Strike Up the Band (1940) Movie Script

James Connors,
you are not Cab Calloway.
We are trying to play
"The National Emblem."
Not "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."
Yes, ma'am.
Well, I guess that's all we can do
for tonight.
I think you'd better go home.
Rehearsal's dismissed.
Turn your music in to Willie.
Willie. Here, Willie.
You know, Jimmy, I'm getting to hate
these rehearsals. The same thing...
...every time.
- Yeah.
Would you like to stick around
and play records?
I'd like to, but last time we did,
I didn't get home until 12.
My dad was pretty burned up.
We could knock out a couple
and get home early.
- That's what you said last time.
- We were just practicing.
But my folks think
I practice better at home.
Anyway, Annie's waiting for me.
- Oh, you're dead.
- Yeah. Good night.
Booper, like to try
a little classical swing?
Can't do it. My family's out of sympathy
with these night sessions you been having.
- See you tomorrow, Jimmy.
- So long, Boop.
Is that you, Jimmy?
Yes, Mom.
What time is it, dear?
Gosh, Mom, I don't know.
It must be close to 11.
Good night, son.
Good night, Mom.
- How was I doing?
- Swell.
Say, I'm glad you're here, Mary.
I wanna talk to you.
- Okay.
- Well...
You know, I don't go around
steaming people up.
Oh, no, of course not.
Remember once I told you that someday
we might have our own dance orchestra?
- Yes.
- Well, the dog is barking.
- What do you mean?
- I've been thinking it over in my mind.
A fellow doesn't wanna play
with a broken-down brass band anymore.
You know, the same:
He gets tired of that.
Instead of the school having a band
play a concert once a year...
...why, we could have our own
great modern dance orchestra.
We've got everything right here.
We've got the brass, the piano,
the reeds and you and...
- Me?
- Sure. You could handle all the vocals.
Oh, that sounds wonderful, Jimmy.
It is. We could make
our own arrangements...
...and specialties
and play for all the dances.
We could put Riverwood High School
on the map.
Now, all we gotta do
is to get the school behind us.
Do you think we could sell the idea
to Mr. Judd?
- Mr. Judd, the principal?
- Yeah.
I thought the last time you saw him...
Well, I don't think
he'd hold my past against me.
This is something big.
Will you go down to see him with me?
- Maybe tonight?
- Sure, I'll go.
- It's a date.
- All right.
- Be right there, Jimmy.
- All right, Mary.
I won't be gone long.
- Hello.
- Hello, Mrs. Holden.
I told mother about the band.
She thinks it's wonderful.
- You do?
- Of course. I think it's splendid.
Doesn't your mother think so too?
Yes, ma'am. She thinks it's great.
Well, I guess we'd better be going.
Good night, Mother.
Good night, Mrs. Holden.
- Good luck with Mr. Judd.
- Thanks.
That was a fib,
what you said about your mother.
- Yeah.
- Why'd you say it?
- I don't know.
- You didn't even tell your mother.
- No.
- Why?
Well, I guess I'm afraid to.
Afraid to tell your mother?
Mary, it isn't as easy as you think.
It's not just telling her that we're gonna
have a band, lot of fun, lot of laughs.
You see, I've gotta tell her...
I've gotta tell her that this is it, music.
It's my future. It's the thing I want most.
- Maybe she'd understand.
- No, I don't think she would.
She wants me to be a doctor like Dad.
But, Mary, look at me.
Do I look like a doctor?
- No, I guess you don't.
- No, of course I don't.
But ever since I can remember,
she's always talked to me about it.
Well, I've agreed with her because it...
I saw that it made her happy.
But now I can't even do that.
Well, Jimmy, are you sure
you wanna be a drummer?
Mary, I was never more sure
of anything in my life.
You've got to be really sure.
Why don't you wait and see...
...what Mr. Judd says
about you organizing this school band?
If he says it's all right, and the first
school dance is a big success...
...and you know that that's what
you wanna do, go to her and tell her.
She'll understand.
Because she'd realize
that your ambition is strong and sincere.
Oh, mothers are like that, Jimmy.
Gee, I never thought of it
that way before.
But you're right, Mary, and I'll do it.
Oh, you know, you're so wonderful.
It's a great comfort to have somebody
you can tell your troubles to.
You're always wonderful
about putting me on the track.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
You know, you're gonna make
some man a fine wife.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
And, well, I'm gonna envy the guy
that gets you too.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
And, Mary, I'll never forget
what a great pal you've been to me.
- Yeah?
- Yeah!
Straight from the shoulder, a real pal.
- Reminds me of a song.
- What song?
"Oh! What A Pal Was Mary."
Jimmy, the band
has been a big disappointment.
- Are the boys losing interest?
- No, sir, not in the music.
There are awfully fine musicians
in that outfit.
They're just not interested
in the stuff they're playing.
When you start playing anything,
you've gotta be hopping inside.
Oh, it's wonderful for parades
and Memorial Day...
...but people don't wanna sit around
and listen to that stuff anymore.
Jimmy, I've been giving it a lot
of thought lately, and I'm glad you told me.
The band has cost the school
a lot of money.
Maybe we better disorganize it
and call the whole thing off.
We're already enough in debt.
Mr. Judd, you just give me 60 seconds
of your time...
...and I'll brush that burden
off your shoulders.
Go ahead, Jimmy. It would be a pleasure.
Well, I've been talking to the fellows
and we'd like to organize...
...our own dance band.
- Dance orchestra?
Certainly. Instead of a brass band,
we'd like to have a modern dance orchestra.
Let us go ahead and form this band and give
a high school dance instead of the concert.
And I'll guarantee you that within one night,
we'll wipe out that debt.
I know it. I've been thinking it over
for a long time.
If we don't bring in as many people
at the dance as at the concerts... the past 10 years,
we'll forget about the whole thing.
Just a minute. You're going to organize
a dance orchestra, ready to play...
Not only are we gonna have
a great dance orchestra...
...but we're also gonna have
a great singer too.
Oh, I see.
- You're going to arrange the whole thing?
- Yes, sir.
Publicity, selling tickets...
...paying off the debt of the band.
The whole thing, all in three weeks?
- In a breeze.
- In a breeze?
You've taken on a pretty large order,
Jimmy. I don't believe you can do it.
Oh, he can do it.
I know he can do it, Mr. Judd.
I'm sure I can do it, if you'll only
give me the chance, Mr. Judd.
All right. I'll buy the first ticket.
Oh, thanks, Mr. Judd.
Mary, the principal shook hands with me.
We certainly slipped it to him all right.
- We certainly did.
- There's a great old guy.
- He's a great old guy.
- Vision. That's what he's got.
There's a man that can see
over the transom.
- Yes sir, he's gonna go places.
- He sure is.
- You know what that was?
- What?
A springboard. He just launched
the biggest ship that ever sailed.
- You're absolutely right. Okay.
- Let's take a short cut.
You know, I misjudged that man.
- Heart, that's what he's got. A lot of heart.
- Here, I'll help you.
- Something's been troubling me lately.
- What?
Do you think "our Love Affair"
has enough punch in it?
"Our Love Affair."
Oh, well,
now that you mentioned it, Jimmy...
Because I've got
a new arrangement on it.
Oh, it's a dynamite love song
just made-to-order for you.
I'll play it.
Wait until you get a load of this intro.
I've got some chords
that are really out of this world.
It starts off a little flairy.
Are you listening to me?
Then it softens down here.
It's violins, you know?
Then the orchestra sneaks back in
for the vocal.
Our love affair will be such fun
We'll be the envy of everyone
Those famous lovers
We'll make them forget
From Adam and Eve
To Scarlett and Rhett
Flutes and oboes.
When youth has had its merry fling
We'll spend our evenings remembering
Two happy people
Who say on the square
With fiddles.
Isn't ours a lovely love affair?
Come on, sit down. Try it.
Are you sure you want me to sing
with the band? You're not just...
of course not, we need you.
You're as important to me
as the brass section.
- That's pretty important.
- Try the verse.
Here we are
Two very bewildered people
Here we are
Two babes that are lost in the wood
We're not quite certain
What has happened to us
This lovely thing that's so marvelous
But right from here
The future looks awfully good
Our love affair
Was meant to be
It's me for you, dear
And you for me
We'll fuss, we'll quarrel
And tears start to brew
But after the tears
Our love will smile through
I'm sure that I
Could never hide
The thrill I get
When you're by my side
And when we're older
We'll proudly declare
Wasn't ours a lovely love affair?
