1939 Motion Picture
MGM’s film adaptation of Babes in Arms was released nationwide on October 13, 1939. Loosely based on the stage musical by Rodgers & Hart, the film dispensed with most songs from the original and replaced them with songs by other writers. (Only two Rodgers & Hart songs, the title number and “Where or When,” remained; “The Lady is a Tramp” was used as underscoring during a dinner scene.) Starring 16-year-old Judy Garland and 19-year-old Mickey Rooney, the film established the “let’s-put-on-a-show” storyline that became a film trope for decades. A box office hit, Babes in Arms grossed over $3 million worldwide.