The Black Network (1936)
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Nina Mae McKinney shines with a great vocal and acting performance, and The Nicolas Brothers astound with their amazing and precocious dancing. In fact, all the performers in this short are extremely talented, and are very under-acknowledged.
If you are want to see this short, buy the DVD of King Vidor's 'Hallelujah' (available from Amazon). 'The Black Network' is included as an extra on the 'Hallelujah' DVD, along with another short that Nina Mae McKinney appeared in, 'Pie Pie Blackbird', which is not quite as good as this one.
Short, sweet and vastly entertaining.
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.