Rufus Jones, a black child, is elected president of the USA in this short musical comedy. Features song and dance numbers by a seven year old 'Sammy Davis Jr.'.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Mother of Rufus Jones
...
Rufus Jones (as Sammy Davis)
Hamtree Harrington
Dusty Fletcher
Edgar Connor
The Will Vodery Girls ...
Dancing Ensemble
Russell Wooding ...
Leader of Vocal Ensemble
The Russell Wooding's Jubilee Singers ...
Vocal Ensemble
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Storyline

Rufus Jones, a black child, is elected president of the USA in this short musical comedy. Features song and dance numbers by a seven year old 'Sammy Davis Jr.'. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Short

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Release Date:

9 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1933-1934 season) #2: Rufus Jones for President  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #1553-1554. See more »

Connections

Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullaby
(uncredited)
Written by Cliff Hess
Performed by Ethel Waters
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User Reviews

What a shame to see such great talent squandered in this offensive, degrading short subject!
12 February 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

While it is almost impossible to endure the horrible script, viewer patience is advised, because it's a thrill to see the wonderful Ethel Waters reprising her hit "Am I Blue?", then doing a segue into "Under a Harlem Moon." Her live singing, her concentration and empathetic interpretation gives one a sense of what it was like to have seen her on stage.

This short was made in 1933, the same year Ms. Waters starred on Broadway in "As Thousands Cheer" - introducing Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave," "Supper Time" and "Harlem on My Mind." It was also just after she played the Cotton Club with Duke Ellington's orchestra, introducing another of her signature songs, "Stormy Weather." If only Vitaphone had filmed those performances instead of this racist stereotype garbage.

(To give an example, the "Harlem Moon" number contains a lyric that goes, "That's why schvartzers were born.")

The 8-year old Sammy Davis Jr. is nothing short of phenomenal, giving everything he's got in several song and dance routines. It's sad to realize that racism kept him from attaining the early stardom he so clearly deserved.

TCM shows this short from time to time. If you chance upon it, try to ignore the stereotypes and enjoy the warmth, talent and dignity of two great African-American performers.


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