The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection

 

Babes in Arms (1939)       Strike Up the Band (1940)

Babes on Broadway (1942)      Girl Crazy (1943)
 

Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland were paired in 10 popular films in the 30's and 40's and this Warner DVD collection represents 4 of the best; Babes in Arms (1939), Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes on Broadway (1942) and Girl Crazy (1943). Frances Gumm (Garland) and Joe Yule, Jr. (Rooney) epitomized the pure, innocent and energetic adolescents of their era in some wonderful light-weight musicals. 'Song and Dance' numbers were often showcasing the climax of the positive and family-oriented films that grew to immense popularity in their era. It's hard to deny their appeal, even today, expressing basic growing pain fun (this is universal) or simply as vintage Americana nostalgia.

 


Titles

 

 


 

Babes in Arms
Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser
Directors: Busby Berkeley
Theatrical Release Date: October 31, 1939
Synopsis - Mickey Moran, son of an old vaudeville-team puts on his own show to avoid being sent with other vaudevillians' children to a work farm, but that isn't that easy.

Strike Up the Band
Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Paul Whiteman and Orchestra, June Preisser, William Tracy
Directors: Busby Berkeley
Theatrical Release Date: September 27, 1940
Synopsis - Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are able to convince him, that their band is good enought, so he lents sem the money. But then one of their friends becomes seriously ill and had to be carried in a hospital per plane, they had to use Whiteman's money for this

Babes on Broadway
Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald
Directors: Busby Berkeley
Theatrical Release Date: January 1942
Synopsis - Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through her gets the idea to promote a show to send orphaned children on a country holiday. But he is only using the kids to get on himself, which Penny soon realises. With his romance off, an engagement in Philadelphia he can't get to, and, indeed, war in Europe, life can be difficult.

Girl Crazy
Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert E. Strickland, Rags Ragland
Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley
Theatrical Release Date: November 26, 1943
Synopsis - Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to be a female for miles. But before Danny arrives, he spies a pair of legs extending out from under a stalled roadster. They belong to the Dean's granddaughter, Ginger Gray (Garland), who is more interested in keeping the financially strapped college open than falling for Danny's romantic line. At least at first...

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1939 - 1943

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner (5-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Time: 4 X approx. 1.5 hours each
Audio English (1.0 stereo)
Subtitles English, English (hoh), none NOTE: Girl Crazy also offers optional Spanish
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

  • On Babes in Arms (1939)
    • Introduction by Mickey Rooney
    • Commentary by historian John Fricke
    • Vintage Our Gang short Duel Personalities
    • Classic cartoon The Mad Maestro
    • 1939 Newsreel with Mickey and Judy
    Audio-only bonuses:
    • Leo Is on the Air radio promo
    • 3 different radio shows with Rooney and Garland
    • Theatrical Trailer

    On Strike up the Band (1940)
    • Introduction by Mickey Rooney
    • Pete Smith specialty comedy short Wedding Bills
    • Classic cartoon Romeo in Rhythm
    • "Do the La Conga" stereo remix version
    Audio-only bonuses:
    • Leo Is on the Air radio promo
    • Millions for Defense radio special with Mickey and Judy
    • Additional radio show with Rooney and Garland
    • Theatrical Trailer

    On Babes on Broadway (1941)
    • Introduction by Mickey Rooney
    • Pete Smith Specialty comedy short How to Hold Your Husband Back
    • Classic cartoon Dance of the Weed
    Audio-only bonuses:
    • Two Leo Is on the Air Radio Promos
    • Radio Show Adaptation of Merton of the Movies with Rooney and Garland
    • Chin Up! Cheerio! Carry On Song Demo performed by composer Burton Lane
    • Theatrical Trailer

    On Girl Crazy (1943)
    • Introduction by Mickey Rooney
    • Commentary by historian John Fricke
    • Vintage short Hollywood Daredevils
    • Classic cartoon The Early Bird Dood It
    • I Got Rhythm stereo remix version
    • Audio-only bonus: Bronco Busters Outtake
    • Theatrical Trailer

    Bonus disc:
    • Private Screenings with Mickey Rooney - 1996 TCM special hosted by Robert Osborne
    • The Judy Garland Songbook- A superb collection of 21 complete, magical Judy Garland musical numbers spanning her many films from 1936-1954
    • Mickey and Judy Trailer Gallery

  • 20 high-quality photos (postcard size)

  • 50-page hardcover booklet with color photos of posters, stars and production details.


DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Custom four-tiered digipak (see image above)
Chapters: Respectively - 27, 29, 31, 26 + 26

 

 

Comments:

The 4 main features of this boxset are housed in a four-tiered digipak slipcase inside a cardboard box (see image above) and they are not sold separately at this time. All 4 DVDs are dual-layered, progressively transferred and coded for Regions 1,2,3, and 4 in the NTSC standard. Average bitrates range around 6.5 mb/s. Audio is original mono but very clear and consistent and there are optional English (or English 'hard of hearing') subtitles. NOTE: Girl Crazy offers optional Spanish as well.  There are 2 commentaries and the discs contain a lot of supplemental information although very little of it directly pertains to Garland/Rooney or their films but there is a bonus discs (inside the included book) with over 3 hours of documentaries and musical numbers.

Initially you will be take back by the extensiveness of the package - a fairly heavy 50 page hard cover book is included as well as over 20 black and white bordered photos (postcard size) in their own sleeve.

The transfers seem a notch below the Warner classic film standard we have come to expect in the past few years but I'll put this down to the age of the movies and the condition of the prints. They are still very watchable - a bit hazy at times and contrast a shade muddier than one might have hoped. None shines above the others and they are fairly consistent - the screen caps below will give you a fair representation of how they look.

Audio is original mono and perhaps a shade better than the image - this is always a Warner strength and the clear dialogue is supported by excellent optional English subtitles in both standard and for the hearing impaired.

Supplements are vast and the package contains some less than relevant extras that include cartoons, trailers, an Our Gang comedy, Pete Smith and other vintage short comedies, audio only radio interviews etc. and a couple of 'stereo remix' musical numbers from Garland. More pertinent to the collection are 4 brief (about 2-3 minutes each) introductions by Rooney which I liked - not too long and nice to see his eyes brighten when talking of the past. There are also two excellent commentaries both by Historian John Fricke - on Babes in Arms and Girl Crazy. Fans of the pair or the Hollywood era will be very entertained with his informative information  and precise manner.

The bonus disc has Private Screenings with Mickey Rooney; it is a 40 minute TCM documentary from 1996 hosted by Robert Osborne - following Rooney's career from being a very young child performer. I'd say it is as good and surface informative as any of the other TCM documentaries supplements I have seen on DVDs. Fans will love the Judy Garland songbook that has 21 chapter accessible numbers from Garland (wow!). Nothing too heavy but entirely entertaining and I love that you can 'play all' with one button. Finally on the digital front there are 10 trailers of films from their pairings also accessible together.

The included booklet is very nice with plenty of text from John Fricke and some nice photos (both color and black and white) plus plenty of production details. Unfortunately the binding is not strong enough to support the heavy cover and the included bonus disc - mine separated the 2nd time I opened it.

If you are, at all, into the films of this wholesome duo - squeaky clean fun and pure innocent entertainment then this package is as good as it will get. I still recall seeing these films when I was about 12 years old on Saturday mornings (on CBC television in Canada). Warner has once again delivered and given us a thoroughly complete and professional keepsake for this unique niche of family/musical films from an era long gone by - but, with their help, not forgotten.     

Gary W. Tooze




DVD Menus


Supplements:

Bonus Disc


 

Screen Captures

 

Babes in Arms


Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser


Directors: Busby Berkeley


Theatrical Release Date: October 31, 1939

 

 


 

 

Screen Captures

 

Strike Up the Band


Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Paul Whiteman and Orchestra, June Preisser, William Tracy


Directors: Busby Berkeley


Theatrical Release Date: September 27, 1940

 

 

 


 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Babes on Broadway


Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald


Directors: Busby Berkeley


Theatrical Release Date: January 1942

 

 


 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Girl Crazy


Stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert E. Strickland, Rags Ragland


Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley


Theatrical Release Date: November 26, 1943

 

 

 

 


 


 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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