Ruth Etting | Movies

Full Length Films

Roman ScandalsRoman Scandals (1933)
United Artists, USA, Black and White, 92 minutes

Bright musical comedy with Eddie Cantor as a wistful young man from Oklahoma, who daydreams his way back to the hey-day of ancient Rome and causes all kinds of trouble. Chipper songs and grand production numbers by Busby Berkeley. Features Ruth Etting singing No More Love by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. The cast includes David Manners, Alan Mowbray, Gloria Stuart and Edward Arnold, with Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, and Lucille Ball in bit parts. Directed by Frank Tuttle. more…

Gift of GabGift of Gab (1934)
Universal Pictures, USA, Black and White, 70 minutes
Gift of Gab was long regarded as a “lost” film, but a copy has recently been unearthed. It’s a comedy about a man who can sell anyone anything…he has the ‘gift of gab.’ The film was directed by Karl Freund, and starred Edmund Lowe and Gloria Stuart, with Ruth Etting, Boris Karloff and Béla Lugosi. The film features Ruth Etting singing Talking to Myself and Tomorrow Who Cares? more…

Hips Hips Hooray!Hips Hips Hooray (1934)
RKO Radio Pictures, USA, Black and White, 68 minutes
Considered to be one of Wheeler and Woolsey’s finest comedies, in this musical farce, the comedy team convinces Thelma Todd to let them sell her flavorful lipsticks in order to save her failing beauty supply business – all the while, running from the police who are hot on their trail.  Features Ruth Etting singing Keep Romance Alive written by Bert Kalmer and Harry Ruby. Directed by Mark Sandrich. Also starring Dorothy Lee and George Meeker. more…

Film Shorts

Between 1928 and 1936, Ruth Etting appeared in dozens of film shorts as a solo performer, and also in collaboration with performers like Bing Crosby, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Blondell, Eddie Cantor, Bert Lahr and Ed Sullivan. For a complete list of Ruth Etting’s film shorts, click here!

TV Appearances

Harlem Hot Shots: With Broadway’s Brightest Stars
(Black Artists of the Silver Screen, 1953)

Directed by Joseph Kohn. Performers: Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ruth Etting, Joe Turner, Bill Bailey, Ruth Brown. A televised performance before a live audience presented in 1953 by Afro-American entertainers in music, dance and comedy. 47 min.

Movies About Ruth Etting

Love Me or Leave Me videoLove Me or Leave Me

USA 1955 Color (Eastmancolor)

122 minutes Produced by: MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) [aka MGM-UA] [us]
Directed by Charles Vidor with Doris Day as Ruth, James Cagney as “The Gimp” Snyder and Cameron Mitchell.

The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including James Cagney for Best Actor, Best Music, Song, for the song: “I’ll Never Stop Loving You”, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Writing, Screenplay, and Best Sound, Recording and ultimately won the Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story. One of the top box-office hits of 1955, it ranks in the top twenty all-time favorite MGM Musicals.

Buy It Now!

2 Responses to Movies

  1. David Candlin, Hildenborough, Kent, UK says:

    Dear Miss Spelts

    I should introduce myself as someone who played a small part in the biography by Ken Irwin, which I believe made a scholarly addition to the world of biographies. I have visited him twice in Chicago and about ten years before the book was published he took me on the ‘Ruth Etting Trial’ in the city, where it was still possible to see some of the theatres where she performed and the houses where she lived. The book includes an interview I did with Larry Adler a few years before he died. I have the full version on tape.

    Ken and I have for some years being trying to trace some of the lost ‘Short Films’. We have copies of 20 of the 36 she made, but it is a mystery where the old RKO film library went. Of the missing films we know two are important: The Song of Fame” (1934), apparently the last Vitaphone she worked on (this film was widely praised by critics) and ‘Ticket or Leave it’, which is listed as including Irving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies’, never recorded on disk by her.
    We are wondering if you can throw any light on this subject.

    Best wishes

    David Candlin

  2. Hi David! Nice to meet you! Everything I know about Ruth Etting is on this site – well, almost everything! I have a few newspaper clippings and other printed material that I haven’t scanned yet – but that’s it.

    I wish I could be of more help! Hopefully someone else will come along and see your comment, and have some better info!

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