I'll learn to bake a chocolate cake
The kind of cake mother used to make
You hungry? Come on, let's go see
if we can find some of that cake.
I hope there's some left,
if Daddy hasn't eaten it all up.
You know, Mary,
I'd never be satisfied with a small band.
I want a great big one. A symphony.
Why, I wanna make American music...
...just as important
as any other country's music.
Look at George Gershwin.
Why, his music is as good
as Beethoven or Bach, better maybe.
Best of all, it's American.
You like grapes and strawberries?
Can you imagine me conducting
a concert in Carnegie Hall?
Oh, boy, what a thrill.
On my left, I have 50 fiddles.
Fifty? That's a lot of strings.
And on my right,
I'd have the violas and the cellos.
Oh, wonderful.
And right in front of me,
I'd have the saxes and the clarinets.
You know, the woodwind
is the real body to an orchestra.
Right in back of them,
I'd have the brass section.
Over in the back,
I'd have the bass fiddles. Ten of them.
- Ten?
- Sure, you gotta have a good beat.
Then I'd have the drums
and the tymps. Over here.
Oh, you've gotta have
those drums in there, Mary.
And over in the back,
I'd have a piano on a platform.
- Piano.
- Make it two pianos.
- Two pianos.
- Oh, I just love pianos.
- And a harp?
- Yeah.
Then the lights would dim down,
and I'd come out.
Here, this is me.
I'd tap on my stand for order.
I'd get ready
to give them the downbeat.
I'd give the tymps a downbeat like this:
- There you are, Mary.
- That's wonderful.
Oh, that's the way
it's gonna be: Success.
- Only...
- only what?
There's just one thing that it lacks
to make it perfect.
- Yeah, just one thing.
- What's that, Jimmy?
Oh, you'd think I was silly
if I was to mention it.
Oh, no I wouldn't.
Really, I wouldn't. What is it?
- Well...
- oh, Mary?
Yes, Daddy.
Where is my tobacco pouch?
It's on the desk, Daddy.
Well, it's a little late, isn't it?
It's just about that time.
I was just going.
Good night, Mr. Holden. Good night.
- Jimmy.
- Yeah?
- What is it?
- What?
You know,
what you're gonna say in there.
The only thing you needed
to make it all perfect.
Oh, a xylophone.
- Good night, Mary.
- Good night.
Isn't this a lovely love affair?
Wait a minute.
Hold it! Hold it, everybody!
Come on, fellas,
now let's get together!
Dick, you and Leonard
have been introduced.
You don't have to start taking a solo.
We gotta play a dance tonight.
People are paying money!
Okay, Jimmy, we'll get it.
All right, then, let's get it.
Everybody, right from the bridge,
let's take it again. Here we go. One, two.
How you doing, honey?
Well, I don't know, Annie.
I'm discouraged.
You know, it does something
to a girl's spirit... keep on fighting a losing battle
to a snare drum.
Well, just keep holding out, Mary.
You'll win.
Gee, Mary, if I were Jimmy Connors,
I'd tell the whole world you were my girl.
Well, that's why
all the girls love you, Willie.
But who wants all the girls?
That's great. You play it like that tonight
and we can't miss.
That's all, everybody.
Leave your music on the stands.
Don't forget, 8:00 sharp,
and everybody with a clean shirt.
Hey, Jimmy, I can't make it at 8:00.
I have to pick up Annie.
You have to pick up Annie?
Well, gee, Jimmy, I promised her
and it's a big night.
Are you gonna play a saxophone
or keep your mind on the gals?
- You know I'm... It's only that Annie...
- Somebody's gonna have to pick her up.
I can't take any chances on that.
I may lose her.
We're playing for big stakes now.
If we wanna get anywhere,
everybody's gotta hang in there.
Well, they tell me
that we've just sold our 257th ticket.
Oh, it's wonderful. You see, Phil?
Now, if we only had a good orchestra.
That's what I meant, Phil.
A female mind.
- Why...
- Annie, come here a minute...
...and sit down here.
I wanna tell you something.
Now, Annie, I've got something
kind of hard to tell you.
But I'm not worrying about it...
...because I know
you're big enough to understand.
Here comes the business.
Now, now, Annie, I'm not gonna be able
to bring you to the dance tonight.
- Oh, heck.
- Oh, don't worry about it.
Because I'm getting a friend of mine.
He's not very good-looking
but he's loyal.
- Can he rumba?
- Rumba?
Rumba, why, he made it up.
- Here you are.
- Thanks.
I gotta get here early and set up,
so I won't be able to stop by for you.
How about it, Willie?
Will you bring Mary for me?
- Well, yeah, sure.
- You don't mind coming with Willie, do you?
- No, of course not.
- Swell, see you tonight.
Yeah, so long.
I always have a wonderful time
when I'm with Willie.
- Don't I?
- Yeah.
And I always wind up
with a pat on the head.
Hey, Phil. It's a swell gait, isn't it?
Gee, Mary, I feel dandy.
Couldn't we go someplace
where we could, well, sort of be alone?
Oh, now, Willie, you be a good boy.
Remember what I told you.
You know, Mary,
I was studying up on Napoleon.
Did you know he was a very short man?
Oh, Willie.
Hey, Booper, who are you waving at?
Annie, you ought to strike oil any minute.
Thank you very kindly,
ladies and gentlemen.
And now, we'd like to do our special
number for you. It's called the "La Conga."
Oh, yeah, and the vocal
will be done by Miss Mary Holden.
In Havana
Every Cubana
Shakes her bandana to
The La Conga
It's a new dance
Something new to dance
Wait until you dance to
The La Conga
Wait till you hear the beat
Of the bonga
Just get that beat
And you'll get the conga
It delights you
And it excites you
And it invites you to
Do the La Conga
In Buenos Aires
In London and Paris
They tango
In old vienna
Their favorite has long been a waltz
In Guayaquil
In Madrid and Seville
They fandango
But in Havana
All the natives go
One, two, three, boom
One, two, three, boom
One, two, three, boom
One, two, three, boom
In Hava-vana
Every Cubana
Shakes her bandana to
Gotta shake around
Watch how to do
- The La Conga
- One, two, three, boom
One, two and three, boom
It's a new dance
Something new to dance
Wait until you dance to
- The La Conga
- One, two, three, boom
One, two and three, boom
- Wait till you hear the beat
- The La Conga
- Of the bonga
- Conga
Just get the beat
And you'll get the Conga
It delights you
And it excites you
- As it invites you
- To do the La Conga
Now you know
The La Conga
- one.
- Two.
- Three.
- Boom.
Yahoo! Come on!
Come on, do La Conga,
Come on, do La Conga
And now you know
The La Conga
- Say, wasn't that a swell dance last night?
- It certainly was.
You should have heard
what Mr. Judd said.
He said, "We are very proud of the
Riverwood High School's achievements."
- Oh, he's a swell guy.
- Well, did you ever think he wasn't?
Well, I always kind of thought
he was a little on the old fashioned side.
Jimmy, careful.
You've been nearly dropping that thing
since you were 6 years old.
Listen, Mom,
I've come much closer to it than that.
- Mom?
- Yes, dear?
When do mothers stop thinking about
their sons as being a little boy?
I guess never, Jimmy.
That's the fun of being a mother.
Mom, someday
whenever you want anything...
...all you're gonna have to do is just ask.
No worries, no landlords, no store.
I'm never gonna stop...
...until you have 10 days of happiness
for every one of those tough ones.
You know, Jimmy,
parents live through their children.
When you're happy, I'm happy.
When you're successful,
then I'll be a success.
Well, I guess then
I just gotta be a great man.
I always thought you would be.
But remember, a great man
is only the reflection of a great boy.
In a larger mirror.
You're worried about me, aren't you?
Look, you don't have to worry about me.
Because a lot of times a guy
does things that people can't understand.
Things crawl around inside of him
that nobody in the world can understand.
What is it, Jimmy?
Mom, you and dad,
you wanted me to be a doctor.
And after we lost him,
you wanted it even more so.
I know what you've done,
what you've had to give up... try and help me to be one like Dad.
