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The Duke Is Tops (1938)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 164 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

A theatrical producer puts aside his own success to boost the career of a talented singer.

Directors:

(as William Nolte) , (uncredited)
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Title: The Duke Is Tops (1938)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Cooper ...
Duke Davis
...
Ethel Andrews
Laurence Criner ...
Doc Dorando (as Lawrence Criner)
Monte Hawley ...
George Marshall
Willie Covan ...
Specialty Tap Dancer
Neva Peoples ...
Ella
Vernon McCalla ...
Mason (as Vernon McCallum)
Edward Thompson ...
Ferdie Fenton
Johnny Taylor ...
Dippy, 'Prince Alakazoo'
Ray Martin ...
Joe
Guernsey Morrow ...
Ed. Lake (as Guersney Morrow)
Charles Hawkins ...
Sam, the Stage Manager (as Charlie Hawkins)
Basin Street Boys ...
Speciality
Rubberneck Holmes ...
Specialty (as Rubber Neck Holmes)
Cats and the Fiddle ...
Speciality
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Storyline

Duke Davis has invested all his savings to back his sweetheart, Ethel, in a road show over the old T.O.B.A. circuit, on which they have both been performers since childhood. Marshall, a New York talent scout, makes an offer to Ethel as a single and, to induce her to take it, Duke writes a fake check, made out to him, for $5000 pretending he has sold his contract with Ethel to Marshall. Resentful and heartbroken, she accepts and becomes a big hit in New York. Marshall then books her at the swanky Century Club, plans her show himself, and it flops miserably. Meanwhile, Duke has used his last resources to start a new show, but without Ethel it also fails. He joins the Doc Dorando medicine show, and with him as the speiler for the quack elixir sold by Dorando, it is successful. He becomes Doc's partner with an elaborate trailer and a company of entertainers, including Willie Covans, the Basin Street Boys, The Cats and the Fiddle, "Rubberneck" Holmes and Joe Stevenson. Money is rolling in ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bronze Venus  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lena Horne did not attend the June, 1938 NAACP charity premiere in Pittsburgh because she was not paid for her work. See more »

Connections

Referenced in That's Black Entertainment (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Let Our Love Song Turn Into a Blues
(uncredited)
Sung by Lena Horne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
an unusual film starring an all black cast
3 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An unusual film for an audience outside the USA. Lena Horne looks fabulous and so does Ralph Cooper. There is not added background of tap steps as in other musicals so you do not hear the beat of the taps which is great realism. Music is muted to hear what dancing steps there are. Acting is a little stilted and the casts speak slowly so that you think the movie is older than it is. Costumes are daring for the time in the dance routines at the end. Often feels like you are part of an audience at a stage show. What furniture you see is very modern which adds to the movies feeling of other worldliness. A must for all film buffs.


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