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The Night Court (1927)

 -  Short | Comedy | Musical  -  November 1927 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 82 users  
Reviews: 7 user

A police raid on a night club results in the entire cast of the club's floor show being hauled into court, where they must perform their routines for the judge.

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Title: The Night Court (1927)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Defense Counsel (uncredited)
Joyzelle Joyner ...
Irene Tabasco, Exotic Dancer (uncredited)
Dottie Lewis ...
Flapper Singer (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ...
Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
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Storyline

New York's Finest raid the Paradise Night Club on West 45th Street, "where everything goes, including your bank roll." In court the next day, the defense attorney asks that each person charged be allowed to perform. Dolly Lewis, arrested for singing risqué songs, does "I ain't that kind of a baby." The orchestra plays from the jury box. The chorus line, held for murdering the black bottom, performs in frills and bathing costumes. The judge and the defense hold a colloquy about a dead waiter. Then, Irene Tobasco, charged with an improper dance in scanty attire, performs in a diaphanous gown. Is she "raw" or "well done." What will the judge decide? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Musical

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Details

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Release Date:

November 1927 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reel #2138 See more »

Soundtracks

When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo
(uncredited)
Written by Sammy Fain, Sam Coslow and Larry Spier
Played at the beginning, during the trial and at the end
Danced by the dance troupe
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User Reviews

 
Wow! Where I live you get cited for contempt for drinking water in court!
8 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This little short shows the ingenuity that was necessary to entertain given the completely static camera that was the price paid for getting sound into film via Vitaphone. At first we have some fascinating silent shots of LA nightlife outside, and then some shots in a nightclub also silent so that you can see the motion of Jazz Age couples kicking it up on the dance floor. In bust the cops - now up to this point everything is silent film with sound effects and music overlaid. Once in the court room, the short switches to sound.

The charges have nothing to do with prohibition. Apparently the entire revue is being held for "risque songs", "murdering the black bottom", and "raw dancing". The defense attorney (William Demarest) requests that the entire revue be reenacted in the courtroom so the judge can see for himself. Now we have an excuse, in an environment that enables the camera to be completely still without apology, for a couple of dance numbers and a great jazz song - "I ain't that kind of a baby" performed by Dottie Lewis in her one and only screen appearance. In the middle of all of this the judge and Demarest get into a routine about a murdered waiter. Demarest makes this comic exchange nostalgic fun rather than pure corn probably owing to his background in vaudeville.

The musical accompaniment comes from the jury box which is filled with jazz musicians, instruments in tow. No wonder the girls aren't afraid enough of the verdict to dress modestly for court! Such fun.

And there you have a great contrived premise for a 10 minute comedy short giving us a peak at the Jazz Age at the height of the roaring twenties. Highly recommended mainly for film buffs and for fans of entertainment of that era. Directed by Brian Foy, who directed only one feature length film that survives - the first all-talking feature film ever made, "Lights of New York", which also had some great musical comedy scenes staged in a night club.


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Seems like model for TV's 'Night Court' eddiec-1
Guilty! Of mudering the Black Bottom. gcassidy2
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