Tin Pan Alley

  • 1940
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

Harry Calhoun (Jack Oakie) and Skeets Harrigan (John Payne), a pair of struggling songsmiths, persuade the singing-and-dancing Blane sisters--Katie (Alice Faye) and Lily (Betty Grable, written into the film after her success with DOWN ARGENTINE WAY)--to perform one of their compositions. Later, Harry and Skeets have their first hit with a song they stumble...read more

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Harry Calhoun (Jack Oakie) and Skeets Harrigan (John Payne), a pair of struggling songsmiths, persuade the singing-and-dancing Blane sisters--Katie (Alice Faye) and Lily (Betty Grable, written into the film after her success with DOWN ARGENTINE WAY)--to perform one of their compositions.

Later, Harry and Skeets have their first hit with a song they stumble on and buy from another songwriter (Elisha Cook, Jr.). When Lily lands a part in a big show, Katie decides to become part of Harry and Skeets's music publishing business; however, after they allow another, big-name singer

(Esther Ralston) to perform a song that seems destined to be a hit, Katie calls it quits and joins Lily in London, where the sisters become big stars. Back in Tin Pan Alley, Skeets passes over a war song that has been submitted to the publishers, and not only does WWI break out and the song become

a hit, but the brothers lose their shirts and end up in the Army. In England, on their way to the trenches, Harry and Skeets go AWOL and see the sisters, setting the stage for a happy postwar reunion. Directed at a breezy pace by Walter Lang and full of familiar old tunes, this entertaining

musical (remade in 1950 as I'LL GET BY) bubbles with energy. Payne and Faye play well off each other, Oakie and Grable provide strong support, and Ralston, once known as the "American Venus," makes her last major appearance here. Significantly, "The Sheik of Araby," the movie's big production

number, was edited after the Hays Office complained that an excess of female flesh was displayed in the sequence.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Harry Calhoun (Jack Oakie) and Skeets Harrigan (John Payne), a pair of struggling songsmiths, persuade the singing-and-dancing Blane sisters--Katie (Alice Faye) and Lily (Betty Grable, written into the film after her success with DOWN ARGENTINE WAY)--to pe… (more)

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