Tap! Filmography - The Short Films

by bderoes-12985 | created - 04 Jan 2018 | updated - 29 Mar 2018 | Public

from Appendix B of Tap! The greatest tap dance stars and their stories, 1900-1955 by Rusty Frank, published 1990

"From the 1920s-1950s, there were very few musical films made that did not have tap dancing in some form. This appendix concentrates on "featured" tap dancers - solo, and groups. There are some entries listed here that have not been viewed since their original release. In these cases it is assumed that the tap dancer did perlorm a tap number in the film."

+ means information I added ++ is an entry from Jazz Dance: The Story Of American Vernacular Dance by Marshall & Jean Stearns, 1994 +++ is an entry that I added

Several "Soudies" entries are missing from IMDb, too many to list here.

Companion list: Tap! Filmography - The Feature Films

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1. Uncle Tom's Cabin (I) (1903)

Not Rated | 13 min | Short, Drama

Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin S. Porter

Votes: 370

Early examples of Time Step, Breaks, the Strut and Cakewalk

Paramount/ James Barton (performing in blackface)

Movietone/ Tap dance, two minutes

4. Black and Tan (1929)

Not Rated | 19 min | Drama, Short, Music

Duke Ellington in a jazz musical short with a tragic plotline.

Director: Dudley Murphy | Stars: Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Fredi Washington, Hall Johnson Choir

Votes: 353

RKO/ Five Hot Shots

6. Fowl Play (1929)

Passed | 23 min | Short, Comedy, Music

In this two-reel short, adapted and adjusted from Hugh Wiley's "Wildcat", the comedy team of Buck (Ford Washington Lee) and Bubbles (John William Sublette'), simple in their methods and ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Harbaugh | Stars: Ford Washington Lee, John W. Bubbles, Spencer Williams

Pathe/ Buck and Bubbles

Pathe/ Buck and Bubbles

Universal/ Rooney Family with Pat Rooney, Sr

9. St. Louis Blues (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Drama, Music

In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and ... See full summary »

Director: Dudley Murphy | Stars: Bessie Smith, Jimmy Mordecai, Isabel Washington, Hall Johnson Choir

Votes: 270

Radio Pictures/ Jimmy Mordecai

Warner/ Johnny Perrone, Peggy Ryan

Pathe/ Buck and Bubbles

12. Hello, Baby (1930)

Passed | 20 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

A revue built around dancer Ann Pennington), hindered only slightly by a slight plot line. It contains four songs, including the title song, and several dance numbers and lots of chorus ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Ceballos | Stars: Ann Pennington, Norman Selby, James Clemens, Wheeler Oakman

Vitaphone/ Ann Pennington

13. High Toned (1930)

21 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

Bubbles comes back to get his job back and finds that the new servant has taken not only his job, but his girl.

Director: Paul Powell | Stars: Ford Washington Lee, John W. Bubbles

Votes: 6

Pathe/ Buck and Bubbles

Pathe/ Buck and Bubbles

16. The Musical Beauty Shop (1930)

23 min | Comedy, Short, Musical

A beauty salon owner puts on a cabaret.

Director: Monty Banks | Stars: Leonard Henry, Ethel Baird, Barrie Oliver, F. Pope-Stamper

Twickenham Studios/ Sammy Lewis

17. The Under Dog (1930)

18 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

Add a Plot

Director: Murray Roth | Star: James Barton

Vitaphone/ James Barton

18. Blue Rhythm (1931)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Mickey plays a bluesy tune on a piano on a stage. Minnie sings. Then an unseen band plays while both sing and dance. Mickey then leads the 9-piece band in an uptempo number, with Pluto on ... See full summary »

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner

Votes: 286

Disney/ Mickey and Minnie Mouse

19. Pie, Pie, Blackbird (1932)

11 min | Short, Musical

Two boys eat a blackberry pie, then they and their mother are transported to a musical set where Eubie Blake and his band are playing some great jazz.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Eubie Blake, Nina Mae McKinney, The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard Nicholas

Votes: 101

Warner/ Nicholas Brothers

20. Barber Shop Blues (1933)

10 min | Short, Musical

An elderly barber shop owner wins a sweepstake and uses the winnings to elaborately remodel his run-down shop. For in-house entertainment he hires his musician friends as the jazz orchestra and the four shoeshiners are skilled tap dancers.

