×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tin Pan Alley

Tyrone Power and Don Ameche were originally set for the top honors with Alice Faye, but casting assignments necessitated shifts of Jack Oakie and John Payne into the Power-Ameche slots, and addition of Betty Grable. Hays Office also stepped in and required extended cutting of the harem number, nixing what was claimed a too vivid display of showgirls' torsos. Particularly efficient job of cutting in this sequence retains all of the entertainment, and speeds things up in what might have developed into a slowdown spot.

With:
Alice Faye Betty Grable Jack Oakie John Payne Allen Jenkins Esther Ralston

Tyrone Power and Don Ameche were originally set for the top honors with Alice Faye, but casting assignments necessitated shifts of Jack Oakie and John Payne into the Power-Ameche slots, and addition of Betty Grable. Hays Office also stepped in and required extended cutting of the harem number, nixing what was claimed a too vivid display of showgirls’ torsos. Particularly efficient job of cutting in this sequence retains all of the entertainment, and speeds things up in what might have developed into a slowdown spot.

Story [by Pamela Harris] carries background of the noisy but colorful stretch of 46th Street and 8th Avenue, headquartering successful and shoestring song publishers in 1915. Oakie is a typical breezy ex-vaudevillian, teamed with tunesmith-ambitious Payne in a publishing venture. The impecunious pair hit the jackpot with a pop tune, and swing into swank offices, with main song-plugging end handled by Faye, half of a sister act who warms up to Payne. But there’s the inevitable romantic split. Faye hops to London to become a music hall sensation with Grable.

In addition to infectious and solid entertainment factors, Tin Pan Alley focuses attention on the Edgar Leslie-Archie Gottler hit of 1917, ‘America I Love You’. Other old favorites brought back for renewed interest include ‘Goodbye Broadway, Hello France’, ‘K-K-Katy’, ‘Moonlight Bay’, ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ and ‘Shiek of Araby’. New tune ‘You Say the Sweetest Things (Baby)’, by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, is enhanced by extended production montage.

Oakie provides a standout characterization as the free-and-easy vaudevillian, generating plenty of laughs with his mugging lines and situations that highlight his abilities. Faye is highlighted as the senior member of the sister act, and carries most of the singing burden to topmost effect. Grable displays her shapeliness in a series of abbreviated and eyeful costumes, although the camera in other respects is sometimes none too flattering; and Payne catches attention with his serious-minded portrayal of the ambitious song publisher and suitor in the romantic sequences.

1940: Best Score

Tin Pan Alley

Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Walter Lang; Producer Kenneth Macgowan (assoc.); Screenplay Robert Ellis, Helen Logan; Camera Leon Shamroy; Editor Walter Thompson; Music Alfred Newman (dir.); Art Director Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: Alice Faye Betty Grable Jack Oakie John Payne Allen Jenkins Esther Ralston

More Film

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content