Little Johnny Jones (1930) - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Johnny Jones (1930)

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Movie Info

George M. Cohan's 1904 musical came to the screen a second time in 1930 courtesy of Warner Bros., who cast light leading man Edward Buzzell as the small-town jockey whose impromptu renditions of "Yankee Doodle Boy" lead to all kinds of theatrical offers. Johnny, however, is in New York to race Yankee to victory and has no time for such foolishness. Especially because he is also busy dallying with actress Vivian Dale (Edna Murphy). Arriving to watch her horse compete, Mary Dale (Alice Day) takes umbrage at Vivian's presence, particularly because the Broadway vamp is trying to convince Johnny to throw the race. The jockey refuses but loses anyway and an incriminating letter from Vivian causes him to be unjustly accused. Fleeing to England, Johnny slaves away in a Limehouse dive until given a chance to ride Yankee at Epsom Downs. This time, our hero wins both the race and Mary's love. Featuring Cohan numbers like "Yankee Doodle Boy", "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Painting the Clouds With Sunshine" (the latter written by Al Dubin and Joe Burke), Little Johnny Jonson's flag-waving sentiments proved an anachronism in the last days of the Roaring Twenties and the film was a major box-office disaster.

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