Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938)

alexanders

Starring: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman, Jack Haley, Jean Hersholt

Director: Henry King

Summary: A forward thinking bandleader fights to make ragtime respectable

Other Nominations: Story, Score*, Song (“Now It Can Be Told”), Art Direction, Film Editing

Positives

-This movie had a much better (or at least much more developed) romance plot than most of the ones I’ve watched so far. There are plenty of twists and turns, nobody acts like an idiot and it has a satisfying conclusion.

-This movie is mostly a vehicle to show off as many Irving Berlin songs as possible-about 30 in total. By no means my favorite, but on the whole the songs were good and had some pep.

Negatives

-Don Ameche’s character is really weak and only exists because the romance plot needs friction in it. Besides that, he doesn’t have the kind of emotional reactions you would expect out of someone in his position. Finally, Don Ameche (at least based off the two movies I’ve seen him in) isn’t much of an actor.

-Felt overly long at just under 2 hours, I think you could have cut out a couple of the songs and it would have felt like the plot moved quicker than it did.

Overall

Considering this was a musical, and that I didn’t care much for the last movie that involved the three leads and the director (In Old Chicago), I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. If you like old show tunes or a decent romance, then check it out.

Rating: C+

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