A barber shop owner wins a sweepstake. He remodels his shop and hires Claude Hopkins and his orchestra to play for his customers. Two songs are sung, and the Four Step Brothers tap dance in... See full summary »
A barber shop owner wins a sweepstake. He remodels his shop and hires Claude Hopkins and his orchestra to play for his customers. Two songs are sung, and the Four Step Brothers tap dance in the closing number. Written by
David Glagovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You've got to hand it to Warner Brothers. Try to think of another studio that would routinely produce all-black shorts during the Depression. This kind of product was routinely banned from many southern theaters which couldn't help the studio's lousy bottom line (1934 was the 4th year WB was bleeding red ink with a loss of over $2.5 million for the year and a staggering $30.0+ million loss since 1931). Still, the studio kept it's Astoria, NY Vitaphone studios busy cranking out musical shorts--- mostly directed by reliable Joe Henaberry. Barber Shop Blues is notable for the incredibly elaborate set design and Claude Hopkins' Orchestra. Songs include an abbreviated version of "I Want a Shave (and a Haircut Too)" and a rendition of Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," which to my tin ear sounds a lot like the Ink Spots. Then there's the near obligatory tap sequence with the Four Step Brothers. Oddly the short is all-male. The real star is the large barber shop set, which belies the minuscule budget and probable 2-day shooting schedule. If you want to see a fantastic example of Henaberry's directorial work, see Public Jitterbug No. 1 (1939) featuring an incredibly frenetic Betty Hutton.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?