Musical Monday: Going Places (1938)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

going placesThis week’s musical:
Going Places (1938) – Musical #198

Warner Bros.

Ray Enright

Dick Powell, Anita Louise, Allen Jenkins, Louis Armstrong, Minna Gombell, Walter Catlett, Harold Huber, Thurston Hall, Ronald Reagan, Joyce Compton, John Ridgely, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Larry Williams,

Sporting goods store clerk Peter Mason (Powell) learns a major horserace is happening nearby and no one has entered their store to buy any riding gear. Peter and his boss (Catlett) pose as a famous jockey and his valet to infiltrate among the horsey set to sell sporting goods. The problem is when he finds fans of the real jockey, including beautiful Ellen Parker (Louise).

• The song “Jeepers Creepers” was introduced by Louis Armstrong in this film. The song was written by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer, and they were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song.
• Version of the films The Hottentot (1929), which was also released in 1922 in the same title.

going places2

• Allen Jenkins and Harold Huber as a comedic pair.
• Louis Armstrong

Notable Songs:
• “Jeepers Creepers” performed by Louis Armstrong
• “Mutiny in the Nursery” performed by Louis Armstrong, Dick Powell, Maxine Sullivan, The Dandridge Sisters
• “Oh, What a Horse was Charlie” performed by Dick Powell, Walter Catlett, Harold Huber, Allen Jenkins

going places4

My review:
When certain songs are so famous, it’s interesting to see where they originated. This little-known Warner Bros. film is where the famous “Jeepers Creepers” was introduced. The Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer tune was even nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to another famous tune — “Thanks for the Memories” which originated in “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

The film stars Dick Powell and Anita Louise, Warner Bros. contract stars who were both nearing the end of their time at the studio. Powell plays a sporting good store clerk, Peter Mason, who hatches an idea that the store will get more clients if he goes to a famous horse race and hob knobs with the horsey set. But he doesn’t go as Peter the store clerk, but a famous jockey. Issues arise when fans of the real jockey wants his attention, including Ellen (Louise).

going places 5While Powell and Louise are the stars of the film, it’s the supporting cast that outshine the leads.

Allen Jenkins and Harold Huber make a hilarious pair, and perform a funny number, “Oh, What a Horse was Charlie.” I love to see performers like Jenkins and Huber sing, when they don’t traditionally perform in that manner.

But the main highlight is Louis Armstrong, who performs “Jeepers Creepers” on his trumpet to get a prize horse to run. And “Mutiny in the Nursery” is another fun song in the film.

More than music, this film has lots of funny moments that are borderline ridiculous, but still so much fun.

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