MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 5,079 this week

Killer Diller (1948)

 -  Comedy | Drama
5.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 66 users  
Reviews: 10 user

An all-Black comedy and dance revue with stars of stage and screen.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive + 2 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 2118 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 82 titles
created 07 Aug 2012
 
list image
a list of 3269 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 555 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 680 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Killer Diller" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Killer Diller (1948)

Killer Diller (1948) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Killer Diller.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Typical Amos 'n Andy storyline has the boys trying to make a go of their "open-air" taxi business while they get caught up in a society hassle, involving driving musicians to a fancy party.... See full summary »

Director: Melville W. Brown
Stars: Freeman F. Gosden, Charles J. Correll, Sue Carol
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A theatrical producer puts aside his own success to boost the career of a talented singer.

Directors: William L. Nolte, Ralph Cooper
Stars: Ralph Cooper, Lena Horne, Laurence Criner
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Rawley University is about to receive a star athlete who could give it the first championship rowing team it's ever had. Unfortunately, he gets drafted into the army before he's able to ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Frankie Darro, Marcia Mae Jones, Jackie Moran
Minstrel Man (1944)
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of a singer in a minstrel show, from his career highs to the tragedies in his personal life.

Directors: Joseph H. Lewis, Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Benny Fields, Gladys George, Alan Dinehart
Dixiana (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In antebellum New Orleans, two men vie for the affections of a beautiful young girl during Mardi Gras.

Director: Luther Reed
Stars: Bebe Daniels, Everett Marshall, Bert Wheeler
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A look at the work and influence of African-American stand-up comedienne, Moms Mabley.

Director: Whoopi Goldberg
Stars: Debbie Allen, Kaye Ballard, Harry Belafonte
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: The Andrews Sisters, Dick Foran, Joe E. Lewis
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Based on an old radio series with a live audience. It is the story of few of the people who attend the show. Nat King Cole sings.

Director: Harold D. Schuster
Stars: Tom Breneman, Bonita Granville, Beulah Bondi
Black Tights (1961)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Live scenes of Paris and a continuity Narrator link together four dramatic choreographies, all by Roland Petit: Carmen (1949), La croqueuse de diamants (1950), Deuil en 24 heures (1953), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1959).

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Cyd Charisse, Moira Shearer, Zizi Jeanmaire
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors: James Cruze, Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Donald Douglas, Betty Compson
Doll Face (1945)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Burlesque star (Blaine) makes it in the big time.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Vivian Blaine, Dennis O'Keefe, Perry Como
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Tenants of a Harlem boarding house put on a show to save their home.

Director: Josh Binney
Stars: Moms Mabley, Dusty Fletcher, Marcellus Wilson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dusty Fletcher ...
Dusty (as Dusty 'Open the Door Richard' Fletcher)
George Wiltshire ...
Dumdone, the Manager
...
Butterfly
Nellie Hill ...
Lola, His Fianée
Freddie Robinson ...
Sarge
William Campbell ...
Policeman
Edgar Martin ...
Policeman
Sidney Easton ...
Policeman (as Sid Easton)
Augustus Smith ...
Stage Hand (as Gus Smith)
...
Herself (as Jackie Mabley)
Ken Renard ...
The Great Voodoo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andy Kirk and His Orchestra ...
Themselves
The Clark Brothers ...
Themselves
...
Himself (as King Cole Trio)
The Four Congaroos ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

An all-Black comedy and dance revue with stars of stage and screen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in That's Black Entertainment (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

It Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do
Music and lyrics by S.G. Stampsel, Morris Markowitz and J.A. Browne
Performed on piano and sung by Beverlee White (as Beverley White)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Some great entertainers...and take the time to read about the history of these Hollywood all-black movie
2 February 2008 | by (San Antonio, Texas) – See all my reviews

Killer Diller is one of the hundreds of films Hollywood churned out in the Thirties and Forties with minimal budgets, usually limited skills with the behind-the-camera personnel and with all-black casts. As soon as the pictures were in the can they were sent out to play in the movie equivalent of the old vaudeville chitlin' circuit...movie theaters in the South that played to segregated black audiences and movie theaters in the north that played to almost exclusively black audiences. The movies might have been second rate but the artists seldom were. Hollywood might now be incessantly patting its back about how liberal and open- minded it is toward black actors (we won't get into the situation with Latinos), but a generation ago just about the only opportunity for talented and skilled black entertainers were in these unofficially segregated movies. If we want a better understanding of Hollywood movie-making, we need to see some of these films. For many of the entertainers featured, these films are the only record we have of what they could do. On the one hand, these movies make a sad and discouraging story. On the other, what wonders these artists could perform.

Killer Diller has the slightest of story lines, something about Mortimer Dumdone (George Wiltshire), the impresario of a theater who is presenting a variety show, somehow seeing his fiancé, Lola (Nellie Hill) disappear in a magic trick with a string of expensive pearls around her neck. A fake magician (Dusty "Open the Door, Richard" Fletcher), pretending to be Voodoo Man, is responsible. Dumdone's secretary, Butterfly McQueen, calls in the cops, who turn out to be a quartet of bumbling, falling, sprawling incompetents. Now forget all that. The point of the movie is the variety show, and it's a lot of fun. Basically, the director set up his camera facing the stage and then took a long lunch break. Let's see...there's Andy Kirk and His Orchestra doing some great, driving swing numbers featuring jazz saxophones...vocalist Beverley White, a cross between Pearl Bailey and Ethel Waters, singing...

"I don't want to get married / for when you're single you have so much fun.

I don't want to get married / 'cause two don't live as happily as one.

Now I might want to stay out late some times all the way next day

And I don't want to be worried about what my husband's going' to say."

There's Patterson and Jackson, two large and very round singers, one a first-rate tap dancer, who manage among their other bits to do a wonderful impression of the four Ink Spots...Moms Mabley, that rough-voiced, dry-witted comedienne, serves up laughs and a song...The Clark Brothers, two young men who are all fast taps and smooth moves, never let up in a long tap routine...The King Cole Trio performs three numbers. Nat Cole already is as stylish and distinctive a vocalist as he was a great jazz pianist. There's also a dancing chorus and a blow-'em-away finale that brings the Trio and the Andy Kirk Orchestra together in a big, flashy swing number.

Every now and then we check back to see how the plot line is going.

Dusty Fletcher, the fake magician, is a comic actor with great timing. He also, like so many black comedians way back when, uses all the black exaggerations in the book to get laughs, just as so many Jewish comedians have used all the stereotyped "Jewish" characteristics. It seems that when an ethnic comedian uses stereotypes to get laughs from his or her own ethnic group, it's accepted, even if uneasily at least by those not of the group. But a comedian not of the ethnic group using those same comedy lines and voice inflections just seems odious. It's an uncomfortable and understandable situation. We might make a joke about our Aunt Bertha, but we don't want to hear a joke about her coming from the neighbor down the block. Yet I still felt awkward seeing Fletcher saying and doing the kind of eye- rolling exaggerations that made Amos and Andy popular back then and which seem extraordinarily condescending now. The saving grace, I suppose, is that Fletcher may be playing an unschooled charlatan, but the man's as sly as a fox, as shrewd as a Washington lawyer and a heck of a lot funnier than either Amos or Andy.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Killer Diller Hawkins0321
Discuss Killer Diller (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?