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Stormy Weather (1943)

Approved  |   |  Musical  |  17 November 1943 (Sweden)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,144 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 21 critic

The relationship between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress provides a retrospective of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s.

Director:

(as Andrew Stone)

Writers:

(screen play) (as Frederick Jackson) , (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Stormy Weather (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Selina Rogers
...
Bill Williamson
Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra ...
Cab Calloway Orchestra (as Cab Calloway and His Band)
Katherine Dunham and Her Troupe ...
Dance Troupe
Fats Waller ...
'Fats' Waller
The Nicholas Brothers ...
Dancers (as Nicholas Brothers)
Ada Brown ...
Singer
...
Gabe Tucker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Katherine Dunham ...
Katherine Dunham
The Tramp Band ...
The Tramp Band
Edit

Storyline

Dancing great Bill 'Williamson' sees his face on the cover of Theatre World magazine and reminisces: just back from World War I, he meets lovely singer Selina Rogers at a soldiers' ball and promises to come back to her when he "gets to be somebody." Years go by, and Bill and Selina's rising careers intersect only briefly, since Selina is unwilling to "settle down." Will she ever change her mind? Concludes with a big all-star show hosted by Cab Calloway. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1943 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tänzer auf den Stufen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In several interviews, the Nicholas brothers said that the part when they jumped over each other, doing the splits, was not originally part of the dance. They thought it up one day, while rehearsing the choreography, and when it came to filming, they had no idea they would be able to pull it off. It makes it all the more impressive since the brothers did it in one continuous take, with no cuts, with the cameraman following them. See more »

Goofs

The first time Selena says "Bill Williamson" (in the first scene, before her character has met him) her mouth quite clearly says "Bill Robinson. Bill Robinson played Bill Williamson. See more »

Connections

Referenced in DTV: Golden Oldies (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Memories
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played during scenes where Bill is talking to the kids
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Trove of Classic 1940's Musical Numbers
17 May 2010 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Admirers expected Lena Horne to live forever, and her recent passing shocked those who thought she would always be with us. Thanks to her films, especially "Stormy Weather," she will be there whenever we spin the DVD of that 1943 Fox musical. A loose pastiche of musical numbers hanging from a thin thread of Bill Robinson's reminiscences, "Stormy Weather" is a priceless trove of talent. Director Andrew Stone wisely lets the performances play out without intrusion, and what performances they are. Beyond Lena Horne's unforgettable rendition of the title song, which became her signature, the film showcases Bill Robinson's incomparable dancing, Cab Calloway's song and dance routines, and Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'." Left breathless after these great musical numbers, viewers will gasp when the incomparable Nicholas Brothers top everyone and stop the show with one of their best performances on film. Only Astaire and Kelly were in the same league with Fayard and Harold Nicholas, arguably the finest sibling dancers ever. Fortunately, DVDs do not wear out and allow countless replays of the brothers' stylish and effortless dancing up, down, and around two flights of stairs.

Lena Horne surmounted the occasionally unflattering hairstyles in vogue during World War II and remained luminescent throughout the film. Her dazzling smile and comforting voice are missed when she is off screen. Although Bill Robinson is not a convincing romantic partner for Horne, small quibbles do not spoil this musical delight, whose only major flaw is its short 72-minute running time. With legendary performers at their peaks, "Stormy Weather" should have been twice as long. If 20th Century Fox could unearth outtakes from this film, the discovery would be the find of the century and a fitting coda to this plethora of now-gone talent that was sadly under-utilized during Hollywood's heyday.


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