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Heads Up (1930)


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Complete credited cast:
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Jack Mason (as Charles Rogers)
Helen Kane ... Betty Trumbull
Margaret Breen Margaret Breen ... Mary Trumbull
Victor Moore ... Skippy Dugan
Gene Gowing Gene Gowing ... Rex Cutting
Helen Carrington Helen Carrington ... Mrs. Martha Trumbull
Billy Taylor Billy Taylor ... Georgie
Charles Anthony Hughes ... Larry White (as C. Anthony Hughes)
Harry Shannon ... Capt. Denny
John Hamilton ... Capt. Whitney
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Preston Foster ... Blake
Stanley Jessup Stanley Jessup ... Naval officer


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Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


A Glorious Jamboree of Girls, Giggles and Gayety- a Boatload of Love, lyrics and Laughter! (Print Ad- Schenectady Gazette, ((Schenectady, NY)) 27 November 1930)


Comedy | Musical







Release Date:

11 October 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ilha da Felicidade See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Heads Up" opened at the Alvin Theatre on November 11, 1929 and ran for 144 performances. See more »


My Man Is on the Make
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
See more »

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User Reviews

Tepid Early Musical
20 August 2012 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

"Heads Up" is a thinly plotted musical comedy which is light on both ingredients. There are only four songs, and only two from Rodgers and Hart's original score. It was based on a Broadway play which ran for 144 performances, and this number has been debated by other reviewers as to whether the show should be considered a hit or not. By today's standards that would be a near flop, but evidently in the 30's it could make a profit for backers.

In any case, it could have used a stronger cast. Buddy Rogers was an attractive leading man but not a song and dance man. He has the best song in the show, the old standard "A Ship Without A Sail" and puts it over in good fashion but is accompanied by a hearty, full-throated chorus of sailors which crush the slender thread of the song with a loud, overpowering backup job. This has to be one of the most peculiar arrangements ever put on film.

Also in the cast are Helen Kane and Victor Moore. Ms. Kane is given too much to do and is an overrated performer, getting by mainly on her Betty Boop voice. She sings a little, dances a little and shows minimal talent and looks for a Hollywood musical. Victor Moore was a famous Broadway figure who made the transition to Hollywood on the strength of his unique shtick, that of a flustered half-wit, which is dwelt on at length here and which soon becomes tedious. The two are entertaining together in a sequence in which he describes his kitchen inventions accompanied by some funny back-and-forth dialogue.

The plot is mildly interesting, about a private vessel being used by bootleggers (Prohibition was still in force), but is neither compelling nor suspenseful. The main reason to see this film is for the viewer to evaluate its place in the history of musical comedy.

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