That's why it makes it
so tough for me to tell you...
...that I can't.
I'm so sorry I could almost bawl inside.
But it's just not there.
Why, Dad loved medicine.
He loved every little part about it.
That's why he was such a fine doctor.
And the way he loved medicine,
that's the way I love music.
When I'm sitting there at the drums,
I feel as though I'm in the right place.
I feel as though I belong there.
That's what I wanna do.
You want to be a drummer
in an orchestra?
Well, that's part of music, Mom.
It's rhythm and...
It's been beating around in my mind
ever since I can remember.
I'm sure you'd understand
if you'd thought about it as much...
If you only knew, Jimmy,
how much we've thought about it.
Why, since before you were born
it started.
Your father and I prayed you'd be a boy
just for that reason.
And when you came...
...I don't believe
I've ever seen a prouder man.
And to the very end
he'd clung to that ideal for you to heal.
And that's such a wonderful thing, Jimmy,
in a world that's sick and suffering.
I know, Mom.
I've thought a lot about that too.
But it's the same way in music.
When the music's happy,
it makes the people happy.
And when it's sad, they take things
out of their lives that made them sad...
...and lose them in music.
And then they feel better afterwards.
In a way, Mom...
...isn't that sort of like healing, too?
Isn't it?
All right, Mom.
I'll be a doctor.
And I'll be a good doctor.
- Yes, Mom?
- I was wrong...
...when I said that a mother never stops
thinking of her son as a little boy.
Why, there's always that time
when a mother sees her son before her...
...with a mind of his own,
a will of his own...
...and a heart of his own.
And it's then that she realizes...
...whether she's made a success or a failure
of her son as a boy.
Just now I saw it.
And I knew that I was proud of my boy.
You could be a doctor, Jimmy.
A good doctor.
I know that now.
But if deep down inside of you...
...your ambition to make people happy
with your music... as sincere and honest
as I think it is...
...why, that's all that matters.
I'm satisfied.
You're the most
wonderful mom that ever lived.
But remember, son,
the top of the ladder is very appealing...
...and for my sake
be careful how you climb that ladder.
Because that's very important, too.
I will, Mom. I will.
And when I get there, nothing they could
cook up would be too good for you.
- You know what, Mom?
- What, Jimmy?
I'm gonna make you a queen.
Wait a minute, you're eating too fast.
You're gonna get sick.
- Yes, you are, you darling.
- Hey, Mary!
Mary. Hey, Mary.
Give me a mountain,
I wanna crush it into a molehill.
- Who's been feeding you vitamins?
- I was worried about Mom.
We had a long talk
and everything's fixed, like that.
That's wonderful, Jimmy.
I got the greatest news
since the invention of the wheel.
- You have?
- I'm gonna give it to you straight.
I found this in the newspaper. It's been
burning a hole in my pocket. Listen.
"Paul Whiteman, number one band leader,
now on tour...
...through the cities of the country,
decided, due to great interest...
...among the youth of America
in modern music... give auditions to high school
dance orchestras in various cities."
This is the important part.
"Mr. Whiteman's final selection will be
guest-starred on his radio program...
...on June 29th from Chicago."
- That is something.
- Just think what it mould mean...
...if our band made that program.
It'd put Riverwood High School
on the front page of every newspaper.
You bet it would.
Suppose we got to Chicago on the 28th
and we gave Mr. Whiteman the audition.
We could stay until the next day
and play on the radio program.
It would cost a fortune
to get that whole band to Chicago.
No, I've figured it out.
To get the band there and back by bus
and two days in Chicago...'ll cost about $200.
That's if nobody eats heavy.
Oh, Jimmy, that's an awful lot of money
even if we have it.
- Yeah, it is quite a bundle.
- But it's not impossible.
When's bank night?
You're pressing.
Say, suppose we went over
and we had a little talk with...
- Mr. Judd.
- The school board will do anything he says.
- He was crazy about our band.
- We out to get him...
...while he's in a good humor.
- What are we waiting for?
I'm sorry. And I'm still sorrier
to have to disappoint you.
But I couldn't give my consent.
It would be impossible for the school
to finance a venture of this kind.
But, if you'd only tell them
what it would mean.
The publicity for Riverwood High School
and how big it was.
That's one of the troubles.
I'm afraid they think it's too big already.
I might as well tell you, Jimmy.
There have been complaints
from parents of the boys in the band.
Interfering with studies, late hours.
No, I'll have to veto this, Jimmy.
Well, I'm sorry
to have bothered you, Mr. Judd.
That perfectly all right, Jimmy.
You come to see me any time you want.
- Goodbye, Mr. Judd.
- Goodbye, Mary.
- Jimmy.
- Goodbye. Thanks.
Well, he was nice about it, anyway.
Yeah, but a kind heart
will never get us to Chicago.
Well, Phil, there's more than one way
of spinning a top.
- Yeah.
- Maybe the school board is content...
...with having Riverwood remain a little
red dot on an auto map, but not me.
We packed them in last night.
We gave them a good time
after we got them in, didn't we?
- Yeah.
- All right.
I've been thinking ever since we left
Mr. Judd's house how we can raise $200.
- Yeah.
- We've got a terrific band.
It's hot merchandise.
Oh, we'll get to Chicago if we have to
crawl on our hands and knees...
...and blow out every lamp on the way.
I think Annie's good and sore.
Yeah, she's really burned up, all right.
Annie. Annie. Annie!
Is that all I get out of you is Annie?
- Aren't you interested in the band?
- Sure.
Don't you realize we only got six weeks
to raise the money to get to Chicago?
This is terrific, there's bands from
all over the country. This isn't baby talk.
- I'm with you, all the way. You know that.
- All right, all right.
So we've got to raise $200.
How we gonna do it?
How about some punchboards?
Punchboards, sure, sure.
- And we'll give Annie away as a prize.
- Yeah.
- Lf you're gonna be a wise guy.
- Oh, I was only kidding, Phil.
I mean, we got to keep in there punching.
Wait a minute. Why couldn't we
make a deal with the Elks Club... give a dance
at their Milk Fund Bazaar?
- Well, it's only a month away.
- Oh, they don't give dances at any...
Say, that's not a bad idea.
We could put on our own show.
That'd be different.
We could make up our own specialties,
sketches, dance routines.
Great, I like it already.
Say, what's the number one Elk?
- Who is he? The whatchamacallit?
- Mr. Mollison, and he owes my dad money.
- That's our man.
- I'll get after it right away.
Mr. Mollison? Gotta make a list
down here, we gotta get costumes.
Cot Mollison. Mollison.
- You know what, Jimmy?
- What?
I think I ought to call Annie.
You're still making valentines again.
When Annie's sore at me,
it throws me all off key.
I just can't stand talking to a guy
with a one-track mind.
Well, wait'll you're in love with somebody.
You'll know what I'm going through.
Women to me are just people.
- Oh, Miss Hodges, I'm sorry to disturb you.
- It's perfectly all right, Mr. Judd.
I'd like you to meet a new student,
Barbara Frances Morgan.
- How do you do, Barbara Frances?
- I'm delighted to know you, Miss Hodges.
My, what a nice, bright classroom.
Mr. Morgan wants Barbara Frances
to finish out the term here.
- I've selected this as her homeroom.
- We're happy to have her.
I'm sure you won't have any difficulty
getting into the swing of things.
I'm sure I won't.
- Thank you, Miss Hodges.
- Don't mention it.
Now, let me see.
Where shall we put you?
Oh, yes. Suppose you sit
in that empty chair over there.
Thank you.
And if you're happy there,
you may keep it permanently.
I'm sure I will be.
- She's touched it up.
- Yeah.
Oh, James, I wonder if you'd take
Barbara Frances to the supply room...
...and help her with her text books.
- Would it inconvenience you terribly?
No, not at all.
Have you traveled very much?
- Me, travel?
- Yes, travel.
Well, a little.
That is, my uncle took me to Chicago
three years ago to see the World Series.
Oh, no. I mean the continent.
- Which one?
- Oh, you must see the Riviera.
- Must I?
- Cannes, Nice, San Raphael, Juan-les-Pins.
- Juan-les-pins is simply wild.
- It is, huh?
I met the most wonderful man there.
Almost too beautiful.
But he turned out to be a duke,
and you know what they are.
Yeah, yeah,
you've got to watch those dukes.
