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Something to Sing About (Hal Roach Studios)

4.1 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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(May 15, 2007)
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(Mar 06, 2015)
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DVD
(Dec 16, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Hollywood favorites James Cagney (Yankee Doodle Dandy), William Frawley (I Love Lucy), and Gene Lockhart (Miracle on 34th Street) star in this delightful musical comedy about a New York bandleader and hoofer, Terry Rooney, whose wife joins him for a trip to Hollywood where the star system gets turned upside down in a series of hilarious complications.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Evelyn Daw, William Frawley, Mona Barrie, Gene Lockhart
  • Directors: Victor Schertzinger
  • Writers: Victor Schertzinger, Austin Parker
  • Producers: Victor Schertzinger, Zion Myers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000E69J8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Something to Sing About (Hal Roach Studios)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i am a big cagney fan, and i am accustomed to AMC playing quality prints of classic movies, so you can understand my disappointment in seeing these poor quality transfers, especially since it says "digitally remastered" on the front cover. save your money and hopefully a remastered set of cagney movies will appear soon.
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Format: VHS Tape
If you appreciate James Cagney for the quality and spunk of his dancing, this film is for you!
Sure, the plot is nothing to sing about, but this film is to be watched for Cagney alone.
He has several hilarious episodes as he enters Hollywood as a small time bandleader from NY. He is measured, analyzed and critiqued by a voice coach, hair dresser and tailor, and his reactions to all the poking and prodding show him as one of the underrated but awesome comedic actors. (Anyone who doesn't recognize Cagney as a great comedic actor hasn't seen enough of his films.)
Another great scene is when he does some great Vaudevillian slapstick facial pantomimes of "the take, the double take, and the double take with the fade-away."
Now the dancing! Cagney, who always billed himself as a song and dance man, never danced enough in his movies. But this has four great scenes of him him at his best -- a combination of down-to-earth hoofing and ballet. He does one scene with Johnny Boyle and Harland Dixon, the former who danced for George M. Cohan and helped Cag choreograph dancing sequences for "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Much of Cagney's dancing style is taken from Boyle.
No one could say that Cagney is the greatest dancer, but he injected a street attitude into his dancing along with exquisite grace that made him incomparable.
A must see!
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Format: DVD
"Something to Sing About" is a slight musical made by Jimmy Cagney after his first break from Warner Brothers in 1936. Produced without the expertise and resources of a large studio, it is a modest affair which focuses on its magnetic star in a song and dance role. The music is pleasant, Cagney's dancing is always entertaining and there are some good songs with delightful arrangements. The plot takes band leader Cagney to Hollywood to become a star and it is entirely believable that some of the pot shots at stardom came from Cagney's own experiences. The film has some nice ideas but the pace is lethargic compared to the dynamic Warner's product and the editing is sub standard. Sure enough, Cagney returned to Warner's for his next film!

The film has been in the public domain for a long time and the print is mediocre. The DVD contains no extras.
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Format: DVD
Something to Sing About is lesser known than Cagney's other musical endeavors, but it is every bit as good. His ranges as both a comedian and a dancer are on display here.

Watch him dance across faux piano keys and you'll believe he's actually making them sing! His foot work is mesmerizing. It is especially gratifying to watch when you consider that Cagney always considered himself a "song and dance man" first and foremost. You'll agree when you watch this.
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Format: DVD
Something to Sing About was Grand National Studios's big hope to compete with MGM and the other big studios in the field; Jimmy Cagney was having one of his feuds with Warner Brothers and they thought the film would make Grand National a true success once and for all. Unfortunately, however, the studio spent a lot on the film and even though Cagney gives a stellar performance as he always did, it didn't save the studio--they closed a mere three years after this film was released. As far as the movie itself goes, it's not as bad as other people may think. The plot is nothing special but I liked the musical numbers--Cagney dances up a storm especially in the first scene in the film and Evelyn Daw as Cagney's love interest sings quite nicely, too.

When the film starts, we meet Terry Rooney (Cagney) whose real name is Thadeus McGillicuddy as we eventually find out. Terry and his band play music in a fine nightclub and they're happy as clams about it. Terry's girlfriend Rita Wyatt (Evelyn Daw) sings with the band and that rounds out the happy mood for the opening of the film. Then the action starts--Terry is going to Hollywood to make a film even though he thinks he won't be much of a success; and when the studio head Bennett O. 'B.O.' Regan (Gene Lockhart) instructs the cast and crew to tell Terry he stinks in a plot to fool him into a lower paying long term contract, it all works a little too well! The film wows audiences and the studio wants more films with Terry playing the lead opposite snooty star Stephanie 'Steffie' Hajos (Mona Barrie); but in the meanwhile Terry calls his girlfriend Rita, has her fly out to San Francisco where they made the film and then the two marry and go off on a South Seas voyage.
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Format: DVD
I have seen unrestored versions of this movie and the picture quality of this particular DVD is pretty good. While it's still not perfect, I think they did the best with what they had and for the money it's a bargain.
As for the movie, it's a trite storyline, but there's a great Cagney dance sequence in the beginning and all of his charisma is on full display throughout. True fans will enjoy seeing a rare look at his considerable comedic talent.
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