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Film / Forty Boys and a Song

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Forty Boys and a Song is a 1941 short film (ten minutes) directed by Irving Allen.

It's about the Robert Mitchell Boy Choir, consisting entirely of boys aged 8 to 14. The choir, run by organist Robert Mitchell, appeared in Hollywood productions for over thirty years. According to this short film, the boys were recruited to go to a special school where they would go through regular classroom instruction until 1 pm, after which they'd do choir practice. The kids are also shown performing in a church on Sunday as well as camping, as they are all part of the same Boy Scouts troop.

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Tropes:

  • Documentary: A documentary about the Robert Mitchell Boy Choir.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: One boy croaks like a bullfrog as he's attempting to perform his scales. His time in the Robert Mitchell choir may be limited.
  • The Musical: The kids perform several songs in the course of this brief short, including "Home on the Range", "My Bonnie", and "Shortnin' Bread".
  • Narrator: There's no scripted dialogue, only a narrator telling the story of the choir, and the choir singing songs.
  • The Noun and the Noun: Forty Boys and a Song
  • One-Gender School: The boys all attend the same school where they take regular elementary and middle school instruction before doing music practice.
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