Oh, there goes the bell.
We're gonna be late for our classes.
Oh, dear. And we were just getting
to know each other.
You're cute.
Are you going right home now, Mary?
No, honey,
I have to work at the library today.
I had a talk with my dad
this noontime.
He thinks he can fix an appointment
with Mr. Mollison for us.
He can? Oh, that's swell.
Good work, Phil.
- Well, I've got to meet Annie. So long.
- Annie, so long.
Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy. Looking for me?
Well, no, not exactly.
- Come on, jump in. I'll drive you home.
- Thanks anyway, Barbara.
- I don't think l...
- oh, come on, jump in.
Hey, Jimmy,
how's the weather down there?
Get a load of that.
Say, that Barbara Frances
doesn't waste any time, does she?
How about Jimmy? He's doing all right.
Just give me the word, Mary,
and I'll slug him.
Oh, the county fair, wonderful.
- The fair, are you going?
- Oh, yeah, sure. I never miss the fair.
- I wish I could go.
- Well, why can't you?
Well, I don't know many young people,
and a girl can't very well go there alone.
I wouldn't worry about that
if I were you. Somebody will ask you.
Oh, Jimmy, isn't that sweet of you?
Oh, no, no, well, I can't...
You're really a dear.
You have the cutest way of saying things.
- Hello, Mary.
- Hello, Jimmy.
- What you doing?
- Just putting these books away.
Gosh, there's an awful lot of them,
aren't there?
- Yeah.
- You read them all?
Only up to here.
Mary, about that fair...
What about it?
Well, I thought that you and I...
...we had an understanding
that we were going together to the fair.
Well, I got myself all tied up and...
oh, there was really no definite
understanding that we were going together.
Besides, I'm pretty busy.
And fairs, they're just a bunch of livestock
and a merry-go-round.
I've seen all that.
Besides, they're really for children.
Oh, you wouldn't like
anything like that, huh?
Oh, I'd like it all right.
But there are a lot more important things
in life than going to the fairs with people.
Sure, sure, sure, there are.
I'd better get going. I just thought
I'd drop in and explain it to you.
- I knew that you'd understand.
- Oh, sure, I understand.
You can always count on me, Jimmy.
Just the same
as you could your own cousin.
Yeah, and I appreciate it, too.
Well, well, so long.
So long, pal.
Mary, where can I find
a copy of Romeo and Juliet?
Back there with the rest
of the Shakespeare, on the last shelf.
Where's Antony and Cleopatra?
Right back there,
leaning on Romeo and Juliet.
Mary, have you ever heard of a book
called Indian Love Lyrics?
- Yes.
- Well, I want to read it.
Well, it's all yours.
It's over there in the poetry section.
I beg your pardon, miss.
I wonder if you could help me find a book.
- What is it?
- The Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire.
Thanks, brother.
It's right over there in the History section.
Thank you.
All the big professors state
That everything should have a mate
Birds and bees and flowers and trees
All have romantic tendencies
So far I have missed the he
That fate decreed was meant for me
I'm just living in a lull
And I'll confess it's mighty dull
Romeo had Juliet
And Louis Xvl had Antoinette
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
Pelleas had Melisande
And Isabella had Ferdinand
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
Welch Grape Juice has Irene Rich
Minneapolis has Saint Paul
Abercrombie has his Fitch
But here I am crying
And sitting and sighing
With no one at all
Hans had Gretel by his side
And Dr. Jekyll had Mr. Hyde
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
- Closing time?
- How did you guess?
- Aren't they wonderful?
- Who?
- Antony and Cleo...
- Yes, yes.
Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
Scram, Juliet.
Lancelot had fair Elaine
And Mr. Lunt has Ms. Lynn Fontanne
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
Frederic Chopin had George Sand
And Alexander had his Ragtime Band
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
Barbasol has Singin' Sam
Metro-Goldwyn has Mayer
Mary has her little lamb
But here I am hoping and mumbling
And moping with no one to care
Gobs have sweethearts on the wharves
And even Snow White
Had seven dwarves
But I ain't got nobody
And nobody's got me
Nobody's got me
All right, buy your tickets for the midway.
We have 52 attractions on the inside.
- There you are. Two. Thank you very much.
- Please, two.
Two more, sir. There you are.
- We have Jo-Jo, the Dog-Faced Boy.
- Two, please.
- Two? Yes, sir. There you are, sir.
- Change out of $5, please.
Five dollars? That's the biggest bill
I've seen here this afternoon.
- There's one, two, three, four.
- Thank you.
Changing the 5.
As I said before, we have a...
He was coming down the street
in a hurry when I told him...
...we had to see Mr. Mollison
and he just turns to me and says:
"You'll have to take over.
I've got business this afternoon."
Lmportant business,
the guy's gone stark, raving mad.
Nothing's gonna keep us
from getting the band to Chicago.
- We'll see Mr. Mollison.
- That won't do any good.
Jimmy's the one who can tell him
the show we're gonna put on.
If we could only get him away
from that fair.
- I'll get him away.
- You'll get him away. When everything...
I can get him to leave the fair.
- You can get him to leave the fair?
- How, Willie, how?
He'd have to, if he ran out of money,
wouldn't he?
All right, folks. Come on, now.
Who's next?
- You got to do better than that.
- Missed me again.
That curve's not working at all.
Oh, yeah? Give me six more,
and keep track of them.
Thattaboy, Jimmy. You can hit him.
- Hold my coat, Willie.
- Sure.
All right, folks! All right, come on, son.
Do better than you did last time.
Oh, no, you missed it again. Try it again.
Oh, no. You've got to come
much closer than that.
You're too far away.
- Would you like hold this for a second?
- Oh, sure.
Son, I got a mosquito in my back yard
hits harder than that.
How much do I owe you?
- A dollar and a quarter.
- Soon as I get my wallet.
- Where's my wallet?
- Are you kidding?
Now, I'm gonna get that wallet routine.
Honest, mister,
I had it right here in my pocket.
- Willie! Where's Willie?
- He was here a minute ago.
- Hey, Willie!
- We know how to handle guys like you!
Hey, wait a minute.
Wait a minute, mister.
I got the money!
Jimmy Connors?
Jimmy! Jimmy, where are you?
Here. Here! Here I am!
Get me out of here!
- Come on in, start pitching.
- Give him room, boss.
Look out. Hey, don't do that!
Oh, look out!
Hey, Jimmy. The Elks Club
is gonna give us a tryout.
They are? When?
Tomorrow, right after school!
Oh, boy. That's wonderful.
- Hello.
- Hello.
Can I see you for a minute?
All right.
Are you very mad?
Yes, I'm pretty mad.
Well, I don't blame you.
I'm sorry, Mary.
Are you very sorry?
She didn't hit you on the head, did she?
It wasn't a she, it was a...
But look, Phil told me how great you were
with Mr. Mollison and the Elks Committee.
Well, we had to do it today.
You weren't here.
No, I wasn't here.
I was supposed to take you to the fair,
but I don't do that.
I take $5 that I saved up to buy music with
and I throw it away like I was a millionaire.
I want a great band.
I want them to be a success
more than anything...
...and I go rolling off like a rubber tire
just when they need me.
Why do I do things like that?
Because you're stubborn, that's why. Just
because you got a pair of long pants on... think you know everything. You don't
have to go around doing things like that.
- Why don't you tell me when l...
- Me?
You're gonna have to figure out
your own problems.
You can't carry somebody around
for the rest of your life... keep telling you
when you're off the track.
- Can you?
- No, I can't do anything like that.
It's just that, I thought
maybe you and me could work... a closer cooperation
with each other, that's all.
You mean, sort of like a pal?
No, it's a little more than just a pal.
Well, what I mean is that...
Well, Mary, couldn't you
be my girl without...
- Without us getting silly about it?
- Oh, you're...
You're gonna have to work out
your own personal problems.
I've got more important things
to think about.
You don't wanna be my girl?
Look, from now on,
we're business partners.
And whatever work we do together
is for the success of the band.
But let's keep very impersonal
about the whole thing.
Sure. Sure, if that's the way
you want it, Mary.
- Well, then, we gotta move fast.
- Yeah.
Remember the day we were up in the attic
looking at those old clothes?
The high silk toppers and long dresses
and puffed sleeves?
You thought it would be a good idea
to use them in a show.
