Alexander's Ragtime Band

Synopsis: Roger Grant, a classical violinist, disappoints his family and teacher when he organizes a jazz band, but he and the band become successful. Roger falls in love with his singer Stella, but his reluctance to lose her leads him to thwart her efforts to become a solo star. When the World War separates them in 1917, Stella marries Roger's best friend Charlie. Roger comes home after the war and an important concert at Carnegie Hall brings the corners of the romantic triangle together.
Director(s): Henry King
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min


- Roger...

- Roger...

Oh, Roger, you haven't

forgotten about the party?

No, but I'm afraid I can't make it.

- But you've got to come. You promised.

- The whole crowd's going to be there.

And besides, I've saved

all my Waltzes for you.

We'll make them up next time.

It's going to be the

best party of the year.

- Sorry. Good night.

- Good night.

I've gotta run, Aunt Sophie.

Can you get home all right?

Yes, but I did want you

to go to that lovely party.

Good night, dear.

I'll see you first thing in the morning.

- Good night, Professor Heinrich.

- You did very well, my boy.

But your pizzicato -

we still have to work on it.

Remember, as more you press,

as less comes out.

I'll take care of it first

thing in the morning.

Don't overdo yourself, dear.

Why did you have to say that?

His pizzicatos were perfect.

Perhaps, but these young people today,

we have to keep after them all the time.

If he's going to be a great musician...

If he's going to be a great musician?

A boy with his talent?

Why, do you know where he's gone now?

To work. In the Excelsior bakery.

Slaving away half the night in order to

have more time to practice in the daytime.

- So?

- Yes.

You sawed-off little runt!

Trying to dump your broken-down

horn-pushers off on me.

But you didn't give 'em a chance!

I won't get the stink

out of my place for a week.

You can't treat me like this!

I'll get the police!

I'll get my lawyer! I'll sue ya!

Don't bring that flute back in here!

Say, you must be

kinda hard to please tonight.

- Hey, wait a minute!

- What do you want?

Well, it wouldn't be fresh air

in this cute little cottage.

Hey, hey!

They tell me you're going in for music.

Well... here I am.

- What do you play?

- I don't play, I sing.

I've been up at Lefty's for three months.

Well, if you're so good,

why ain't you up there now?

Well, Lefty got fresh and I quit.

But I know I'll be safe here.

Sure. You'll be safe here.

Sure. Just as safe

as in the crater of a volcano.

Give us a beer.

Hey, I'm gonna knock you

right out of your seat tonight.

- I wouldn't be surprised.

- I've got something here that's dynamite.

Brand-new. Nobody in Barbary Coast

has ever heard anything like it before.

You must have wrote it yourself.

No, a friend sent it to me from New York.

Just wait till you hear it.


Well, for crying out loud! Snapper!

You're a sight for sore eyes, baby!

- Say, listen. Is this getup on the level?

- Sure. I'm seein' the world.

- I'll say you are!

- Boy, am I glad to see you.

Gang, I want you to meet Stella Kirby.

- Hiya, kid.

- Hi, babe.

We went through school together,

up to the fifth grade,

and boy, could she spell 'em down.

Here, grab yourself a seat, Stell.

Hey! Bring us some beer.

You're looking like a million, baby.

- Did you ever learn long division?

- Never even learned short division.

And I'm doin' all right without it!

Ain't she a beaut?

Hey, Bill.

- Here are the fellas I was tellin' you about.

- Hiya.

- Did the other outfit show up yet?

- Yeah.

They just got thrown out.

Just wait a minute.

Say, boss. These boys play great.

You oughta hear 'em.

- Tim Dolan send 'em over?

- No, I told 'em to come over.

This one... This one here,

his uncle's a cop. A friend of mine.

Mind your own business from now on.

You're paid to draw beer.

- Are you beginners?

- Yes, sir.

- We've all gotta begin sometime.

- We're pretty good, too.

We've been rehearsing for weeks.

Wait till you hear us.

- Why aren't the others in uniform?

- You see, I was dressed for a concert.

Oh, we can hire 'em for you

if you want 'em.

Eh, you don't look so hot to me.

But all right. I'll give you a try.

- One piece.

- Oh, thanks!

- Thanks, Bill.

- We're in!


- What's the matter?

- The music.

- What?

- It's gone!

- But you had it.

- I must have left it on the streetcar.

- You couldn't have done that.

- What are we gonna do?

- Well, are you guys gonna play or not?

- Oh, sure.

Here. Take this. It's music.

- Brand-new. Just come from New York.

- Music, you'd better be good.

If they start throwing bottles at us,

I'll meet you boys on the ferry.

- All right, fellas. Just the chorus.

- Hey, I don't get it.

What kind of time is this?

Four quarter. Every bar a quarter rest.

It's crazy.

Come on!

That's it, boys. Swing into it.

My music!

The dirty crooks.

- What's the idea of swiping my music?

- I beg your pardon?

Don't pull any of that "pardon" stuff

on me. You in that monkey suit.

The minute my back was turned, trying to

set yourself in here with my stuff, huh?

All right, kids.

That's dynamite. You're in.

- Who's in?

- All of you.

Say, don't hook me up with this outfit.

I came here to get a job for myself,

not for this bunch.

It was my music and my singing

that put them over.

- Yeah, but listen...

- They don't know to play. They're rotten.

Oh, and I suppose just because

you can stand up here and shout,

that you know everything

about music, huh?

Fight it out among yourselves,

but it's all of you or nothing.

Beer on the house

for Mr. Alexander and his Ragtime Band.

- My name is not Alexander.

- It's Alexander to me.

Come on with that beer.

- So I don't know music, huh?

- No.

Well, maybe I don't know

the tripe they play up on Snob Hill,

but I know what they like down here

and that's more than you'll ever know.

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Kathryn Scola

Kathryn Scola (1891–1982) was an American screenwriter. She worked on more than thirty films during the 1930s and 1940s. Scola worked in Hollywood for a multitude of prominent production companies during the studio era, including Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Scola’s career took place during the transition from unregulated Pre-Code films to the implementation of the Motion Picture Production Code, and was frequently involved in writing screenplays that were deemed too controversial by the Motion Picture Association of America. Three of Scola’s films were included in the Forbidden Hollywood film series, including Baby Face, Female and Midnight Mary. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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