The owner of a shoe polish company sponsors a radio show that showcases black performers. Since his wife's father put up the money to be the sponsor, she insists on singing on the show. She... See full summary »
The owner of a shoe polish company sponsors a radio show that showcases black performers. Since his wife's father put up the money to be the sponsor, she insists on singing on the show. She goes on after the main star, singer Nina Mae McKinney. The wife sings so badly that the sponsor's customers abandon him. He is forced to shine shoes on street corners, while Nina Mae and her boyfriend win a bet on a daily number and end up on easy street. Written by
David Glagovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Historically interesting...and occasionally very impressive.
This is one of the DVD extras included with "Hallelujah". And, like "Hallelujah", the films feature all-black casts. Considering that these films were made by mainstream Hollywood studios (MGM and Warner Brothers), seeing such films today might surprise audiences. They also serve as nice historical records of this bygone era.
This film is set at a fictional black-run radio station and consists of various musical acts of the day. Some are amazing and great when seen today--such as the Nicholas Brothers (tap dancers on a radio show?!) and Nina Mae McKinney (who also starred in "Hallelujah") and some are not so hot (like the opening number and one that was supposed to be bad--the sponsor's wife!). My favorite was the band's scat version of "Ochi Chornya (Dark Eyes)"--it really hummed and was better than other versions I've heard--speeding it up helped and the band was amazing.
So is this great viewing? Probably not for the average viewer. But for historical reasons or if you like 1930s music, this might be right up your alley.
By the way, you might find reading McKinney's biography on IMDb. It's incredibly sad but interesting as well when you read about how this talented lady was almost totally forgotten when she died a very early death.
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