Alexander’s Ragtime Band – Roger Grant, a classical violinist, disappoints his family and teacher when he organizes a jazz band, but he and the band become successful. Roger falls in love with his singer Stella, but his reluctance to lose her leads him to thwart her efforts to become a solo star. When the World War separates them in 1917, Stella marries Roger’s best friend Charlie. Roger comes home after the war and an important concert at Carnegie Hall brings the corners of the romantic triangle together.
classic entertainment Alexander’s Ragtime Band
The last time I saw this movie was probably the late ’60s, when I watched it on television with a group of friends. I just saw it again on DVD, and it’s as much fun as I remember it. In 108 minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised if 90 minutes was music, and what music! One Irving Berlin song after another, sung by either Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman, or Jack Haley. A young Merman, with a sexy figure, really pops in this film with her exciting belt voice.
A thinnish plot surrounds the songs. It’s the story of a classical musician (Tyrone Power) who forms a swing band and, because of the song “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” takes the name Alexander for himself and the Ragtime Band for his group. The movie takes us loving, losing, and playing music through World War I and into the swing era, though there’s not a gray hair to be found among our heroes.
Ameche and Power were friends before either one of them was signed by 20th Century Fox, and with Faye, they made “In Old Chicago” together plus this film – and both Faye/Ameche and Faye/Power made other films together as well. The three work very well as an ensemble. Faye is especially lovely in this. She sings in a commanding contralto, wears some great fashions, and is appropriately feisty, low-class, or classy as the part demands.
As lovely as she was, though, she’s no competition for the most gorgeous one in the movie, Tyrone Power. He’s pretty darn breathtaking in that tuxedo of his. He could have conducted me anywhere.
Monumentally entertaining music and plenty of eye candy – highly recommended.