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Swing! (1938)

 -  Musical | Drama
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 68 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Ted Gregory is trying to be the first black producer to mount a show on Broadway, but he has trouble with his star singer.

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Title: Swing! (1938)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cora Green ...
Amanda 'Mandy' Jenkins
Larry Seymour ...
Cornell Jenkins
Hazel Diaz ...
Eloise Jackson / Cora Smith
Alec Lovejoy ...
Lem Jackson / Big Jones
Amanda Randolph ...
Liza Freeman (as Mandy Randolph)
Trixie Smith ...
Lucy
Carman Newsome ...
Ted Gregory
Nat Reed ...
Ted, Gregory's Assistant
Sammy Gardiner ...
Sammy, Gregory's Assistant
Dorothy Van Engle ...
Lena Powell
Doli Armena ...
Miss Watkins, a Trumpet Player
Columbus Jackson ...
A Hustler
George R. Taylor ...
Mr. Becker, Theatrical Backer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leon Gross
Consuelo Harris ...
(as Miss Harris)
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Storyline

When Mandy Jenkins catches her husband Cornell out on a date with Eloise Jackson in a small cabaret in Birmingham, Alabama, she and Jackson have a fight. Months later, Eloise is living in Harlem and about to star in a musical, produced and directed by Ted Gregory, who hopes to be the first black producer to put on a show on Broadway. Mandy, meanwhile, has also moved to Harlem, and is hired by Gregory as wardrobe mistress at the suggestion of his secretary, Lena, with whom Gregory has fallen in love. But Gregory has problems getting backing for the show, and is unhappy that Eloise often comes drunk and late to the rehearsals. And things look hopeless when Eloise breaks her leg falling down a stairway while in a drunken stupor. Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

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Musical | Drama

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The American Experience: Midnight Ramble (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven Help this Heart of Mine
Music and lyrics by Leonard Whitcup, Walter G. Samuels and Teddy Powell
Played by Leon Gross's orchestra and sung by Cora Green
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A low budget "race" picture by Oscar Micheaux with poor acting and a clichéd plot, but with some acceptable entertainment.
12 January 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

Oscar Micheaux specialized in low budget "race" pictures made for black audiences. Little can be said for the acting, which ranged from acceptable to simply awful. Only a few made an impression on me, the best being the nosy neighbor played by Mandy Randolph. Most of the rest, even stars Cora Green and Hazel Diaz, were very stiff. The worst of the bunch was Carman Newsome, playing the producer Ted Gregory, who is trying to be the first black producer to mount a show on Broadway. He just doesn't show any emotion even when his star gets drunk and breaks a leg. A harried producer he is not.

But people didn't see these films for acting, and some of the entertainment was OK. The budget didn't allow for any big production numbers, so all the numbers were in a small cabaret-like setting, with Leon Gross' orchestra playing and specialty numbers doing their stuff. Best was an unbilled actress called Miss Harris, doing a jazzy dance; I would have liked to know who she was. The Tyler Twins were involved in singing and tap dancing to a number called "I Got Rhythm, Boy," (no relation to the Gershwin song). And Doli Armena was featured in two numbers in which she played her trumpet. But all in all, this was not much of a film.


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