5.3/10
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8 user 4 critic

Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946)

| Drama
A sexy, enticing dancer from Harlem makes things happen in a sleepy Caribbean island resort.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Francine Everett ...
Don Wilson ...
Katherine Moore ...
Stella Van Johnson
Alfred Hawkins ...
Jonathan Christian
David Boykin ...
Ezra Crumm
L.E. Lewis ...
Papa Bridges
Inez Newell ...
Mama Bridges
Piano Frank ...
Larry
John King ...
Al
Shelly Ross ...
Big Boy
Hugh Watson ...
Tight Pants
Don Gilbert ...
Manager
Spencer Williams ...
Old Hager
July Jones ...
Specialty Dancer
Howard Galloway ...
Specialty Dancer (as Howard Gallaway)
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Storyline

An all-black Caribbean island resort welcomes flashy dancer Gertie La Rue, forced to perform in this remote spot because she two-timed Al, her Harlem lover and backer, once too often. As Gertie amuses herself by dazzling the local men with her sex appeal, sanctimonious Mr. Christian (shades of 'Rain') schemes to either reform her or have her thrown off the island. On opening night, her sensuous performance exceeds Christian's worst fears...but more serious trouble awaits. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Drama

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Gertie La Rue: Take your hands off me, you dirty psalm-singin' polecat! If the truth were only known, you want me just like all the rest!
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Connections

Version of Rain (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

BLUES IN THE NIGHT
Written by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed in part by female voice on record
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User Reviews

Dirty Gertie
3 June 2009 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Dirty Gertie drinks, flirts heavily, and takes expensive jewelry from men. She's the heroine of the movie, but she's tarnished, and her doom is foreshadowed many times. The movie has the structure of many black musical films, leading up to a big revue in a nightclub at the end, but those expectations are frustrated. The revue consists only of the dancing of the chorus line, credited as "6 Harlem beauties," and a short dance number by July Jones and Howard Galloway.

Even more frustrating is that Francine Everett, though she was known as a singer and dancer, doesn't sing at all in the movie. She dances only a few steps early in the plot, and in the nightclub revue she only sways a bit as she removes her over-the-elbow gloves at the start of a sadly interrupted striptease.

The oddest thing in the movie, however, is director's Spencer Williams' casting of himself in a cameo role as "Old Hagar," the crystal-globe-reading fortune teller. Williams plays the role in drag, dressed in a house dress and head wrap, but he wears his mustache and speaks in a deep, masculine voice. He doesn't play it for comedy, yet it's hard to say he's playing it straight. Did Williams just step in for an actress who didn't show up for filming that day (that's the sort of thing that happened in making very low budget black movies), or is the explanation something stranger?


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