Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the ...
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This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music... See full summary »
Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the outbreak of WWII. A romance between singer Kit Latimer, from New Orleans, and Johnny Schumacher, in which they share and argue over musical ideas ensues. Prior to the making of the film RKO held a contest for the readers of 'The Saturday Evening Post" to vote on the musicians to make up the All-American Dance Band featured in the film; the magazine's readers chose, in the above-the-title listing: Charlie Barnet, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Jack Jenney. Gene Krupa, Alvino Rey, Joe Venuti, and singer Connee Boswell. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I came away with a different slant on this film than the other reviews I've seen here, so let me just say that for 1942 this terrific little love note to jazz is remarkably progressive for its day. While it's true that the plot ultimately leads to the white jazz stars of the early '40s, it is true to the roots of jazz and even includes a scene where an adult black musician calls an adult white musician "boy" and it's clear who's teaching who. This movie is as passionate about hot jazz music as were the people who created it, and it shows.
Also, the plot is not as thin as many such films. It has the production values of an "A" picture, and its three stars were not exactly "B" list talent. It sometimes stretches credulity, but no more so than any other musical, and in fact even less so, considering that the music is an inherent part of the story.
Here's hoping TCM shows this again soon; I'd love to record and keep it, as I doubt an official DVD release is in the offing.
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