Babes in Arms is a 1937 musical theater production which tells the story of a boy who puts on a show to avoid being sent to a work farm. It has as music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart and book by Rodgers and Hart.
1937 Broadway production
The show opened at the Shubert Theatre on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances.
Babes in Arms contains more famous Rodgers and Hart songs than any other of their shows. Among the hit songs are Where or When, the title song, My Funny Valentine, The Lady is a Tramp, Johnny One-Note, and I Wish I Were In Love Again.
The plot of the show involves a group of teenagers who try to avoid being sent to a work farm by putting on a show.
1939 MGM Musical film
The film version stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes and Betty jaynes.
The movie was written by Jack McGowan, Kay Van Riper and Annalee Whitmore (uncredited). It was directed by Busby Berkeley.
The original Broadway script was revamped to accommodate Hollywood standards. It concerns a group of youngsters trying to put on a show to prove their vaudevillian parents wrong and make it to Broadway to prove their point. Huge production numbers, romance troubles, and scoffing of producers are included.
Most of the Rodgers and Hart songs were cut, except for the title tune and "Where or When". Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown wrote new songs for the film including "Good Morning" (later made famous in Singin' in the Rain) and "God's Country" (from the Broadway musical Hooray for What). Garland and Rooney later sang "I Wish I Were in Love Again" from the Broadway version of the show in the 1948 Rodgers and Hart biopic Words and Music. Garland also sang "Johnny One Note" in the same picture.
The original release of the film included a segment during the finale in which Rooney and Garland lampoon Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt; this was edited from the film during a later reissue and not restored until the 1990s.
It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Mickey Rooney, who was 19 at the time) and Best Music, Scoring.
Filming of Babes in Arms began on May 12, 1939 and was completed on July 18, 1939. The film premiered on October 13, 1939.
R.K. Maroon Cartoon
A fictional animated cartoon staring Roger Rabbit & Baby Hermanwas supposedly released in 1947