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That's the Spirit (1933)

Two night watchmen hear songs performed in a haunted pawn shop.




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Cast overview:
Noble Sissle ...
Noble Sissle - Band Leader
Cora La Redd ...
Singer / Dancer
The Washboard Serenaders ...
Novelty Band
F.E. Miller ...
Night Watchman (as Miller)
Night Watchman (as Moreland)


Two night watchmen hear songs performed in a haunted pawn shop.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Music





Release Date:

15 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melody Masters (1932-1933 season) #9: That's the Spirit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #1491. See more »


Tiger Rag
Written by Edwin B. Edwards, Nick LaRocca, Tony Sbarbaro, Henry Ragas and Larry Shields
Performed by Noble Sissle and Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Relax and understand the context....
27 August 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This Vitaphone short begins with two guys about to rob a pawnshop (F.E. Miller and Mantan Moreland). Having Moreland in this role wasn't a surprise, as through the 30s and 40s, he played scared guys in a ton of films--including a series with Frankie Darro and the Sidney Toler 'Charlie Chan' series. Suddenly, the place turns out to be haunted and little figures in the place come to life--as Miller and Moreland show off how afraid they are by all these goings on.

What follows is essentially a talent show of various black acts of the day--singers and dancers. None of these are particularly distinguished (especially because the sound was erratic and sometimes the singers were drowned out by the music), though I was surprised (not in a bad way mind you) at the girth of the lady tap dancer. She was very good but by Hollywood standards too big to be of any value--thank goodness the folks that made this short knew better.

Because of the sound issues, ordinariness of the performers and the nasty stereotype of the scared black man (very popular and widely accepted in the day), I'd consign this one to the status of a time-passer and not much more.

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