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King for a Day (1934)

TV-G  |   |  Short, Comedy, Musical  |  30 June 1934 (USA)
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A talented tap dancer who can't get an audition uses his prowess at playing craps to gain ownership of a musical show, making himself the star.



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Complete credited cast:
Bill Green
Ernest Whitman ...
Mr. Brown
Dusty Fletcher ...
Babe Matthews ...
Muriel Rahn ...
Hattie Noel ...
The Bride - Wedding Number


Mr. Brown refuses to allow tap dancer Bill Green to audition for his vaudeville show, "Brown's Black Orchids." Green knows that Brown has a weakness for crap games and challenges him. Green and Brown keep rolling the dice until the only thing Brown has left to offer is his show. After one last roll of the dice, the show is renamed "Green's Black Orchids", with Green as a featured performer. Other black singers and dancers also perform. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Musical






Release Date:

30 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1933-1934 season) #28: King for a Day  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone reels #1687-1688 See more »


Music by Lee S. Roberts
Lyrics by J. Will Callahan
Performed by Bill Robinson (tap dance)
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User Reviews

Bill Robinson becomes owner of a nightclub...
12 January 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

At a time when his presence in A-films was not quite established, BILL ROBINSON appeared in this short subject which I found moderately interesting. I was waiting for his tap dancing sequence and it was a good one, but the story is a trifle about him gambling the owner in a crap game and getting the chance to strut his stuff. It took too much time to get to his dancing.

Unfortunately, it's all very dated, especially when it gets to the actual vaudeville routines depicted in the show. The singing style is strictly from the '30s, the lead singer does a song called "Love Lost Out" sounding very tinny in her high soprano register, and the dancers look as though they're badly in need of a good choreographer. Where is Busby Berkeley when you need him?

Robinson, however, does his own thing with his usual skill--but is stuck in a short subject that cries for more originality in the script department. His tapping to "Swanee River" is a delight but after that the routine goes into less successful moments and ends with a wedding bells song that closes the short with a thud.

I can't recommend this with much enthusiasm.

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