Friday, January 6, 2012

Strike Up the Band(1940).

Strike Up the Band(1940). Directed by Busby Berkeley. Cast: Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

High school band drummer Jimmy Connors, decides to take some of his friends from Riverwood High School Band and start up a swing orchestra. Jimmy asks Mary, to sing with the band and then asks Mr. Judd, the school principal, if the band could perform at the school dance. Mary, becomes frustrated with Jimmy, because he is more interested in her voice than their romance.

The band sounds great and everyone has a good time at the dance. Jimmy decides to enter Paul Whiteman's school band contest in Chicago. To raise money for their traveling expenses, the band holds a Gay Nineties melodrama for the Elks Club, but they are still short fifty dollars.

If Jimmy does not have enough trouble, here comes Barbara, a flirtatious blonde, who enrolls in Riverwood High School and sets her cap for him. Jimmy takes notice in her when her father hires Paul and his band to play at his daughter's birthday party. At the party, Jimmy and his band give a spur of the moment performance. Whiteman, is impressed and offers Jimmy a job playing drums, but Jimmy refuses, not wanting to brake up his band.

On the day they were suppose to leave, Willie, one of the band members, becomes seriously ill from an injury while performing at the Elks show and needs an operation to save his life. Jimmy, uses the band's travel money to fly Willie to Chicago. Mr. Morgan sends the band to Chicago by train. At the big broadcast, Jimmy and his band are the winners.

If Strike Up The Band, is a wonderful film and has some great musical numbers. Also, the Gay Nineties spoof is very entertaining, I think that you will also enjoy the 'fruit orchestra' doing Our Love Affair.

Fun Fact:

The puppet orchestra made of fruit that comes to life playing instruments for Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland on a kitchen table, was the work of animator George Pal. He had just arrived in Hollywood from Europe via New York and this was among his first projects. Pal's work was relatively unknown by American audiences, thus he was uncredited. The idea for the sequence was that of another New York-to-Hollywood transfer: Vincente Minnelli.

June Preisser (June 26, 1920 – September 19, 1984). Was an actress popular in musical films during the late 1930s and early 1940s, many of which showcased her skills as an acrobat. When Preisser was nine years old an actor noticed the two sisters performing acrobatics on a sidewalk near their home, which landed them a job working in vaudeville, and later for the Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and 1936.

Cherry retired in 1938 after her marriage and June was signed to a film contract by MGM. Her first film, Dancing Co-Ed (1939) provided only a small part, but her next film, Babes in Arms (1939), gave her a significant role opposite Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. She performed with Rooney and Garland again in, Strike Up the Band (1940) and with Rooney in two "Andy Hardy" films, Judge Hardy and Son (1939) and Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941).

She went on to perform in the films,Gallant Sons (1940), Henry Aldrich for President (1941), Sweater Girl (1942). She played the character "Dodie Rogers" in seven "high school" comedy films with Frankie Darro and Noel Neill from 1946 to 1948. Her final film was Music Man (1948).

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