Monday, March 9, 2015


This is just too incredible to be true and to have survived!

From much loved child and adult star Mickey Rooney comes this amazing two piece "Carmen Miranda" costume worn by Mickey Rooney in the M.G.M. production ‘Babes On Broadway’ in 1941. Robert Kalloch designed the costumes.

Mickey Rooney's incredible screen worn costume in his portrayal of Carmen Miranda herslelf

The brassiere style top is gold satin, trimmed with bronze mesh filagree and nine hooks fasten the reverse.

The floor length skirt is made up of an amazing kaleidoscope of colors! Mauve, orange and red satin, trimmed with bronze and mauve paillards; on the inside.

Mickey Rooney in costume and performing this unforgettable number 

Not one but two sewn in tags reading ‘Mickey Rooney 1204-2740’.

A rare look at the MGM labelling for the costumes they produced
Another look at MGM labelling for the costumes as well at the 1940's hook eye closures
The colors are just incredible to see. As a black and white film you could only have imagined how it looked. How amazing and colourful would the sets have been! 
Carmen Miranda drops in at MGM to show Mickey how to dress like a bombshell from Brazil! 
I have always loved the MGM movie series with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and this particular musical number where he portrayed musical cabaret and film star Carmen Miranda. The musical sequence begins with "Bombshell from Brazil" sung by Judy Garland and a host over others and then moves into the song "Mama Yo Quiero" where Mickey Rooney sings and dances in the costume. And ends with the wonderful cry “Hey Ma!”.

Mickey's costume appeared in the amazing poster art for the film

Here is the link to the number:

The beautiful gold bodice
A colorised version of a lobby card from the 1941 release but still not quite getting the colors right!
Here showing the underskirt and its amazing fuchsia colors! 
Babes on Broadway was directed by the legendary Busby Berkeley, with Vincente Minnelli directing Judy Garland's numbers.

This was the third film in the series of films that became to be known as  the "Backyard Musical" series, which included Babes in Arms (1939), Strike Up the Band (1940) and Girl Crazy (1943).

What is amazing also about the production number and the shooting that day was that Carmen Miranda herself was present on the day for publicity stills together with Busby Berkley. Also wonderful to see the costume in so many photos!

Carmen and Mickey clowning around on set. And one of the few times we see a major mainstream performer and indeed a star in every sense of the word, in full 'drag'.
A great piece of MGM film history, the early and wonderful MGM musicals and from this wonderful, amazing and much loved performer.

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