We talked to my dad, and he told us
about the old melodramas?
Oh, yeah, and he told us
how the actors used to ham it up...
...with the broad gestures
and the asides to the audience...
...and the business with the cape.
But he said that was really acting
in those days.
Well, remember that melodrama
we wrote...
...but we never got a chance to put it on?
- Sure, I remember.
That's the show
I told Mr. Mollison about.
- You did? What'd he say?
- He thought it was great.
- That's wonderful.
- It's more than wonderful.
Mr. Mollison wasn't just being nice.
He was really sold on the idea.
I know if we do well in the tryout...
...we can get the Elks Club
to furnish scenery and costumes.
Gosh. Do you think we could?
We gotta knock them right off their feet.
It's laying right in our lap.
You could play Nell.
You play Mr. Goodpenny,
who falls in love with me.
He's supposed to be handsome
but you could use makeup.
- Sure.
- Who's gonna play the villain?
- The what?
- The villain.
I know. Phillip, with that trick laugh
of his. You know:
- He'd be a natural for Squire Poultice.
- That'll be great.
- And who gets to play La Belle Francais?
- La Belle Francais...
- Has to be blonde and giggly.
- Yeah.
A glamour girl. Thinks all the men
are madly in love with her.
- That's it.
- What's the matter with Barbara Frances?
- No. No, no. Not in my show.
- Wait a minute, fella. Our show.
Look, she's just the type.
She's going play the part.
She is, huh? All right,
but it's gonna be awfully embarrassing.
This is a show we're putting on.
It's gotta be the greatest
that ever hit Riverwood.
You're right, Mary.
We've got to have a great show
with a million laughs and color.
And a lot of lights to make it sparkle.
And songs.
- Wonderful songs with you selling them.
- It'll be wonderful.
And after we get the people in that hall
we got to start them laughing.
Can't you just see it, Mary?
The people are just packing in.
Why, there's not a seat left in the house.
Why, the overture's starting
and the house lights are going down.
- We're ready to go.
- On stage.
- Lights. Music.
- Curtain!
Let's be gay in the way they were gay
In the dear gay '90s
Be naive, wear your heart on your sleeve
For the golden days
When life was gay and charming
But with great propriety
Great propriety
And grandmamma was horrified
If grandpa saw her knee
Men should never see a knee
Give a cheer for each dear souvenir
Of the dear gay '90s
Drink a toast to the ghost
Of the most delightful years
When home sweet home
Didn't know discord
And a cad was someone to be abhorred
And virtue was its own reward
In the gay, gay
The terribly gay
The horribly gay
Gay '90s
Walking down Broadway
The festive gay Broadway
The okay thing on Saturday
Is walking down Broadway
The lady on your arm
Is full of grace and charm
And life is very, very gay
While walking down Broad...
Stop. Do not make fun
of this simple country lassie.
She may be somebody's mother.
Or somebody's sister or somebody's...
Stop. You're just as cruel.
And even though
I may have erred in my ways...
I am more to be pitied than censured
I am more to be helped than despised
I am only a lassie who ventured
On life's stormy path, ill-advised
Do not scorn me with words
Fierce and bitter
Do not laugh at my shame and downfall
For a moment just stop and consider
That a man was the cause
Of it all
I beg your humble forgiveness, miss.
Never again shall I insult a lady
when she is down.
Alas, this is the end.
Why, it's Miss Nelly from New Rochelle.
Fancy meeting you here, my dear child.
Squire Poultice. Fancy meeting you here.
Even though I know
you may be a villain...
...'tis still most warming to see
a friendly face from my old home town.
New York is indeed a cruel
and unfriendly city.
Alas, I have not eaten for five days.
What a pity, my child.
Come with me. What you need
is some champagne and caviar.
Merciful fate,
guide me in this crucial crisis.
Methinks there is something rotten
in Denmark.
The old codger has intentions on the poor
child which are not altogether honorable.
I shall be on the qui vive for foul play.
And now, my pretty pet,
do you not feel better?
I have misjudged you, Squire Poultice.
You are indeed a very kind man.
Shall we have a demitasse?
- A demitasse? I might have known.
- Nelly, I love you.
Stand back, villain, go your way.
For I will no longer stay.
And face the vile temptations
That you hurl
You may tempt the upper classes
With your villainous demitasses
But heaven will protect
The working girl
Nelly. Nelly. I love you.
Oh, no. No. A thousand times, no.
Help, help. Save me.
Curse you, Merriwether Goodpenny.
My hero, how can I ever repay you?
By forgiving me for being a cad.
I do forgive you, a thousandfold.
My heart is bounding
like the surging sea.
Wait. Would she think me impetuous
if I asked her for a tryst?
I'll risk it.
Miss Nelly, may I hope to see you again
on the morrow?
Silly headstrong youth.
Shall we say the park?
- At 3?
- Until 3, then, at the park.
Adieu. Adieu.
- Adieu.
- Adieu.
But heaven will protect
The working girl
The working girl
It has been three years
since Merriwether and I were made one.
And fate has blessed us
with this lovely child.
I thank you, kind fate...
...for having guided my footsteps
from the gutters of ignominy.
Oh, baby.
- Nelly. My wife.
- My husband.
Why do you hang your head in shame?
Would that I could die here, I sullied
her pretty brow with such sordid news.
Nelly, the mortgage is due,
and alas, I have no money.
Oh, shame. Oh, agony.
'Tis the squire, Nelly. Be brave.
Well, my pretty doves, we meet again.
'Tis the end.
No, Merriwether. No. Not yet.
Where there's life, there's hope.
Here, take this ring and pawn it.
- No, Nelly, 'tis your wedding ring.
- This is no time for sentiment.
Run, Merriwether.
Now, Squire Poultice,
until this house belongs to you... are not welcome in it. Scram.
Curse you, Nelly Newcombe.
But you have not heard the last of me.
I'll get you yet.
Here's your lemonade, sir.
Nice of you to invite me for a refreshment
on such a hot day.
- Little does he know.
- This lassie, awfully clever.
With this, we'll work the trick.
Good. Good.
Come on, Squire Wire, old boy, let's you
and I have another little drink, huh?
- Merriwether!
- It's my wife.
Father, dear Father
Come home with me now
The clock in the steeple strikes
You said you were coming right home
With the dough
As soon as Ma's ring you did pawn
Come home, come home, come home.
My baby.
Please, Father, dear Father
My boy, Squire.
Come home
My little boy.
My baby.
You've been spying on me, huh?
you've been gone for two years.
Where is the money?
Money? What money
are you talking about, Nelly?
The money for the mortgage.
What happened to the money
for the mortgage?
Your husband's bought rum
with the money, madame.
Then all is lost.
Now, I'll teach you
to meddle in my affairs.
Benny, my child. Benny.
You brute. You brute.
- No, Nelly, wait a minute.
- To strike the baby.
- Where's he going?
- Benny, my child.
You killed our baby.
Unkind fate, this is too unfortunate.
Look. Go on. Get out of here, Nelly.
Go on, Nelly! Get out of here.
What have I done? My wife gone.
My little baby gone. My home gone.
Oh, shame, shame.
How about a slug
of white lightning, partner?
Well, I don't mind if I do, Miss...
No. Take that vile stuff
out of my sight forever.
I must redeem myself
in the light of heaven...
...and save my Nelly
from a fate worse than death.
You fiend incarnate.
You snake in the snow.
Now, Miss Nelly,
I have come to help you.
If you will marry me,
I can give you the niceties of life...
...that you so richly deserve.
Perhaps it would be better than suicide.
- But I do not love you.
- My riches will make you love me.
Now, just sit down here,
my pretty pigeon...
...and sign this paper.
- Sign.
- Hark. Methinks I hear dog barks.
Hold those dogs.
Just in the nick of time.
Stop, Nelly. Do not sign those papers.
The old fox is up to his old tricks.
- My husband.
- My wife.
Curses. Curses.
Foiled again. But no. Not yet.
Tie them up and make sure
the pretty doves can't get away.
Mr. Goodpenny has an engagement
at the sawmill.
Mercy, Squire.
- Will you marry me?
- No. I'd rather die.
Then die you will, my pretty pet,
on the railroad tracks.
The railroad tracks? This is the end.
