Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Hey, gang! Let's put on a swell show and call it Strike Up the Band! Yes, it's the irrepressible Mickey Rooney, teamed up again with Judy Garland to show the grownups how to do things right. This time, Rooney wants to organize a high-school band. He hopes to enter a competition being held in Chicago by the great orchestra leader Paul Whiteman; all he needs is two hundred dollars for train fare. To raise the money, Rooney, Garland and company stage a student "mellerdrammer" that in real life would have cost the equivalent of a third-world-nation annual budget. They get the dough, but soft-hearted Rooney turns over the money to the mother of student musician Larry Nunn, who is in desperate need of emergency surgery. It looks hopeless until, luck of luck, Paul Whiteman arrives in Rooney's town. The original George and Ira Gershwin Broadway musical Strike Up the Band was a satire of warfare, with America declaring war on Switzerland in order to corner the chocolate industry. You'll see none of that subversive stuff in this MGM musical; instead, we are treated to such highlights as a George Pal animated sequence involving dancing fruit. It ain't profound, but Strike Up the Band is sure entertaining.
band [music group], fundraiser, high-school, money, musician, orchestra, production [showbiz]