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  • paghat23 August 2007
    There's nobody named "Peggy" in the cast, that's "Peppy" the tall jitterbug clown-dancer.

    Plus, "Peanuts" is not playing "himself" but "herself," she's the tiny jitterbug dancer.

    The team were called "Peppy and Peanuts" and they appear in a couple of soundies and two films, very obscure, but were once popular on the burlesque circuit as burlesque included comedy dance teams pretty regularly.

    They had a really a charming act, and it's great to see part of it preserved in this little film. How sad they're so forgotten, and even miscredited.

    The film also provides a chance to see part of the act of Mike Riley and His Musical Maniacs. The "Crying" routine was one of his best known. It's awful, but it reportedly made audiences hysterical in the burlesque houses.

    Riley owned The Madhouse in Hollywood, a tavern never forgotten by anyone who ever saw the inside, designed to be packed with sight gags.

    -paghat the ratgirl from the weird wild realm
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This little gem lasts just over an hour but packs an amazing amount into it. And none of it is dull. The pace is frenetic. But everybody does a great job to keep it going. There are some amazing acts on show. And the comedy is first rate and there are no dull moments. There simply isn't time.

    Ellen Drew, the leading lady, is very beautiful and evocative in the classic 1940's style. And the rest of the cast play well around her.

    The story is quite original. The tale of a miserable rich man who was a frustrated cartoonist. He hasn't smiled in years and nobody is sure why till the man's ex-wife explains about a cartoon her ex-husband once drew on the wall of a restaurant. I'm sure had the movie been made by one of the bigger studios it would be better remembered today. It's certainly worth seeing as a curiosity. And I can recommend it highly.
  • Father runs a big corporation but is suffering from a severe case of melancholia. Daughter and persona non grata boyfriend cook up a plan to have every ex-vaudevillian and dancer on the club circuit that they can find attempt to make him smile. Groan. Scatterbrained ex-wife finally saves the day by remembering that father once had ambitions to be a newspaper comic illustrator (!) Nevermind, it doesn't make that much sense.

    Not the most enjoyable movie ever made, but an amazing time capsule of vaudeville acts: Gene Rodgers, the stupendous boogie-woogie piano player; Mitchell & Lytell, Abbot and Costello wannabees; Alphonse Bergé & Doris Duane, a must-be-seen inverse striptease act; Al Mardo and his priceless bulldog; and most of all Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham, who steals the show with his break dancing.
  • The DVD I watched is from an American rights company called Alpha DVD. Increasingly their output is delight and dismay because so many of the attractive films in their catalog seem to be created from DVD copying a TV print videotape directly off a computer monitor or television screen. THAT'S MY BABY looks like this as it has some weird patterned sheen over the whole image... like bathroom glass. This imperfection in the presentation detracts from what is a major musical find for anyone interested in Republic films of th 40s... and for you out there who love vaudeville zaniness will rush to find a copy. This would have been an A grade film from Republic with excellent art direction set design and a beautiful music score. Then there is the hilarious and energetic roster of auditioning stars and their orchestras... with added throw in and away guest appearances by everyone else possible. There is even break dancing from tap maestro 'Pigmeat" Markham. Some terrible TV edits rob us of some wild, barely seen adagio gymnastics, but one dance duo who I can't identify are jawdropping to briefly see: he is a massive lug in a cartoon dinner-suit, like a football forward in a tux and she is absolutely tiny in an even tinier miniskirt; they proceed to slide-jive and hop about like the Big Bad Wolf and Lambchop! The number is brief and made even shorter by cutaways for dialog... maybe it was risqué.. but what we so briefly see is live cartoon craziness perfected. Later in this very concise 68 minute musical is a wondrous sequence by Dave Fleischer creating a cartoon, mostly in a fascinating montage that delivers the hilarity needed for the fade-out. A great DVD print release of this thoroughly enjoyable mini musical is much deserved. It is alternately silly and spectacular... and the musical numbers, each and every one worth the cost of the DVD alone. The boogie woogie scene in the restaurant needs to be repeated 200 times just so you believe you actually saw it. It is a movie about a cartoon; and so is a musical with cartoon sensibilities... if that is possible.... well it is and it is called THAT'S MY BABY, Republic Pictures 1944. Whata hoot this would have been to see with a huge crowd. The Hilarious and droll Al Mardo and his (useless) dog were a staple of 50s television; Lead acress Ellen Drew is breathtaking, she is very much like Hedy Lamarr; her measured dialogue delivery is particularly appealing. Yep, all this in 68 minutes.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Grumpy newspaper owner Minor Watson hasn't smiled in years, let alone laugh, and his daughter Ellen Drew is worried about him. It all started when his wife left and now he can't even bear to look at the comics in the paper without cracking up. To try and get dad in a better mood, Drew and her beau Richard Arlen get dad to allow a bunch of vaudeville acts into his home for the employee banquet. Dad still doesn't smile but he refuses to stop looking at the acts which run the gamut from silly and dated to quite ingenious. Most impressive is a model who changes wardrobes, basically having a tablecloth draped around her without safety pins, going from evening wear, afternoon wear and finally a wedding dress, with none of the outfits falling off or looking like they were created for some tacky drag queen. There's also a brief bit of break dancing which seems way before its time, although the Barry Brothers did similar moves in some of the early 40's musicals at MGM and 20th Century Fox.

