The 2nd in a series of films, produced by Jack Goldberg and Arthur Leonard, made primarily for the 684 theatres (in 1947) that catered exclusively to Black audiences that were kept out, or ... See full summary »
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James Earl Jones
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The 2nd in a series of films, produced by Jack Goldberg and Arthur Leonard, made primarily for the 684 theatres (in 1947) that catered exclusively to Black audiences that were kept out, or placed in a special balcony section, in most of the theatres in segregated America. Plot concerns a struggling band leader's rise to fame after overcoming many obstacles, including a bad-girl vs. good-girl situation. For reasons unknown, Freddie Bartholomew makes a guest-cameo appearnce at the night club, and was featured in the ads and posters for the film, but the producers were barking up an empty tree if the thought was that he would sell any extra tickets in any of the booking situations...black or white. Tondaleyo (the "bad girl") dances, and musical numbers feature Deek Watson and his Brown Dots, Walter Fuller's orchestra, John Kirby's band and Ruble Blakey, former soloist with Lionel Hampton. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Two stars as a movie, four stars for the music and musical performers. Billy Daniels fans should find this interesting, showing him before he found his style. This film was released in 1947; Daniels teamed permanently in 1948 with pianist-backup singer Benny Payne, eventually dropping "Diane" as his trademark song for "That Old Black Magic", dropping his tenor voice to a deep baritone and adding plenty of body english, winning instant fans in 1950 in "When You're Smiling". Sheila Guyse's voice matches her beautiful looks, Deek Watson, formerly of the Ink Spots, is dynamic and sings well, as does, surprisingly, every member of his quartet. Two other male singers have solo spots, and again are quite good. Plus for jazz fans, there's the John Kirby group, which is prominently featured, with the great Sid Catlett on drums. Plus, on the acting side (and Sheila Guyse also has a great moment or two), Freddie Bartholomew shows considerable talent in an interlude with Daniels. Additionally, all the songs, unknowns, are good.
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