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Hi De Ho (1937)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 81 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Young Cab Calloway's mother is concerned, because Cab spends his days listening to the radio, pretending to lead a miniature orchestra. A deacon passing by the apartment hears him singing ... See full summary »

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Title: Hi De Ho (1937)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra ...
Themselves (as Cab Calloway and His Orchestra)
...
Himself
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Storyline

Young Cab Calloway's mother is concerned, because Cab spends his days listening to the radio, pretending to lead a miniature orchestra. A deacon passing by the apartment hears him singing and advises him go to his wife's gypsy tea room. As she reads the tea leaves, she sees situations which lead to Cab and his orchestra performing musical numbers. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical | Short

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 February 1937 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone release #2078. See more »

Quotes

Fortune Teller: And now we got to do something to remedy the status quo.
Cab Calloway: What to mean, "the status quo"?
Fortune Teller: Brother, that's Latin for the mess that you's in.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Black Shadows on the Silver Screen (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Hi-De-Ho Miracle Man
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by J. Fred Coots
Lyrics by Benny Davis
Played by Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra in a tenement building and
Sung by Cab Calloway in the tenement courtyard
See more »

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User Reviews

Fluid
18 December 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I suppose there's something to this business of role models, even for a lucid mind. Its a matter of appreciation, and I think you can tell a lot about yourself and who you love by tracing the list of who they admire.

If you were to come up with a short list of the most genuine American artists, who would be on it? These have to be artists who were real artists in the sense that they invent and that their invention became part of what it means to be American. To rank high, you'd need to be involved in music, probably jazz, movies in some basic way, and establish how many folks carry themselves.

Elvis? Don't make me laugh.

On my short list would be Cab Calloway. He's absolutely amazing to watch. If you take Hip Hop culture and trace it back to its origins, you'll find less emergence from the street than you expect and one huge river coming from this man. Before Ellington, Basie, Charles, Armstrong, Waller, and the jazz greats of the 60s, it was Cab who defined what it meant to be cool in Harlem. And since he anchored the Cotton Club, that was for whites as well as blacks.

This movie was made after that era, and some of the energy of the live performances is fading. Its an odd thing, with Cab shoehorned into a "race" movie. In this peculiar form, all the roles are played by African Americans: every cop, waitress and shopper. Its a bit like having every character be a duck, extremely surreal even for the time.

Unlike the "Amos and Andy" TeeVee show which had superb actors, these are all laughably amateur. The plot involves Cab, a night club and a gangster boss and is the thinnest it can be in order to allow Cab and associated performers to give a show.

One really interesting writing device. In every scene except the shooting, there is an old black man sitting reading a copy of Variety. This is even true when we see Cab in his own home, drunk and beating his girlfriend. Who is he? We never know who or why.

He's just there, as a sort of black surrogate for us as watchers at a table in the club. Its a brilliant piece of stagecraft to come up with this.

Before this, in his prime, he was rotoscoped into some really great Betty Boop cartoons, one of which you really must see before you die. Its that good.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


4 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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