STRIKE UP THE BAND is a classic 1940 musical about Jimmy, a teenager played by Mickey Rooney who wants to follow his dreams of playing in a band but runs into many obstacles along the way. Judy Garland plays Jimmy’s best friend, Mary. Mary wants them to be more than just friends, but Jimmy is too focused on what he wants to pay attention to what others want. Jimmy, Mary and their friends form a high school dance band. They want to compete in a big contest in Chicago. Jimmy eventually learns he needs to put others before himself and focus on their needs.
STRIKE UP THE BAND is a great family-friendly movie, with many exciting character transformations and witty dialogue. The movie is relatively clean and contains many positive messages about friendship, respecting your parents, honesty, and sacrifice. Despite the movie's uplifting moral content, it does show some bad behavior such as yelling, stealing and lying that isn’t always rebuked. The movie also has some wrong theology about people becoming angels after they die. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children.
(BBB, C, FR, V, AA, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong moral worldview with some Christian, redemptive elements stressing sacrifice, admitting wrongdoing, helping others, putting others before yourself, and being kind, plus a character in a play becomes an angel after his death, promoting some light false theology
No foul language
Character roughly grabs a book from someone's hand, objects get thrown at characters in a play, character in a play hits the boy who’s playing his son and kills him
Female character tries to get a boy to kiss her, but the scene is pretty innocent, a couple of the dances contain suggestive moves
No nudity, but light female cleavage
In a play, the villain slips a strong alcoholic beverage into character’s drink, and that character becomes intoxicated
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Lying, but some instances where lying is rebuked, some moments where a character isn’t loyal to his friends, and some tomfoolery where characters trick others, steal and act without regard for other people.
STRIKE UP THE BAND is a 1940 musical featuring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, their fifth movie together. STRIKE UP THE BAND follows two teenagers, Mary and Jimmy, who are in a high school dance band. Mary wants to date Jimmy and tries to get him to see they would be perfect for each other, but alas she discovers that Jimmy only sees her as a good pal. Her efforts seem useless.
Jimmy and Mary convince their high school principal they should form a dance orchestra. They put on a show to raise money for instruments, then Jimmy decides the band is good enough to go to Chicago to compete in the famous bandleader Paul Whiteman’s contest for high school bands. They barely get the money for the trip, with an unexpected assist from Whiteman himself. However, when a band member suddenly gets injured, they must use some of the money to fly the boy to Chicago to get an operation. How will the band get to the contest without the money?
In the movie, Jimmy has a passion to pursue a career as a drummer, even though his mother is against it. Jimmy’s mother eventually comes around and supports him because he is so sincere. Jimmy, like his mother, is eventually willing to sacrifice his happiness for his mother. Jimmy treats his mother with so much love and affection and always has kind words to say to her, but where he falls short is his priorities are misplaced. Jimmy considers himself and what he wants as more important than his friends and what they want. His mother eventually gets him to see that his behavior was selfish.
Mary has many praiseworthy characteristics. She values honesty and has a very kind and compassionate heart. In a major subplot, she goes out of her way to be kind to a younger boy, Willie, and treats him like a younger brother even though he has a crush on her. Mary handles the situation delicately and tries not to hurt Willie’s feelings despite the fact she’s much too old for him.
STRIKE UP THE BAND is a great family-friendly movie, with many exciting character transformations and witty dialogue. STRIKE UP THE BAND is relatively clean and contains many strong morally uplifting messages about friendship, respecting your parents, honesty, and sacrifice. Despite the movie’s uplifting moral content, it does show some bad behavior such as yelling, stealing and lying that isn’t always rebuked. The movie also has some wrong theology about people becoming angels after they die. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children.
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