12 user 4 critic

Tin Pan Alley (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 29 November 1940 (USA)
Songwriters Calhoun and Harrigan get Katie and Lily Blane to introduce a new one. Lily goes to England, and Katy joins her after the boys give a new song to Nora Bayes. All are reunited ... See full summary »


Walter Lang


Robert Ellis (screen play), Helen Logan (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Faye ... Katie Blane
Betty Grable ... Lily Blane
Jack Oakie ... Harry Calhoun
John Payne ... Skeets Harrigan
Allen Jenkins ... Casey
Esther Ralston ... Nora Bayes
The Nicholas Brothers ... Dance Specialty
Ben Carter ... Boy
John Loder ... Reggie Carstair
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Joe Codd
Fred Keating ... Harvey Raymond
Billy Gilbert ... Sheik
Lillian Porter Lillian Porter ... Telephone Operator
Princess Vanessa Ammon Princess Vanessa Ammon ... Specialty
The Brian Sisters The Brian Sisters ... Specialty (as Brian Sisters)


Songwriters Calhoun and Harrigan get Katie and Lily Blane to introduce a new one. Lily goes to England, and Katy joins her after the boys give a new song to Nora Bayes. All are reunited when the boys, now in the army, show up in England. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida é uma Canção See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"He'd Have to Get Under - Get Out and Get Under (to Fix Up His Automobile)" (music by Maurice Abrahams, lyrics by Grant Clarke and Edgar Leslie), performed by Alice Faye, Betty Grable and Jack Oakie, was cut from this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Original theatrical release prints contained the song "Get Out and Get Under", sung by Alice Faye to a group of open-air cafe patrons. The song was deleted shortly after the film's opening. The 1994 VHS release of "Tin Pan Alley" does contain the song as an extra feature. See more »


Take Me Back to Melody Lane
Written by Dave Reed Jr.
Played during the opening credits and sung by an unidentified woman
See more »

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User Reviews

Alice plus Betty- Wow!
27 August 2007 | by weezeralfalfaSee all my reviews

Alice Faye and Betty Grable were made for each other as a sister act, together or separately. As the dominant sister, Alice got most of the single numbers, but Betty got to show her stuff in the "Honeysuckle Rose"- "Moonlight and Roses" routine. I can't believe they were never paired again(Well, they were supposed to be in "The Dolly Sisters", but it was too late, as Alice decided to retire just then). John Payne and Jack Oakie were another great buddy pair, Oakie providing a perfect comic balance to Payne's serious demeanor, as a pair of struggling tune smiths. Oakie does an impromptu rendition of a classic George M. Cohan war moral booster, composed about the time this story takes place, at the beginning of WWI. This duo would appear together or separately in several more Faye films. Payne would also serve as a usually successful rival for Betty's heart in several other films. Too bad Oakie was never considered romantic material for the leading ladies. He was certainly charming enough. He could have teamed up with Betty while Payne was romancing or sulking with Alice.

The Nicholas Brothers were yet another talented pair, though they only appeared in their dance routine in "The Sheik of Araby" extravaganza. Breaking the color barrier, they appeared in a number of top musicals of this era, including "Sun Valley Serenade" and the all African American cast in "Stormy Weather", where they performed perhaps their most famous routine. Rotund veteran comedian Billy Gilbert seemed bored with his harem and other diversions, until Alice and Betty showed up in his harem, when he joined them in a memorable song and dance rendition of the title song for "The Sheik of Araby" scene. All in all, a great vaudevillian mix of song and dance, comedy and romantic drama. My main regret is that this wasn't filmed in Technicolor. Few films were then, and the studios didn't always pick the right ones for this luxury treatment. It's about time a DVD version of this classic musical comedy was made available, and dare I hope for a colorized version?

This film was essentially remade in 1949as "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", in Technicolor. June Haver and Gail Robbins took the places of Alice and Betty. Mark Stevens and S.Z. Sakal took the places of Payne and Oakie, respectively. I like the original better, except it was filmed in B&W.

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