This second film version of the George and Ira Gershwin's Broadway hit Girl Crazy stars reigning MGM musical prince and princess Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The 1932 version of Girl Crazy de-emphasized the main plot, building up the comic subplot involving a timorous temporary sheriff and a city slicker con man -- the better to accommodate that film's stars, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. The 1943 remake does without the comic relief, concentrating on Rooney, a teenaged playboy who is sent to a Western mining school by his father (Henry O'Neill), in the hopes that the Rooney will forsake his wastrel ways. Judy Garland is cast in the role originated on stage by Ginger Rogers: the feisty, lovelorn frontier postmistress Ginger Gray, who falls in love with the hero -- the difference being that Garland has been promoted from postmistress to the daughter of mining-school dean Phineas Armour (Guy Kibbee). The new plot involves a contest for rodeo queen, pitting Ginger against Marjorie Tait (Frances Rafferty), who is also her rival for Rooney's affections. The contest serves a double purpose: Rooney is hoping that the publicity engendered by the rivalry will attract students to the failing school, proof positive that for all of his bravado, he's a swell, altruistic guy underneath. These plot complications are merely prologue for a gargantuan musical finale built upon the Gershwin standard "I Got Rhythm," staged by the film's original director, Busby Berkeley. Other musical carryovers from the stage play include "Embraceable You," "Bidin' My Time," and "But Not for Me." Featured in the cast are June Allyson, Rags Ragland, and the Tommy Dorsey Band.
by Hal Erickson synopsis