garland-Rooney film collaborations & TCM's Robert Osbourne hosting his 'Private Screenings' interview with Rooney.
It just doesn't get any better for vintage film collectors, in terms of value and content. It's a total explosion for the senses to unwrap this package and take it all in; the extraordinary art design, layout, and such a brilliantly realized concept- from the fonts used; to the glossy, higher-quality paper than one would expect in the 'Bonus DVD & Guide' book, this is a first class product all-around that deserves to be a huge success.
Turner Entertainment Co./Warner Home Video and Mr. Fricke have all outdone themselves with this release. Easily the best value of any box-set DVD I have purchased in more than a year, which should be used as a blueprint for any (or every!) upcoming DVD release, which so often don't include so much as an insert.
Babes in Arms is notable as the first smash hit Garland and Rooney teaming. It was adapted from a stage play for the screen, and probably lost some appeal in the transition. What stands is an okay film with a great cast and some interesting musical numbers. A group of vaudevillians led by Joe Moran (Charles Winninger) are planning a big comeback to the stage, although vaudeville is losing its audience. Their kids want to help, but are brushed away. Moran's son Mickey (Mickey Rooney) brings the kids together to perform their own show and to prove to the adults that they can hold their own on a stage. Mickey's girl Patsy (Judy Garland) intends to play the lead, but Mickey thinks "Baby Rosalie" (June Preisser) might draw a bigger audience. And they have to battle Mrs. Steele (Margaret Hamilton) who wants to put them all into school.
With lots of notable songs like "Good Morning," in its best form here with the jazz stylings of Garland's vocals and Rooney's piano playing, it's the catchiest song of the film. Most of the others are medleys with good and bad parts. Betty Jaynes and Douglas McPhail sing a few songs in their operatic style, which will be less appealing to mass audiences. The blackface routine might offend some audiences today, but it is really a tribute to the minstrel shows that Mickey's father started his career in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are terrific movies capturing the backstory of all of the interest in "putting on a show" which seems to have captured the imagination of middle schoolers of both... Read morePublished 1 month ago by James G. Croghan
I bought this set a few years ago. Viewed all the films ONCE and then put them in a box with several other DVD's in a safe and secure closet. Read morePublished 5 months ago by TT
Hollywood classic's. I enjoy most of the Ms Garland and Mr. Rooney's movies. I enjoyed this set.Published 8 months ago by Rick
A great show of Rooney and Garland's films together.Great music and pure nostalgia. Fun for all the family.Published 19 months ago by J. Bethell
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