    Over half of the plot is filled with specialty acts or comic routines which includes a nutty psychiatrist analyzing the reasons behind Watson's mood swings. It's not a coincidence that pop's last name is Moody, a name which fits him to a tea. Drew and Arlen realize the only way to chance dad's mood for good is to find mom, and they do in the most ironic of places. The last 10 minutes of the film where mom tries to find one of dad's old drawings underneath the new wallpaper in a swank restaurant and the re-creation of that drawing into a cute cartoon is a charming finale, which shows that you can change an old crank into a happy hipster, and all he really needs to change is that old fashioned emotion called love.
  • AAdaSC20 March 2010
    Betty Moody (Ellen Drew) tries to cheer up her father (Minor Watson) who is feeling melancholy by gathering together entertainers to perform for him. A psychologist, Dr Svatsky (Leonid Kinsky) is also at hand to help in the proceedings. Can anyone make Mr Moody laugh again....?

    This is a really stupid story of no interest and doesn't make sense, especially the part where Ellen Drew meets her mother Hettie (Madeline Grey). It's all so appallingly fake. The best lines come from Mr Moody when he tells people to get out coz they are annoying him. And he's right. The last thing he wants is an intrusion of crappy entertainers in his front room. The film is an excuse to string together some acts of the time. Unfortunately, the most interesting of these, Peppy and Peanuts (P&P), is interrupted by that nuisance of a doctor played by Leonid Kinsky. He is unbearable throughout the film and it is criminal how the film cuts from away from P&P for more irritating footage of Kinsky. The four stars are for Gene Rodgers (boogie woogie pianist), 'Pigmeat' the butler and Peppy & Peanuts (cabaret dance act).
  • "That's My Baby!" is a B-movie starring an actor who specialized in Bs at the time, Richard Arlen. Sadly, however, it's not among his better efforts...mostly because the film is often plotless and instead looks like a variety or Vaudeville show....and many of the acts stink. Why they chose to do this, I have no idea...perhaps they didn't trust the actors to be able to carry the film otherwise....perhaps the filmmakers knew a lot of second-rate show people and just wanted to put their friends in the film. All I know is that I can see why they let this movie slip into the public domain!!

    The plot, such as it is, involves Tim Jones (Arlen) and Betty Moody (Ellen Drew) trying to make the dour R. P. Moody (Minor Watson) smile....something he hasn't done in years. To find out what did make him smile, they located Betty's long-lost mother (R. P.'s ex-wife) and come up with the idea of creating a cartoon involving a cute baby.

    Nothing about this movie would compell you to care about the story....and it was watchable...just barely. Not much more worth saying about this one.