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Intertwining some of the best musical scores in years, some of the thickest of sob stuff plus a few of Mickey Himself Rooney's finest facial turmoils and Krupa-like drumming, Busby Berkeley has concocted an acceptable movie in "Strike Up the Band."
Because the last ten minutes are devoted to singing the title number in about five different ways, and because all five are top notch arrangements, the end of the film is considerably better than the middle. Mickey warbles in his not-too-bad torch voice, and Judy Garland establishes a real claim for Somebody's Singing Crown. Ah, her eyes!
The plot. Oh, yes, the plot. The influence of Grimm's Fairy Tales is rather pronounced, to put it mildly. Revived are both the familiar land-of-opportunity theory and the idea that "Mother is still the whitest woman on earth." With a little more ingenuity in building the story around the songs, "Strike Up the Band" might have been a top tenner. As it is, only La Garland saves the film from hitting the mediocre level. Of course there is some flag waving in the finale, but moviedom seems to have the proper approach to the patriotic movement.
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