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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Vaguely based on the life of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson himself, STORMY WEATHER offers the story of a WWI vet who falls in love with a singer--and under her influence goes into show business, only to find that their careers draw them in different directions. As a story, it is pretty slim stuff... but as a collection of musical turns by some of the early 1940s best black talent, it simply can't be beat.
Robinson was, of course, one of the truly great dancers of his era. Made late in his career, this film doesn't really manage to capture the scope of his talents, but he remains a constant joy to watch. A very young and remarkably beautiful Lena Horne also offers several enjoyable songs, including one that she would go on to perform with increasing sophistication and ultimately make entirely her own: the title tune "Stormy Weather." In addition to Calloway and Horne, STORMY WEATHER offers great performances by such under-filmed artists as Cab Calloway, Katherine Dunham, Fats Waller (performing his signature tune, "Ain't Misbehaving"), the brilliant Nicholas Brothers, and Ada Brown, as well as the popular comic actor Dooley Wilson. Expect nothing from the story or production values, but you won't be disappointed by this rare glimpse at some truly remarkable talents.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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