Retrospektive 2018

Babes on Swing Street

Edward C. Lilley
USA 1944
69min
V'18

A spirited example of the B-musical, Universal’s BABES ON SWING STREET was an early vehicle for star-in-training Ann Blyth, then only fifteen years old and at the very start of her career just before her breakthrough role, on loan to Warner Brothers, as Mildred Pierce’s venomous daughter. BABES IN SWING STREET takes delight in its threadbare musical numbers, staged as the bricolage inventions of a youth social club raising money for music conservatory scholarships by putting on a fund-raising extravaganza in a convention hall surreptitiously borrowed from Blythe’s wealthy but parsimonious aunt. Among the highlights are the film’s hilarious opening number by an aspiring hoofter simultaneously tap-dancing and shaving a customer at her father’s music school adjacent barber shop. With its college sweaters, trendy dances and proto-jive talk, the rarely screened BABES IN SWING STREET offers fascinating glimpses into WW2-era youth culture that anticipate Fifties Hollywood’s programmatic and often painful appeal to younger audiences in the 1950s. (Haden Guest)

Credits
  • Andy Devine - Buck Rickabaugh
  • Anne Gwynne
  • Ann Blyth
  • Peggy Ryan
  • Leon Errol
  • Kirby Grant
  • June Preisser
  • Brenda Weisberg
  • Howard Dimsdale
  • Eugene Conrad
  • Jerome Ash
Universal Pictures
35 mm
bw
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