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Stormy Weather (1943)

Approved | | Musical | 17 November 1943 (Sweden)
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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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
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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

Two musical numbers were deleted from the release print: "Good-for-Nothin' Joe" (music by Rube Bloom, lyrics by Ted Koehler), sung by Lena Horne, who already was identified with this torch song via her 1941 Victor recording as the vocalist with Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra; and "Alfred the Moocher," a parody by Cab Calloway of his trademark "Minnie the Moocher" (music and lyrics by Calloway, Irving Mills and Clarence Gaskill). The Alfred being spoofed likely is renowned film composer and music director Alfred Newman. Only a voice track of the send-up remains. On a V-Disc of selections from the film made by Miss Horne with the Calloway band, "Good-for-Nothin' Joe" was included. 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 »

Quotes

Bill Williamson: Clem never told me you could sing like that, Selina.
Selina Rogers: I couldn't when Clem went away... but I practiced, and I studied. I've always been ambitious. Haven't you, Bill?
Bill Williamson: Never have been, except to get three square meals a day, regular. But I'm beginning to see things different now.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Shelton Brooks
Played by the orchestra at the ball
See more »

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User Reviews

Stormy Weather
9 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After watching the film Stormy Weather (1943), it was clear that the Hollywood movie making industry was headed toward a new era. The new era being that colored actors were recognized and not only that, spiced up the industry. This movie shied away from the usual parts actors of color would normally play, parts in which they were slaves or butlers and servants.

This truly showed the breakthrough of African Americans in entertainment and paved the way for how successful many have presently become. Specifically in this movie, it told the story of how a man of color worked his way literally from the bottom up. It began with Bill Williamson who came home from war in France, and was working in a basement restaurant when fate stepped in and reunited him with his love interest. It was because of Selina that he was working in the city hoping to step foot into the dancing business. When she recognized him, she insisted to the show's producer that he be put in the show. This was Bill's break that got him out of a basement restaurant to the "top" of a tree in production. This is where Bill made the most of this opportunity and showed off his abilities but in turn got him fired from the show. But that was all he needed and he was on his way to stardom.

Twentieth Century Fox really broke the mold with this movie in response to FDR's urging. It finally gave actors of color the chance to show off their tremendous talent also allowing them to have more of an equal role in society. Although there still were laws restricting the interaction between whiles and blacks in films, it certainly brought them out of the repetitive demeaning roles of slaves and servants. It was thrilling to be able to see the talents of these actors and all the skills offered through their dancing and singing abilities. All of the dance numbers and costumes really represented the time period. The way the dancers moved were both creative and unique, especially the indisputably impressive Nicholas Brothers.


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