JOE BLITMAN'S
FASHION & CELEBRITY DOLLS
2019 HOLIDAY ADVENT CALENDAR
DAY 3




16 Dartmouth Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
323-953-6490

 
joeblitman@aol.com





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Babes on Broadway, starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, was made in 1941.  It was their third variation on the “Let’s put on a show” storyline, following Babes In Arms and Strike Up The Band






Like all of the other Mickey/Judy movies, the storyline was beside the point.  It was all about the musical numbers.  And, clearly, the retread of a plot didn’t do anything to diminish the audience.  The film was as big a smash as its predecessors.

Four Interesting trivia bits about Babes on Broadway:

Trivia Bit Number 1 -- SHIRLEY TEMPLE  





12 year old Shirley Temple had just been signed by MGM when Babes on Broadway was about to go into production and she was offered a key supporting role.  She declined.


Trivia Bit Number 2 - JUDY & DAVID ROSE




Production was halted midway during shooting when 19 year old Judy Garland and composer/conductor David Rose (31) suddenly eloped to Las Vegas, and she wanted time off for a honeymoon.


Trivia Bit Number 3 - BUSBY BERKELY





The film’s director, Busby Berkeley, directed Garland numerous times and nearly drove her crazy with one bit of direction.  When she sang songs on camera, he wanted her to make her eyes big and to sometimes roll them for an emphatic effect.  

(Now that we’ve told you this, you’ll never be able to “not” look for this in her musical numbers.  LOL.)


Trivia Bit Number 4 - JUDY & MICKEY





Rooney’s salary for this film was $1,200 a week with a $25,000 bonus.  Garland’s was $2,000 a week.
  No bonus.


The big hit song that came out of the movie was “How About You?” by Burton Lane and Ralph Freed (the brother of the film’s producer Arthur Freed) performed by Garland and a surprisingly subdued Mickey Rooney:

How About You?


A more dynamic Rooney is part of a trio performing “Anything Can Happen in New York.”  The other two guys are perennial MGM juvenile Ray McDonald and tall guy Richard Quine, who became a very successful film director of the 1950’s and 1960’s:


Anything Can Happen In New York


Whereas America didn’t enter World War II until December 1941, England had been enduring an extended aerial assault known as The Blitz.  It was so bad that English parents sent their children to the countryside or Canada or the US to keep them out of harm’s way.  Responding to that situation, Babes on Broadway had a song, “Chin Up!  Cheerio!  Carry On!”,  that featured actual displaced English kids with tear-soaked cheeks:


Chin Up!  Cheerio!  Carry On!


In 1940, Brazilian export Carmen Miranda created a sensation in her film debut in Down Argentine Way.  In Babes on Broadway, Mickey Rooney imitated her with explosive effect:


Mama Yo Quiero


The big dance number in the movie is “Hoedown.”  Rooney’s energy in this number is so elevated it might just as well be a nuclear explosion.  Now, just when we thought you could find anything on the internet, we couldn’t locate a complete video clip of this number.  So we have the number two ways:

Here’s the complete soundtrack with hundreds of screen grabs to inform you of the action:


Hoe Down #1


And here’s the complete film of the number, but with different songs on the soundtrack:


Hoe Down #2


Here are today's doll-related
Featured Items:




BARBIE & HER
MOD, MOD, MOD, MOD
WORLD OF FASHION
Book with Bonus Issue
of Miller's Fashion Magazine
(1996)
$39.99


EASTER PARADE
(1959)
$1,299.00


JUDY GARLAND ORNAMENT
plays Judy singing
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
MIB
(2003)
$39.99


FAR OUT POPPY
A/A STYLE LAB DOLL
(2019)
$199.99


INTEGRITY ACCESSORY PAK #14
FROM FW19 CONVENTION
(2019)
$19.99


DIANA ROSS
NRFB
(2003)
$79.99


HAIR FAIR BARBIE
NOSTALGIC REPRO
NRFB
(2017)
$59.99


DANCING DOLL
NRFB
(1965)
$399.00


JONATHAN ADLER SOFA
(2009)
$99.99


GIFT CERTIFICATES
IN ANY AMOUNT YOU WANT


Radio City Music Hall Trivia Question of the Day:

Why doesn't Radio City premiere first-run movies any more? 





There's a two-part answer to this question.

First Part:

Radio City Music Hall started showing feature films in January, 1933.  For the next 35 years, virtually every movie that came out from the major studios would have been given a “G” or perhaps a “PG” rating if the ratings had been around then (the MPAA didn’t start rating movies until 1968).  Which means Radio City had their pick of movies to play - family friendly film fare was the rule.  A parent wouldn’t have to put their hands over an 8 year old’s eyes or ears watching or listening to a movie at the Music Hall. 

But starting in the late 60’s, movies got a whole lot more adult, not only in subject matter, but in what you saw and heard - nudity, swearing, realistic violence with blood, blood and more blood, pot smoking, overt prostitution.  Hollywood had opened Pandora’s Box and there was no going back to a “simpler, gentler” time.  So, seemingly overnight, many of the most popular movies were just “too…” to play at the Music Hall.  

It’s why they had to say "no" to Marlon Brando's The Godfather:



and "yes" to Bob Hope's Cancel My Reservation






Second Part:

Radio City had a golden rule about the movies they played.  They had a 50 mile circle of exclusivity.  This meant when The Odd Couple





or Airport





or Mrs. Miniver






played the Music Hall, no other movie theater within 50 miles of midtown Manhattan could play the same movie until the Music Hall run had ended. 
Radio City had 6000 seats to fill four times a day, seven days a week, and their business model didn’t allow for local competition.







That was fine with the studios.  They loved the prestige of a Music Hall premiere.  And their business model called for a slow roll-out of movies.  First you play the big cities, then medium-sized cities, then small cities, towns, villages, burgs, until you got to the bottom of the barrel, the bargain theatres, which was called the belly run.  A film could take months to travel on this journey. 

Starting in the mid-60’s, when studios’ bank interest payments on film production costs were getting heftier, the studios were eager to pay money back sooner, so they expanded the number of theatres a movie would premiere in regionally and locally. 

By the late 60’s, this was beginning to affect the breadth of movies offered to the Music Hall.  The death knell was the release of Jaws in the summer of 1975. 






Universal spent a then extraordinary $1.8 million in pre-opening promotion (mostly prime time TV commercials).   Jaws opened in about 600 theatres (considered a wide release at the time) and made an unimaginably large amount of money in an equally
unimaginable short period of time.  Whatever appeal Radio City’s circle of exclusivity once had was gone forever. 




Merry Christmas


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JOE BLITMAN'S
FASHION & CELEBRITY DOLLS

 
 

323-953-6490

  
   
joeblitman@aol.com