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Colleen (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 21 March 1936 (USA)
The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named... See full summary »


Alfred E. Green


Peter Milne (screen play), F. Hugh Herbert (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Donald Ames 3rd
Ruby Keeler ... Colleen Reilly
Jack Oakie ... Joe Cork
Joan Blondell ... Minnie Hawkins
Hugh Herbert ... Cedric Ames
Louise Fazenda ... Alicia Ames
Paul Draper ... Paul Gordon
Marie Wilson ... Mabel
Luis Alberni ... Carlo
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Noggin
Berton Churchill ... Logan
J.M. Kerrigan ... Pop Reilly
Addison Richards ... Schuyler
Charles Coleman ... Butler


The Ames Company makes every effort to keep Uncle Cedric away from any decisions or work. This is in the best interests for him and the company. Trouble starts when he hires a schemer named Joe as his personal assistant and then a gal named Minnie who loves fashion. He buys Minnie a dress shop where Colleen is the bookkeeper and scandal soon follows. When Donald goes to shut down the shop, he doesn't as he is infatuated by Colleen. Colleen runs the shop and fashion shows and starts to make a profit, but Minnie starts a scandal when Cedric tries to adopt her, but doesn't - much to the horror of Alicia and the amusement of the press. Then Joe sues Donald for the loss of Colleen's affection. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


JACK OAKIE Starts Swinging...JOAN BLONDELL Starts Trucking... See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 March 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colleen, A Modista See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The running time at a press preview was 100 minutes, but it was cut to 89 minutes before release. See more »


Donald Ames 3rd: [to Colleen while she is dancing with Paul] I've been nearly frantic. Called you. Sent you telegrams. Well, I love you.
Paul Gordon: Who me?
Colleen Reilly: No, me!
Donald Ames 3rd: Look, old chap, mind if I cut in.
Paul Gordon: No, not at all. This is where I get off, anyhow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the main titles, most of the principals (Powell, Keeler, Oakie, Blondell, Fazenda, Wilson, and Alberni) and introduced and sing about what they're going to do in the picture that follows. The exceptions are Herbert (who giggles) and Draper (who tap dances) See more »


Edited into Six Hits and a Miss (1942) See more »


I Love You Truly
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Carrie Jacobs Bond
A brief portion played in the "The Magic and the Mystery of Clothes" number when a bridal gown is shown
See more »

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User Reviews

9 September 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

While the film has a few interesting moments, "Colleen" is pure fluff--and the songs aren't particularly distinguished. Musical fans will probably be disappointed and non-musical fans probably won't be won over by the film.

The film begins with the rich eccentric owner (Hugh Herbert) of the Ames Company showing up for work--and that's a bad thing. So, it's up to his nephew (Dick Powell) to follow behind and clean up his messes. One mess involves Herbert's relationship with a wicked gold-digger (Joan Blondell) and her 'friend' (Jack Oakey). And when Powell goes to investigate the dress shop that Herbert bought for her, he meets Blondell's bookkeeper (Ruby Keeler) and falls in love. But, it's too early in the film and naturally some monkey wrench arises that keeps them apart until their ultimate and very expected happy ending.

As I said above, the film has lots of singing and dancing but none of it is particularly distinguished. In addition, Miss Keeler (who was a great dancer) sang too often--and this was a problem since her singing was pretty flat and lifeless. Oddly, when she danced they often had her dancing with a different guy (not Powell)--probably because he had a nice voice but wasn't a dancer. And, she was really a dancer and not a singer--an odd combination.

As for the comedy, I agree with another reviewer who felt that basing an entire film around Herbert wasn't a great idea, as he was very much a one-not performer. He could be good (such as in "The Traveling Saleslady") but he could also become tiresome with his effete manner and shtick. The brightest spots in the film, I think, were Blondell and Oakey, but since it was a musical, this left these two out of much of the film--though their musical number together was pretty decent. All in all, a lot of fluff and a pleasant time-passer at best.

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