6 user 2 critic

Kid Nightingale (1939)

A singing waiter gets into an argument with some obnoxious customers and winds up knocking them out. The incident is witnessed by a shady boxing promoter who sees an opportunity to cash in ... See full summary »


George Amy


Charles Belden (screen play) (as Charles Beldon), Raymond L. Schrock (screen play) (as Raymond Schrock) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
John Payne ... Steve Nelson aka Kid Nightingale
Jane Wyman ... Judy Craig
Walter Catlett ... Skip Davis
Edward Brophy ... Mike Jordon (as Ed Brophy)
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Charles Paxton
Max Hoffman Jr. Max Hoffman Jr. ... Fitts (as Max Hoffman)
John Ridgely ... Whitey
Harry Burns Harry Burns ... Strangler Colombo / Rudolfo Terrassi
William Haade ... Rocky Snyder - Fighter
Helen Troy ... Marge - Paxton's Secretary
Winifred Harris ... Mrs. Reynolds
Lee Phelps Lee Phelps ... Ring Announcer
Frankie Van Frankie Van ... Frankie - Steve's Trainer


A singing waiter gets into an argument with some obnoxious customers and winds up knocking them out. The incident is witnessed by a shady boxing promoter who sees an opportunity to cash in and pretty soon the waiter is being promoted as "Kid Nightingale, The Singing Boxer". Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ruiseñor pelea See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Early in the film, a newspaper headline spells Mike's last name J-O-R-D-A-N, but on the door to his office the last name is spelled J-O-R-D-O-N. See more »


Listen to the Mockingbird
(1855) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Milburn
Lyrics by Septimus Winner
Played by Jerry Mandy and His Sextet
Reprised and Sung by John Payne
See more »

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User Reviews

Jane and John climbing up the ladder on a song
23 May 2014 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

A programmer from that golden year of 1939 may not be a classic but does spotlight two plucky kids who went on to become big stars, one much more acclaimed than the other.

Made at a time when contract players, sometimes even the big stars, averaged at least four pictures a year this was one of those four for Jane although for John there would only be three this year he made up for it in '40 with six. Obviously not all could be winners but this one is a chipper little piece of hokum almost totally reliant on the charms of its two leads with Walter Catlett full of bluster as the shady promoter who discovers Kid Nightingale.

Jane's in the dizzy blonde period the studio could never make work since her native intelligence always shone through. She's flip and charming. Payne handsome and fit had a big advantage over many of the other young actors, Wayne Morris, Jeffrey Lynn, Dick Foran etc., he was competing against he sang very well and the studio was wise to find ways, sometime ridiculous, to utilize that gift.

This is one of those time crafting perhaps the only singing boxer movie in existence for him. Isn't one enough though?

A pleasant and speedy diversion, just under an hour, that's as good an example as any of the B pictures the studio churned out to support their big ticket films.

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