Father, dear Father
Come home with me now
The clock in the steeple strikes
Mother is tied to the railroad tracks
And the sawmill is going to get you
Save me. Oh, save me. Save me.
My boy, you saved my life.
Where is your mother?
- Tied to the railroad tracks.
- Oh, then we must be off!
There they go. After them.
I gotta be going, Dad.
I got a date with a dream. So long.
So long, son.
Help. Help. Save me!
Help. Help me!
- I'll save you, my dear.
- Save me.
Here comes the train.
- My hero.
- Love triumphs over all.
Hey, let me down.
- Hey, we forgot Willie.
- Let me down.
It's Willie up there!
Pull him down.
Weren't they splendid?
I don't know how they've done it.
Come and help me with the refreshments.
Why, I wouldn't miss it for the world.
- Hurry up, will you, Phil?
- I'm hurrying. Hold still.
Hold still.
What's the matter?
I socked my arm
when they pulled me up the last time.
They yanked the line too hard and I felt like
I was going through with wall.
- Here, let me take a look at it.
- No. No. Leave it alone. It's okay.
- Just a little sore, that's all.
- You were great, Mary.
- Thanks. You were swell too, Jimmy.
- Thanks.
You're coming over to the house?
- I'd like to. That is, if you're not too tired?
- Oh, no.
- You've got to take good care of yourself.
- I will.
Hey, Jimmy.
Have you seen Mr. Mollison yet?
No. But don't worry about it.
I won't leave until I get the $ 150.
Oh, great, Barbara Frances. Terrific.
- Yeah, you were very good, Barbara.
- Thank you. You're so very kind.
I have my car, Jimmy.
Could I drive you home?
We were all going over to Mary's and...
- Well, fine. Then I'll drop you off.
- But you don't have to...
- Hey, Jimmy. Jimmy Connors.
- Why, here I am, sir.
Here's your check for $ 150.
And you certainly deserve it.
This was the finest show
we've had in Riverwood.
Thanks, Mr. Mollison. We appreciate it.
Looks like we're on our way to Chicago.
- You bet we are.
- Lf we can dig up $50 more.
Here we come!
Well, goodnight.
I'm sorry you can't come in.
We won't be late.
We're only having a few refreshments.
Thank you, but I'm expecting
my mother and father back from New York.
- I really must run.
- I'm sorry. Goodnight.
- Goodnight.
- Goodnight, Barbara.
Jimmy, could I see you a minute?
Dad's giving me a party
at the country club next Saturday.
Will you come?
Why, I'd love to.
That's if I'm gonna be in town.
Oh, I'm so glad.
The only trouble is, I haven't been able
to make up my mind about the music.
- You mean, you haven't hired a band yet?
- No.
- But I must decide before I see my father.
- Sure, you do.
Well, maybe I could help you decide.
You might drive home with me
and talk to Dad. He'll be there.
- I hate to spoil your evening, but...
- oh, no, no. Not at all.
See you later. I've got
some important business to attend to.
Hey, Willie, take care of Mary, will you?
Slide over.
But, Jimmy.
Some birds just gotta be shot twice
before they stop flying.
I knew that blonde was a Jonah
the moment I saw her.
Would you and Annie go on inside?
I got something to say to Mary.
- What's the big secret?
- Come on, Squire, let's have a demitasse.
What is it, Willie?
There's something I've wanted to ask you
for an awful long time.
Whenever I had the opportunity,
I never had the courage.
Whenever I had the courage,
I never had the opportunity.
Now I got both.
Willie, what is it?
Will you marry me?
I don't expect you
to give me an answer right away.
- Well, but, Willie...
- It isn't as if I just met you.
I remember the first day I saw you.
You were wearing gym bloomers.
I was just getting out of Julius Caesar
and you were laughing.
Oh, Willie, you're the cutest...
I know I'm not
the best-looking guy in town...
...but I'll always love you
and I'll be true to you...
...and I won't go out with other girls.
Oh, Willie.
That's the nicest thing
anyone's ever said to me in my whole life.
And I'm very grateful.
But I'm much too young
to think of getting married.
Of course I'm not in any particular hurry.
- Willie, how old are you?
- Thirteen going on 14.
- Willie.
- Yes, ma'am?
Your mother phoned and wants you home.
She says it's time for you to go to bed.
Goodnight, Willie.
- This is my favorite room in the house.
- It is?
Someday, I'm gonna have
an enormous yacht.
- Wouldn't you love to go to the South Seas?
- Yeah, it might be nice in the wintertime.
There aren't very many good-looking boys
in this town, are there?
Here, Jimmy, drink this.
- All right now?
- Yeah.
Just got my pipes tangled up.
You know, Jimmy,
when I look back and remember...
...the thousands of dates I've had
with so many different boys...
When I think of the time I've wasted,
the empty hours...
- I wouldn't say that.
- James.
Do you really want to kiss me?
- Barbara?
- Who's that?
It's Mother and Dad. They're back.
- Hello, darling.
- Hello, Mother.
- My dear.
- Hello, Dad.
Hello. Well, what's this?
Another young man?
I want you to meet
a very talented musician...
...and one of my dearest friends,
James Connors.
- How are you?
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- Mrs. Morgan.
What do you play, young man?
I kind of mess around
with the drums a little bit.
James has the most wonderful orchestra
in the whole world.
And he's volunteered to play
for my birthday party for only $50.
- Isn't that wonderful?
- Well, that's very nice of you, Mr. Connors.
But, Barbara,
I wish I'd known about this before.
- Why, Dad?
- I'm afraid I've made other arrangements.
But, Dad, I promised James.
We play fine music, Mr. Morgan.
We do an awfully good job.
Well, I'm sure of that, son.
But I've already signed the contract.
- Oh, I see.
- But we want you to come to the party.
Especially if you're a musician,
then you can bring your whole orchestra.
That's kind of you. I don't know whether
we can make it or not, but we'll try.
- I hope so.
- How about a Coke, young man?
- Thanks.
- We'll get to your band. Market's going up.
- Going to have a lot of parties.
- Sure.
Now, don't you worry about it.
And we wanna have you try and be there.
It isn't every day you get a chance
to hear Paul Whiteman.
- Paul Whiteman?
- Yes.
- He'll be winding up his tour near here and...
- Paul Whiteman, here?
Yes. We had a hard job getting him
but I have a lot of good friends.
Paul Whiteman in Riverwood?
Oh, thanks. Thanks. We'll be there.
Just try and keep us away.
Paul Whiteman. Paul Whiteman.
Well, goodbye, every...
Pardon me.
Glad to have met you, Mrs. Morgan.
You too, Mr. Morgan. I mean, Mrs. Morgan.
You know what I mean anyway.
Sorry. Thank you. Thanks a lot.
Goodbye. And we'll be there too. Yes, sir.
In behalf of Mrs. Morgan and myself...
...I want to welcome all of Barbara Frances'
friends to her 18th birthday party.
We also want to welcome
Mr. Whiteman and his band.
And tell them
we are glad to have them with us.
Thank you, Mr. Morgan,
and we're mighty glad to be here too.
And now, I want you to have
the very best of good times.
Paul, it's all yours.
- Say, your old man's all right.
- What did you expect him to be?
- How about this dance, Mary?
- Thanks, but I'm wondering about Willie.
- You haven't seen him dancing, have you?
- I haven't.
Last time I saw him
he was hanging around on the porch.
Well, thanks. I think I'd better go find him.
He's kind of shy, you know.
We want him to have
a good time, don't we?
Oh, sure we do.
They certainly are swell.
But we've got just as good a brass section.
Just as loud anyhow.
Yeah, only they push the valves down
at the same time.
Hello, Willie. What are you doing
out here?
- Nothing.
- Well, come on inside and let's dance.
No, thanks.
You've acted awfully funny
ever since the night of the show.
Is there anything wrong?
I got things on my mind.
Well, I won't bother you then.
Willie, you're not mad at anything,
are you?
- No, I'm not mad.
- That's swell.
- Willie, what's wrong?
- Just my arm. It hurts something awful.
- Your arm?
- Don't, please. Don't touch it.
Willie, maybe you should go home.
I don't wanna miss all the fun.
Have you seen a doctor?
- They don't know nothing.
- Willie, that's very foolish.
If there's something wrong,
you should have it looked at.
Promise me you'll go see a doctor
tomorrow morning.
