The Strip

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime, Musical

Set in the area of LA's Sunset Strip, this low-budget crime musical stars Rooney as a drummer who comes home from the Korean War and seeks employment slapping the snare. When he can't find a job right away, he gets involved with Craig, a heavy Hollywood bookmaker, and begins making a few bucks in the business. Then he meets Forrest, who works as a dancer...read more

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Set in the area of LA's Sunset Strip, this low-budget crime musical stars Rooney as a drummer who comes home from the Korean War and seeks employment slapping the snare. When he can't find a job right away, he gets involved with Craig, a heavy Hollywood bookmaker, and begins making a few

bucks in the business. Then he meets Forrest, who works as a dancer and cigarette-girl in a nightclub owned by Demarest. Forrest wants to be an actress, and since Craig does business with some of the movie studio executives, Rooney generously (but unwisely) introduces the two. Rooney has had it

with booking bets and gets a job drumming at Demarest's club. Craig, meanwhile, is not content to help a young hopeful, but wants more of Forrest for himself, and when Rooney sees Craig moving in on the woman he loves, he voices his displeasure and is rewarded by a thrashing. Forrest steps in to

protect Rooney, shoots and kills Craig, and is gravely wounded herself. Rooney tries to protect her by claiming that he killed Craig, but the cops are hip to the truth. When Forrest gives up the ghost, Rooney tells the truth and is released to go back to playing jazz, an unhappy man who lost the

one woman he ever cared for. It's a typical role for Rooney at this stage in his career--the little guy who gets into trouble through no fault of his own and barely manages to survive. He'd done it several times and always managed to bring a fresh feeling to the role, no matter how stale the

material. In between the crime beats, there are many musical scenes, with cameos by Vic Damone, Monica Lewis (who married Universal Studios biggie Jennings Lang), Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and many others. Tunes from various writers include: "Ain't Misbehavin"' (Fats Waller, Andy Razaf,

performed by Rooney, Armstrong), "Basin Street Blues" (Spencer Williams, performed by Armstrong, Teagarden), "Shadrack" (Robert MacGimsey, performed by Armstrong), "Rose Room" (Art Hickman, Harry Williams, performed by Armstrong), "La Bota" (Charles Wolcott, Haven Gillespie II, sung by Lewis),

"Don't Blame Me" (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, sung by Damone), and the Oscar nominated hit "Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On" (Harry Ruby, Oscar Hammerstein II, Bert Kalmar, performed by Armstrong and reprised often). Rooney played his own drums and showed that he could sit behind a set of

traps with ability. The whole picture is told in flashback, from the point when Craig's dead body is discovered and Forrest is breathing her last. Putting it into flashback form made no sense and lessened what suspense there might have been with a straight-line narrative.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set in the area of LA's Sunset Strip, this low-budget crime musical stars Rooney as a drummer who comes home from the Korean War and seeks employment slapping the snare. When he can't find a job right away, he gets involved with Craig, a heavy Hollywood bo… (more)

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