Babes in Arms (1939)

“No, no, no, judge! You don’t understand; she don’t understand, either. Oh, she don’t mean no harm to us, but… we’re not her kind of people – or yours, either. We belong in show business. We gotta start young so we can get some steel in our backbone. Well, gee, we’re developing it. You couldn’t teach us a trade, we’ve got one. And you couldn’t do without it. Oh, we’re only kids now, but someday we’re gonna be the guys that make you laugh and cry and think that there’s a little stardust left on life’s dirty old pan. Oh, she don’t understand. She’d put butterflies to work makin’ rubber tires. ” – Mickey

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Jun 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A group of children of vaudeville actors try to prove that they are just as talented as their parents by putting on their own show.

My Take on it – This was an excruciatingly boring film about kids who want to help raise money to help their vaudeville parents after movies start to make their talents obsolete.

I couldn’t really find anything special in this film and was even more baffled to learn that Mickey Rooney was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for such a role.

Perhaps it has to do with the way that he did some clever celebrity impersonations in the film, but I doubt it was for his singing ability.

This is a film that is mediocre at best and doesn’t age well at all especially after nearly 80 years.

Bottom Line – Pretty boring musical about a group of vaudeville children who put on a show in order to try and make money to help their parents after movies become popular. Nothing really special here. Still baffled as to how Rooney got a nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars for this role. Perhaps it has to do with his imitation abilities from when he shows he can do pretty good celebrity impersonations, but overall, this film is pretty mediocre and doesn’t age well at all.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – MGM Studio’s biggest money grosser of 1939, surpassing The Wizard of Oz (1939) for that production year. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)


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2 thoughts on “Babes in Arms (1939)

  1. I’m a big fan of Judy Garland and so for her I endure Mickey Rooney, who while a talented performer is someone who a little of goes a very long way, but even with her singing this one is a struggle to get through. It just lays the syrup on with a trowel. When Judy sings its a pleasure when she doesn’t it’s time to find something else to do.

    Rooney’s Oscar nomination is the height of absurdity, especially in a year when there were far better performances by James Cagney, Ralph Richardson, Charles Laughton and Henry Fonda that his nomination shut out. Such was the power of block voting at the time I suppose.


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