Okay, I'll go, but it won't do any good.
But nevertheless, you promised.
Well, let's go on inside and watch, huh?
Come on.
Hey, kids. I just met Paul Whiteman.
- You did?
- Swell, Phil.
Hey, Jimmy, take a load of that tenor sax.
No wonder he can make it moan.
He didn't win that clarinet
at a raffle either.
Gosh, I'd sure like to take a feel
of those sticks.
- It wouldn't hurt anybody, would it?
- No, go ahead, Jimmy.
Go ahead. Sure. Go on.
- Oh, gee, do you think he should?
- Sure, why not? It can't do any harm.
Oh, I don't know.
- Hey, Leonard, what a set of skins.
- Yeah.
Gosh, with a set of drums like these,
a guy could get in the White House.
Boy, if I owned this,
I'd just sit around all day and look at it.
Just as easy.
- Look, Jimmy. Isn't this a honey?
- Gosh, it sure is.
- Gee, I never felt more in the mood.
- Me neither.
Say, it wouldn't do any harm
to knock out a couple, would it?
- No.
- No, it wouldn't.
- What are we waiting for?
- Just a downbeat.
Well, all right then, let's get ready.
Sid, get over at the piano.
One, two.
There's a boy down on our street
Plays the drums with such a beat
You cannot control your feet
When you hear the drummer boy
In the morning when you wake
You can hear him take a break
Soon the whole street starts to shake
When they hear the drummer boy
Bing bang, ding dang
He's so nimble on the cymbal
Bing bong, ding dong
When he plays 'em he just slays 'em
All your troubles fly away
Every day's a happy day
Everything will be okay
When you hear the drummer boy play
Say, it looks like somebody's
kind of taken over here.
- Yeah, and not bad either, Pop.
- You're telling me.
Gather 'round, all you chums
Watch this cat spin those drums
Swing it, brother, beat that hide
Take us on a jivin' ride
This is what the doc prescribes
For a case of jibs and jibes
Drummer boy please give out
On those vibes
Hear that drummer boy play
Goldie, you boys go on ahead.
- I'll meet you at the hotel.
- Right, Pop.
Come in.
You wanted to see me?
Sure. Come on in.
My name's Connors.
- I know. Mine's Whiteman.
- Yeah.
- Won't you sit down?
- Thank you.
I guess I ought to apologize for barging
up there and taking over like I did...
...but we wanted to give you
an audition for your contest.
It was a good audition.
How long you been playing the drums?
Ever since I was a kid.
- You're through school?
- Yes, sir. I've just graduated.
- Well, I bet you're mighty happy about that.
- Well, I made it, but I had to slide.
What are you going to do next?
Keep on pounding the drums
as long as anybody will listen to me.
you're a mighty talented young fellow.
And I think I ought
to do something about it.
One of my boys, a swell saxophone player
and a mighty fine fellow... starting his own band in New York.
They open Thursday.
The drum spot's open.
How'd you like to have that job?
Oh, you're kidding me.
They open Thursday.
You'll have to be there if you want the job.
I want the...
New York.
Yeah, why, I could go home
and pack right now.
Wait a minute, Jimmy. Don't get excited.
I'm not excited.
Who's excited, Mr. Whiteman?
Think it over and let me know
in the morning. I'm at the Wentworth.
The Wentworth?
Well, I don't have to think it over.
I could just have to tell my mom.
Well, I could phone you the first thing
in the morning. Say, about 7:30?
That's okay but I think
10 would be a little better.
Ten o'clock. Oh, gosh.
Thanks a lot, Mr. Whiteman. Gee.
- You're on the level?
- Sure I'm on the level, Jimmy.
Oh, gosh. Well, thanks.
I'll phone you the first thing in the morning.
Good night.
Hey, Mom. Mom!
Mom. Mom, you awake?
- Jimmy, what on earth...?
- It's happened. I told you it would.
We're on our way. I've got a job.
- Job? What do you mean?
- Mr. Whiteman heard our band tonight.
Paul Whiteman. He's offered me
a job with an orchestra in New York.
All of our troubles are over.
Jimmy, I'm so glad for you, son,
and I'm so proud.
Oh, gosh, Mom, just think of it.
New York.
Oh, that's right.
You said you'd be going
to New York right away.
Have you told Mary and Phillip?
Well, I thought I'd wait
until I got the whole thing set.
- I've got to see Mr. Whiteman tomorrow.
- I wonder what they'll say.
Why, they'll...
- Why?
- And the band.
Everybody's looking forward so
to going to Chicago.
Everybody's been working so hard.
Working for the whole group.
- I know what you're thinking but...
- Do you?
I remember when you started the band.
When you told me that they believed in you,
had faith in you to stick by you.
And what suddenly happens
to them now?
They're the same people.
But this is my one big chance.
I can't give it up. Don't ask me to.
You'd be climbing
the first rung of the ladder.
By walking out on your friends.
Yeah, I...
I know it now.
I guess I just didn't stop to think.
I thought it'd be wonderful
for both of us.
And so it can be, Jimmy.
But not quite so fast.
Where are you going, son?
You know where I'm going.
So I'm afraid I won't be able
to accept the job, Mr. Whiteman.
I thought I could, but I just got
through talking to my mother and...
Well, she straightened me out
on a few things.
Mothers have a knack at that sort of thing,
don't they, Jimmy?
Yes, sir. You know, ever since
you made that announcement...
...about a guest appearance
on your broadcast...
Why, that's been our ambition.
We played dates.
We even gave a show to try to raise
enough money to get to Chicago... give an audition.
But that's before we knew
you were coming here.
Jimmy, did you form that band?
Yes, sir.
I kind of cooked it up.
But I can't very well
pull out on them now.
That's good enough for me.
Jimmy, let me tell you something.
When I started out, a band was
a bunch of boys with instruments...
...who got together and beat out rhythm
for the rest of the folks to dance to.
But now it's a profession,
and a mighty important one.
Take the big bandleader of today.
He's almost a household word.
He's as well known as your
biggest picture actor or baseball player.
Fred Waring, Kay Kyser, Glenn Miller.
All very popular.
But once they were a little guy
called Jimmy Connors who...
...just sort of cooked things up.
But with this popularity
comes a great responsibility.
Rhythm can either excite the worst in us
or bring out the best.
Take that little fellow on the street.
Teach him to blow a horn
and he'll never blow a safe.
You know, rhythm is really
a wonderful thing.
Sometimes I think
rhythm almost runs the world.
In a little baby, the first thing that starts
is his rhythm. His little heart starts to beat.
And every different city
has a different kind of rhythm.
In your car,
if the engine's missing and jerking...
...or you feel the bump of a flat tire,
rhythm tells something's wrong.
And if you call a doctor,
the first thing he does is check your rhythm.
He feels your pulse to find if your rhythm
is solid and your beat's strong.
So, Jimmy, when we get
to the last eight bars of the big tune...
...and the old ticker
kind of slows down... matter what's wrong with us,
the last thing to stop is our rhythm.
After listening to a lot of bands
all over the country...
...I don't think it would be fair to select one
and give them the guest spot on that show.
No, there's too many good ones.
I've put up a $500 prize...
...and I'm gonna devote my whole
program for a high school band contest.
I'm going to play it safe.
I'm gonna let the public
worry about who's best.
Gosh, that sounds terrific, Mr. Whiteman.
I've already selected three bands,
but I think I'll make it four.
Do you want to try?
- Do we?
- Chicago, Saturday night.
- Will you be there?
- Why, you couldn't keep us away.
- Well, what's the matter, Jimmy?
- Oh, I...
I forgot, Mr. Whiteman.
It's gonna cost us $200
to get the band to Chicago.
I've figured it out.
We've only got 150.
Mr. Whiteman, do you think you could see
your way clear to give me a loan of $50?
I'll give you my personal note.
Well, what have you got
for collateral, Jimmy?
Well, I could put up my drums.
They mean more to me
than anything in the world.
You'd really do that, Jimmy?
Yes, I would, Mr. Whiteman.
- It's a deal. There you are.
- Oh, gosh.
Thanks. You won't have to wait long,
not if there's a $500 prize.
I wouldn't be too confident.
You might get a little competition.
We're not afraid
of a bunch of kids from high school.
- Hurry up, you're late.
- Is everybody here?
- Music hasn't been passed out.
