Alexander's Ragtime Band (film)

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Alexander's Ragtime Band
Alexandersragtimeband1938.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry King
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Irving Berlin
Richard Sherman
Starring Tyrone Power
Alice Faye
Don Ameche
Jack Haley
Ethel Merman
Music by Irving Berlin
Alfred Newman
Cinematography J. Peverell Marley
Edited by Barbara McLean
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates August 16, 1938 (1938-08-16)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,200,000–$2,275,000[1]
Box office $3.6 million (gross rental)[2]

Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) is a film released by 20th Century Fox that takes its name from the 1911 Irving Berlin (1888–1989) song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to tell a story of a society boy who scandalizes his family by pursuing a career in ragtime instead of in "serious" music. The film generally traces the history of jazz music from the popularization of Ragtime in the early years of the 20th century to the acceptance of swing as an art form in the late 1930s using music composed by Berlin. The story spans more than two decades from the 1911 release of its name-sake song to some point in time after the 1933 release of "Heat Wave", presumably 1938. It stars Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman, Jack Haley and Jean Hersholt. Several actual events in the history of jazz are fictionalized and adapted to the story including the tour of Europe by Original Dixieland Jass Band, the global spread of jazz by U.S. soldiers during World War I, and the 1938 Carnegie Hall performance by The Benny Goodman Orchestra.

The story was written by Berlin himself, with Kathryn Scola (1891–1982), Richard Sherman (1905–1962) and Lamar Trotti (1900–1952). It was directed by Henry King (1886–1982).

Cast[edit]

Songs[edit]

Alexander's Ragtime Band features several hit songs by Irving Berlin including "Heat Wave", "Some Sunny Day", "Blue Skies", "Easter Parade", "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" and, of course, "Alexander's Ragtime Band". Previously released songs were re-arranged and used in conjunction with new songs written by Berlin for the film.

Reception[edit]

The film had its New York premiere at the Roxy Theatre on August 5, 1938, with Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz heading the stage show.[3]

Alfred Newman won an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring.[4] The film was also nominated for:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) – Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Block, Hayley Taylor (2010), Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds., George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-By-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success, HarperCollins, p. 213, ISBN 9780061778896 
  3. ^ Brown, Gene (1995). Movie Time: A Chronology of Hollywood and the Movie Industry from Its Beginnings to the Present (paperback). New York: MacMillan. pp. 141–2. ISBN 0-02-860429-6. 
  4. ^ "NY Times: Alexander's Ragtime Band". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 

External links[edit]