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Mister Big

Mister Big(1943)

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Jeremy Taswell is the director of the Davis School of the Theatre, a private high school for the arts. The faculty includes young lovers Johnny Hanley and Alice Taswell. One afternoon, student Donald suggests to some of his classmates that they go to "Jimmy's Backyard," a local hot-spot where Ray Eberle and His Orchestra, a jive band, is playing. While the teenagers are having a grand time, they discover from the band leader that their instructor, Johnny, is also known as "Boogieman Blue," a hot new songwriter. Donald tells Johnny that he has written a musical comedy, and fellow student Patricia, whose aunt, Mary Davis, owns the school, offers to use her influence to get the show produced. Aunt Mary, however, is a "culture nut," and becomes incensed at the mere thought of a "jive" show being produced at her school. After Aunt Mary reminds her niece that she is studying to be a dramatic actress, not a "jitterbugger," the students sadly learn that Sophocles' Antigone has been selected as the official class play. When Aunt Mary leaves for New York, however, the students go to work on Taswell, and, with the help of Johnny and Alice, he agrees to allow them to produce Donald's show, as long as Patricia is given a role. Johnny then writes the music for the show, which has become a musical version of Antigone . Donald tutors Patricia in jive dancing, and despite the reservations of the other students, who think she is too high-brow, gives her a featured part in the show. On opening night, Patricia breaks the bad news that her aunt has returned from New York. The students and faculty decide to put on Donald's show, even though Aunt Mary insists on seeing the original Antigone , as she has invited some society friends who might endow the school. The play opens, with Eberle's Broadway producing friends in the audience. Aunt Mary's friends are missing, however, as Donald has gone to the railway station and detoured them from the school. He returns just in time to see Aunt Mary's reaction to the first musical number. He convinces her that it is classical African music, then talks her into leaving the show to search for her friends. Unfortunately, they return to the theater just in time to see the jitterbug finale, which infuriates Aunt Mary. The Broadway producers, however, are enthralled with the show and offer to produce it in New York. Aunt Mary immediately changes her mind about the production and offers her full support. Johnny and Alice have fallen even deeper in love, while Donald finally returns Patricia's affection by offering to take her out for an ice cream soda.