- Where's Willie?
- He isn't here.
- I'll scalp that midget.
- Run over the old ones.
- Jimmy!
Mrs. Brewster phoned, Willie's terribly sick.
The doctor's there. She wants us.
What? Let's get going.
I'm so glad you've come.
I'll call the doctor.
Oh, I'm afraid it's awfully serious.
- I hope not. What's the matter, doctor?
- From what I gather, he injured his arm...
...when he was swung up
on that wire during your show.
- His arm.
- It's perfectly possible for him... have gone around all this time
without knowing the arm was broken.
That often happens.
what was a simple fracture then...
...has developed
into a serious complication now.
And it is serious.
He's had that injury for over a week.
- What are you doing for him, doctor?
- There's not much that I can do.
It calls for an operation
by someone who is an expert.
- Or else...
- or else what?
Unless that boy is operated on
within the next few hours, I...
Well, I can't be responsible for him.
Oh, no.
Well, we've got to do something.
You're right, son. I've phoned
the best orthopedic man I know.
Dr. Ganglin
at the General Hospital in Chicago.
But he's operating today,
and can't possibly get away.
That leaves us only one alternative.
We've got to get Willie to Chicago.
Well, all right, let's get him there.
Yes, get him there.
But we've got to get him there immediately.
- Well, couldn't we charter a plane?
- That would cost a lot of money.
I'm afraid Mrs. Brewster
could hardly afford that.
How much would it cost, doctor?
About $200.
Call the airport. We have the money.
- Two hundred dollars?
- Well, what are you waiting for?
- All right, I'll take care of it.
- Doctor, could we see Willie now, please?
Yes, I think you should.
Oh, Mrs. Brewster,
could I see you a moment?
Hello, shortstop.
I heard you. I'm not going.
Going where?
In that airplane.
Oh, but you've gotta go.
I know where you're getting the money.
And you're not gonna spend it on me.
What's money?
It's like corny saxophone players,
you can shake it out of trees.
Look, Willie, I'm your friend, aren't I?
- Yeah.
- And Jimmy's your friend too, isn't he?
Well, have we ever asked you to do
anything that wasn't good for you?
Look, Willie. Jimmy's a boss.
The only reason we've gotten
anywhere with the band... because we've listened to him.
And everybody's always done
what he's asked us to.
Even hard things.
Things that we
sometimes didn't agree with.
But the only reason the band
has done anything...
...the show and the play
and the dance...
Well, those were little things.
And now, don't you see, Willie?
You're giving us a chance
to do a big thing.
Why, to Jimmy and me
and every person in the band...'re more important
than all the broadcasts in the world.
We've got the rest of our lives
to do broadcasts.
I know you'll do it because
I know you won't let us down.
You'll do it, won't you, Willie?
I always wanted to ride in an airplane.
- Mr. Connors is here, sir.
- Well, show him in.
- Yes, sir. This way, please.
- Thank you.
- Hello, Jimmy.
- Hello, Mr. Morgan.
- Breakfast?
- No, thanks. I don't care for anything.
- Well, sit down.
- Thank you, sir.
What time is that
Whiteman broadcast tonight?
Oh, 8:00.
Well, think you could win that contest?
I know we could, if we were there.
How long would it take you to get
your band together and get out of town?
Like that:
Well, that's too long.
There's a special train pulling into the yard
in three quarters of an hour.
I want you to be on it.
We'll be on it, Mr. Morgan.
But will it get us there in time?
Well, this train will. I've been
connected to that railroad for 20 years.
And this is the first time
I've ever had any fun out of it.
Now, get going and strike up the band.
Do you mean it? You ain't kidding us, huh?
Oh, thanks, Mr. Morgan.
Johnson, if you're looking for that pension,
you'd better get this train in on time.
Don't worry, Mr. Morgan.
This one's got to be in on time.
- Well, hello, everybody. Here we are.
- Hurry up. Hurry up, Barbara.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye, my dear.
Hurry up. Hurry up, Barbara.
Well, here we go.
- Goodbye now. Good luck, my boy.
- Goodbye.
Hurry up, Mary. Well, goodbye, Mom.
- Do you think we're gonna be the best?
- Everybody thinks so.
I don't know.
Everybody will be listening in.
- New York, Chicago, all over.
- They all came from Riverwood.
- Yeah.
- Anyway, I think you're the best.
And your father, he'd be so proud of you.
Well, then we're gonna win.
- You know what, Mom?
- What, Jimmy?
I'm gonna make you a queen.
- Goodbye. Goodbye, everybody.
- Goodbye.
Goodbye, Jimmy.
Good luck.
Time's about up. Three seconds to go.
- Are you ready?
- Almost.
- That's it.
- There you are.
Connect me with the stage.
I have the winner.
Come on, girls. You can see from here.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen
for listening...
...and for your wonderful reaction.
I'd also like to thank you for your votes
by phone and telegram...
...from all parts of the nation.
Which helped us pick
the winner of this contest.
Which only goes to prove that this country
not only has a genuine love for music...
...but is happy to acclaim
the youth of America.
This wonderful enthusiasm
and fine musicianship...
...demonstrated here tonight
makes me feel quite safe in saying...
...that we need have no fear
for the future of American music.
And now for the winner, a name you're
probably hearing for the first time tonight.
But which may in the future
become a musical byword.
Jimmy Connors and his band.
Thank you. Thank you.
- Jimmy, it's wonderful.
- Gosh, aren't you thrilled, Mary?
Thank you.
- Here. It's for you.
- Me?
Oh, Jimmy.
And now for our final number...
...performed by a combination of all
our contesting bands and glee clubs.
The honor of leading this finale
goes to our young winner, Jimmy Connors.
I feel pretty sure Jimmy's got a few tricks
up his sleeve he hasn't told me about.
- Maybe.
- Mr. Connors, the stick.
Thank you, Mr. Whiteman.
Ladies and gentlemen...
Well, I guess this is it.
I don't have to tell you how I feel.
If I felt any better,
gosh, I couldn't stand it.
When something wonderful like this
happens to anybody...
...I suppose you ought
to thank somebody.
They're not here,
but I know they're listening in.
Mr. Judd, I was all wrong about you.
You'll always be a swell guy
with us because you said:
"I'll buy the first ticket."
And as for you, Willie, you little shortstop,
even though you're in love with my girl...
...we're all thinking about you
and we want you to hurry up...
...and get out of bed
because we all need you.
And of all the people
throughout the United States...
...who might be listening
to this program...
...there's only one thing I'd like to say.
To the most important one of all.
I don't know what I was thinking about
when I said that someday...
...l'd make you a queen.
Because if you hadn't been
a queen all the time...
...l'd never be here now.
Well, here it comes, Mom.
We must have music in the land
For everybody loves a band
A good old rousing melody
Is a joy and inspiration
A hundred million folks agree
That a tune can stir a nation
So, music master, take command
Our hearts will beat to beat the band
Let the drums roll out
Let the trumpet call
- While the people shout
- Hooray!
Strike up the band
Hear the cymbals ring
Calling one and all
To that happy swing
Strike up the band
Yankee doo doodle-oo, doodle-oo
We'll come through Yankee doo, doodle-oo.
For the red, white, and blue, doodle-oo
Lend a hand
With the flag unfurled
We can face the world
Hey, leader, strike up the band
Let the drums roll out
Let the trumpet call
While the people shout
Strike up the band
Hear the cymbals ring
Calling one and all
To that martial swing
Strike up the band
And we'll all give the cheer as we stand
To the man with the stick in his hand
He's the man whose command of the band
Makes the band grand
And you can't go wrong
With a happy song
Hey, leader
Say, leader
Hey, leader, strike up the band
Mister leader
We all want to dance, sir
Give our feet a chance, sir
And say you'll play the La Conga
Rhythm is frantic
We feel romantic
Play a song of love
Our love affair
Was meant to be
It's me for you, dear
And you for me
We'll fuss and quarrel
And tears start to brew
But after the tears
Our love will smile through
When youth has had
Its merry fling
We'll spend our evenings
Two happy people
Who say on the square
Isn't ours a lovely
Love affair
If you feel you need a kick
Rhythm ought to do the trick
Mister leader, shake that stick
Let 'em hear the drummer boy play
With our flags unfurled
We can face the world
Hey, leader, strike up the band