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Check and Double Check (1930)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  25 October 1930 (USA)
5.7
Your rating:
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 263 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

Typical Amos 'n Andy storyline has the boys trying to make a go of their "open-air" taxi business while they get caught up in a society hassle, involving driving musicians to a fancy party.... See full summary »

Director:

(as Melville Brown)

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Freeman F. Gosden ...
Charles J. Correll ...
Andy
...
Jean Blair
...
Mrs. Blair
Ralf Harolde ...
Ralph Crawford
Charles Morton ...
Richard Williams (as Charles S. Morton)
Edward Martindel ...
John Blair
Rita La Roy ...
Elinor Crawford (as Rita LaRoy)
Russ Powell ...
Roscoe Ates ...
Brother Arthur (as Rosco Ates)
Duke Ellington Orchestra ...
Himself (as The Cotton Club Orchestra)
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Storyline

Typical Amos 'n Andy storyline has the boys trying to make a go of their "open-air" taxi business while they get caught up in a society hassle, involving driving musicians to a fancy party. All the regular characters are here (or mentioned), including the famous Mystic Knights of the Sea. The only film appearance of radio's long-running characters. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Laughs...Romance...Heart Throbs...Excitement!...in the Greatest Show Attraction Creation Ever Dreamed Of! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1930 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Credited with introducing Duke Ellington to white audiences. See more »

Quotes

Lodge secretary: At da las' meetin' which was for da purpose of COLLECTIN' DA LODGE DUES, der was NOBODY PRESENT! Dat, gen'lemen, was da minutes of da last meetin'.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Rasslin' Match (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Man Blues
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills
Performed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An impressive entry when seen through 1930 eyes
8 October 2010 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Well, I just picked up an original film print of CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK and have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. After many years of reading one abysmal review after another, I found the film to be a fairly impressive RKO comedy. But I also think this film can only be viewed in the context of its time of release. And not for racial stereotype reasons. First, the film obviously came about by the strong popularity of the AMOS 'N ANDY radio program. However, comparison cannot be made between the film and the program as we know it because the program only began a year before this film was made (Amos 'n Andy had, in fact, had recently been known as Sam 'n Henry). So the smooth, well-oiled manner of the 40's heyday was still many years to come. Structure-wise, CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK somewhat resembles RKO's popular Wheeler and Woolsey films and features the two comics in traditional musical-comedy leading/though supporting roles. The story plot is very typical of shows of the day - DIXIANA, COCOANUTS, etc (Ralf Harolde repeats his villainous visage from DIXIANA). The picture is very well photographed from the standpoint of RKO's current production values and it is very well recorded. One interesting note - one that can only be gleaned from having an actual film print - is that the picture was released in nine reels. Given that the running time is 77 minutes, it is probable that there was some trimming done after the previews. An interesting note about the music in the film. Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra are the featured performers. At one point in the film there is a very bluesy, Harlemesque introduction to a number. But the film then cuts to a shot of the band playing "Three Little Words" in standard foxtrot tempo. Upon this number's conclusion, the band goes into a blues number. We then go outside to the garden where a scene between the romantic leads is played and the band is again heard in the distance playing "Three Litte Words". The duo even comment on the song and its meaning. It is apparent there was some moving around of sequences taking place here. And it's possible there was additional music recorded that did not make it into the final release print. As for Amos 'n Andy, there is a nice mix of verbal and visual set-pieces. There is also one surprisingly effective scene where Amos 'n Andy are told that their former employer/benefactor has died and Andy makes a very sorrowful speech about his goodness. It's one of the most genuinely emotional monologues I can recall from any RKO film of that very early talkie period. The one semi-drawback to the film is that Freeman Gosden (Andy) is not able to play Kingfish as he did on radio. In CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, Kingfish is played by Russ Powell (in blackface - as are many others in the cast including at least one band member and stuttering comic Roscoe Ates). Film fans will remember Powell as the dockman at the beginning of KING KONG ("You going' on that crazy voyage?!"). Powell doesn't have quite the delightful devil about him that Gosden did in his portrayal of Kingfish on the radio - or Tim Moore on television. Had CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK been made six or seven years later, it might have had more polish and pacing. But even by the mid-thirties it is unlikely that a blacked-up Amos 'N Andy would have been welcomed in the cinemas. So we have only this one feature as a pictorialization of the proprietors of the Fresh Air Taxi Cab Corporation. If you can put yourself back into a 1930 frame of reference, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.


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