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Satchmo the Great (1957)

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In this 1957 biography film of the jazz-great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, he and his band tour the world as American good-will ambassadors bring jazz at its best to the people of the world. ... See full summary »

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Title: Satchmo the Great (1957)

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Credited cast:
Edward R. Murrow ...
Himself - Reporter / Host
Himself - Leonard Bernstein - Orchestra Leader
W.C. Handy ...
Himself - Songwriter
Edmund Hall ...
Himself - Edmund Hall
James Young ...
Himself - 'Trummy' Young (as 'Trummy' Young)
Barrett Deems ...
Himself - Barrett Deems
Billy Kyle ...
Himself - Billy Kyle
Arvell Shaw ...
Himself - Arvell Shaw
Jack Lesberg ...
Himself - Jack Lesberg
New York Philharmonic ...
Themselves - Orchestra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gene de Poris ...
Himself - - Reporter


In this 1957 biography film of the jazz-great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, he and his band tour the world as American good-will ambassadors bring jazz at its best to the people of the world. Within the film, the life of Louis Armstrong is portrayed through the music. One of the outstanding scenes in this "biography/docudrama" shows blind songwriter W. C. Handy, with tears streaming down his face, as Armstrong, backed by Leonard Bernstein leading the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, play Handy's immortal "St. Louis Blues." Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tour | tears | songwriter | orchestra | blues | See more »


From Storyville To The Philharmonic As Jazz and "Satchmo" Grow Up (original poster) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 September 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Altin Trompet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally recorded as an interview on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now (1951) TV interview program, later expanded into a feature-length documentary movie. See more »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #4.4 (1991) See more »


St Louis Blues
Written by W.C. Handy
Performed by Louis Armstrong, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (as New York Philharmonic Orchestra)
See more »

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User Reviews

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3 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

This wonderful documentary, shown on CBS in edited form in the 1950's, was produced by Edward R. Murrow and features Satchmo's trip to West Africa, which he immediately adopted as his ancestral home because of how much he looked like the people there. The response was remarkable, with hundreds of thousands of people showing up and carrying Louis like a king on his throne.

Why this movie is currently unavailable in any format, except for occasional Public TV showings, is beyond my comprehension. It serves to remind us how important a world figure Armstrong was throughout most of the 20th Century, and how he represented the true face of American culture for the rest of the world. CBS, or whomever owns the rights to this documentary, PLEASE RELEASE IT!!!

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