IMDb > Way Down South (1939)

Way Down South (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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5.5/10   120 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Clarence Muse (original story and screenplay) and
Langston Hughes (original story and screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Way Down South on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 July 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
HELP YOURSELF TO HAPPINESS! HERE'S A WHILE SHOW-FULL! (original poster - all caps)
Plot:
In the pre-Civil War South, a plantation owner dies and leaves all his possessions, including his slaves... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Decent Race Film See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Bobby Breen ... Timothy Reid Jr.

Alan Mowbray ... Jacques Bouton

Ralph Morgan ... Timothy Reid Sr.
Steffi Duna ... Pauline

Clarence Muse ... Uncle Caton

Sally Blane ... Claire Bouton

Edwin Maxwell ... Martin Dill

Charles Middleton ... Cass
Robert Greig ... Judge Ravenal
Lillian Yarbo ... Janie
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Gumbo (as Stymie Beard)
Hall Johnson Choir
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Willie Best ... Chimney Sweep (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Slave Auctioneer (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Dancing Slave (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Slave Buyer (uncredited)
Jack Carr ... Luke (uncredited)
Ed Cassidy ... Slave Trader (uncredited)
Jack Clisby ... Servant (uncredited)
Charles Dixon ... Drummer (uncredited)
Ruby Elzy ... Singer in Hall Johnson Choir (uncredited)
Louise Franklin ... Dancing Slave (uncredited)
Freddie Jackson ... Servant (uncredited)
Lillian Randolph ... Slave (uncredited)
Blue Washington ... Slave (uncredited)
Marguerite Whitten ... Lulu (uncredited)

Directed by
Leslie Goodwins 
Bernard Vorhaus 
 
Writing credits
Clarence Muse (original story and screenplay) and
Langston Hughes (original story and screenplay)

Produced by
Sol Lesser .... producer
Barney Briskin .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Victor Young (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Edgar Schoenbaum (photography) (as Charles Schoenbaum)
 
Film Editing by
Arthur Hilton (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Lewis J. Rachmil 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Sherwood .... assistant director
Lee Sholem .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Richard Van Hessen .... sound technician
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Albert Deano .... wardrobe (as Albert Deanno)
 
Music Department
Hall Johnson .... vocal arrangements
Victor Young .... musical direction
 
Other crew
Clarence Muse .... dance director (uncredited)
Clarence Muse .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
61 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Certification:
USA:Approved (PCA #5414)

Did You Know?

Soundtrack:
Good GroundSee more »

FAQ

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Decent Race Film, 27 February 2008
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

Way Down South (1939)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Interesting race picture from RKO features two black writers (Clarence Muse, Langston Hughes) doing the screenplay. Set before the Civil War, a plantation owner dies leaving his farm and slaves to his young son (Bobby Breen). Soon an executive comes into play and tries to sell the slaves but the young kid won't stand for this as the slaves are his only friends. It's interesting to see a Hollywood picture from this era treating blacks with any sort of respect and in many ways it's more respectful than many of the other race pictures that I've seen, which were made by black directors. The film only runs 61-minutes so the drama of slavery isn't ever really looked at and the film would later be criticized by the NAACP for showing "happy slaves". The films main goal is to have a spotlight for the young Breen and he's pretty good here, although his musical numbers aren't anything special.

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