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Shoe Shine Boy (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Short | 25 December 1943 (USA)
A Young shoeshine boy must earn $6 by the end of the day so he can buy a second-hand bugle, because the next day he is going into the U.S. Army.



(original story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Mel Bryant ...
Shoe Shine Boy (as Melvin Bryant)


A show shine boy loves to listen to the horn more than anything. As such, he places a deposit for a bugle from a second hand shop, he needing to come up with an additional $2 to get the bugle, which he knows he will never get unless he comes up with the money before the store closes at the end of the day. As he hustles for business at a bar to raise that $2, the boy comes across two talent agents, Garry Goff and Lucky, who, on a lark, ask the boy to play the trumpet belonging to the bar's band's trumpet player. That incident promises to change the boy's life, but he may have other more pressing issues on his mind for just wanting the $2 to buy that second hand bugle. Written by Huggo

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Drama | Musical | Short






Release Date:

25 December 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)
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Did You Know?


Trumpet Lament
Music by Phil Moore
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User Reviews

Who was that trumpeter?
29 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was disappointed to discover that IMDb had no information as to the identity of the excellent trumpeter who performed on the soundtrack. Any way to retrieve this information at this late date? The silliness of this plot was that if this kid was such an expert performer on a valve trumpet (which he was) then why was he so interested in getting a simple bugle with no keys? Well, you could say that army bugles are keyless and that this was his ambition. But still, where had he ever learned to play so well, anyway? As to the racial prejudice in putting down black males as noted by another reviewer, the best answer to that was a comment I heard on another TV network about the famous Polish artist Arthur Szyk, who specialized in anti-fascist propaganda pictures during WWII. In one of his pictures (drawn about the same time this movie was made) a white soldier and a black soldier are walking side by side and the white soldier asks the black soldier what he would do about Hitler? The black soldier replies, "I would turn him into a Negro and put him down anywhere in the United States." That about sums up race relations in the US when this movie was made.

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