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Mystery in Swing (1940)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Music  |  10 May 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 6 user

In and around some great blues, swing and jazz music, a very unpopular band-leader. Prince Ellis, is killed in a Harlem nightclub, and, in and around some more great music, a detective ... See full summary »



(original story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Director: Anthony Mann
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Monte Hawley ...
Marguerite Whitten ...
Linda Carroll
Tommie Moore ...
Mae Carroll
Edward Thompson ...
Capt. Hall
Buck Woods ...
Buck Bedford
Jess Lee Brooks ...
John Carroll
Josephine Edwards ...
Maxine Rae
Sybil Lewis ...
Cleo Ellis
Robert Webb ...
Prince Ellis
Alfred Grant ...
Chet Wallace
Tom Southern ...
Sgt. Phipps (as Thomas Southern)
Halley Harding ...
Editor Bailey
Leonard Christmas ...
Lawyer Jones
Earle Morris ...
Reporter Wayburn
John Lester Johnson ...
'Champ', Nightclub Owner


In and around some great blues, swing and jazz music, a very unpopular band-leader. Prince Ellis, is killed in a Harlem nightclub, and, in and around some more great music, a detective finds the lists of suspects is very long, as Prince Ellis was indeed very unpopular with many citizens. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With a 100 Per Cent ALL-STAR COLORED CAST! (original poster) See more »


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Release Date:

10 May 1940 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Swinging Sweet and Lightly
Written by CeePee Johnson
Sung and played on piano by CeePee Johnson
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User Reviews

A so-so murder mystery with terrific music.
26 August 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

This all-black "race" movie intended for black audiences is worth seeing because of the wonderful jazz music and songs written and mostly performed by The Four Tones and Ceepee Johnson, and played by Johnson's orchestra throughout the film. The setting is mostly in a nightclub, so it is not out of place. The songs dominate the second half of the film, with the murder mystery, while it is fun to watch unfold, taking a back seat. Johnson's performance of his "Beat My Blues Away" is spectacular - a performance not to be missed. If you like jazz, this movie is for you.

John Lester Johnson's character is billed on screen as "Himself," because he was a well-known ex-fighter who once broke some ribs of Jack Dempsey (see his mini-biography in this data base). His name is never mentioned, but he is called "Champ" and plays the nightclub owner.

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