BABES IN ARMS (1939) B/W 93m dir: Busby Berkeley

w/Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes, Betty Jaynes, Douglas McPhail, Rand Brooks, Leni Lynn

Delightful musical about the children of vaudevillians who grow up while witnessing the death of vaudeville.

From The Movie Guide: "Based on the Rodgers and Hart play of the same name, BABES IN ARMS was the first Rooney/Garland vehicle helmed by Busby Berkeley, and its success set the tone for STRIKE UP THE BAND and BABES ON BROADWAY, their subsequent collaborations. (Garland later teamed with Berkeley and hoofer Gene Kelly for 1942's FOR ME AND MY GAL.) ...

"Only 'Where or When' remains from the original score, trampled by the unsubtle Berkeley (whom Garland would grow to loathe). This was the first of the Mickey/Judy 'let's put on a show' extravaganzas but it's saved by Rooney's brash nerve and especially by the triple-threat charm of Garland, a performer unequaled in the annals of show business. The storyline here has been reduced to vaudeville corn, but watch Garland's ability to transcend cliche, transforming formulaic dross into critical and box-office gold."

BABES IN ARMS was nominated for two Oscars: Best Actor (Rooney) and Score (Roger Edens, George Stoll).