Director: Joseph Henabery | Stars: Claude Hopkins, Claude Hopkins & Orchestra, Orlando Roberson, The Four Step Brothers

Votes: 58

Vitaphone/ Four Step Brothers, +(Nicholas Brothers appear in credits but not in the short; watched online)

21. A Bundle of Blues (1933)

Not Rated | 9 min | Short, Music

Duke Ellington and his orchestra play two jazz compositions plus 'Stormy Weather' (sung by Ivy Anderson).

Director: Fred Waller | Stars: Duke Ellington, Ivie Anderson, Florence Hill, Bessie Dudley

Votes: 57

Paramount/ Florence Hill and Bessie Dudley

22. Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1934)

11 min | Short, Music

Musical and dance acts perform, first at a night club, then at a "rent party."

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Sally Gooding, Fredi Washington, Hamtree Harrington

Votes: 43

Warner/ Possibly Blues McAllister, Jump-rope dance, Three Dukes

23. Rufus Jones for President (1933)

21 min | Comedy, Musical, Short

Rufus Jones, a black child, is elected President of the United States in this short musical comedy. The film features song and dance numbers by a seven year old Sammy Davis Jr..

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Ethel Waters, Sammy Davis Jr., Hamtree Harrington, Dusty Fletcher

Votes: 95

Warner/ Sammy Davis, Jr., Will Vodery Girls chorus line tap

24. Scandal (1933)

30 min | Short, Musical

A musical comedy telling a simple story of backstage life and romance.

Director: Jack Goldberg | Stars: Lucky Millinder, Putney Dandridge, Joe Byrd, Gattie De Gaston

Unidentified production company connected to Jack Goldberg)/ Uncredited solo tap dancer, chorus tap

Skibo Prod. for Educ. Film through Fox/ Bunny Briggs, Cotton Club Girls

26. Smash Your Baggage (1932)

10 min | Short, Musical

A group of redcaps in a train station perform musical numbers to raise money for a sick member of their group.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Small's Paradise Entertainers, Wayman Carver, Sidney Catlett, Leonard Davis

Votes: 66

Vitaphone/ Ace and Eddie, Danny (jump-rope tap), Smalls' Paradise chorus line, "Rubber Legs" Williams

27. Stoopnocracy (1933)

11 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

An animated short chronicling the adventures of Colonel Stoopnagle and Budd.

Director: Dave Fleischer | Stars: Budd Hulick, F. Chase Taylor, Harold Nicholas

Votes: 185

Max Fleischer/Paramount/ Harold Nicholas

28. That's the Spirit (1933)

11 min | Short, Comedy, Music

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

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Noble Sissle, Cora La Redd, The Washboard Serenaders, F.E. Miller

Votes: 72

Vitaphone/ Cora La Redd

29. Use Your Imagination (1933)

Not Rated | 17 min | Short, Musical, Romance

The story of a likable young man can't hold a job because he is always daydreaming usually about girlfriend Mitzi.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Hal Le Roy, Mitzi Mayfair, Pat Rooney Jr., Robert Pitkin

Votes: 76

Vitaphone/ Hal Leroy, Mitzi Mayfair

31. Don Redman & His Orchestra (1934)

10 min | Short, Music

In a nightclub setting, Don Redman and His Orchestra perform three songs, and one number is performed by singers/tap dancers 'Red' and Struggie. (For the list of songs, check the soundtrack... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Henabery | Stars: Don Redman, Red & Struggie, Red, Struggie

Votes: 66

Warner/ Red and Struggles

32. King for a Day (1934)

TV-G | 21 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

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.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Bill Robinson, Ernest Whitman, Dusty Fletcher, Babe Matthews

Votes: 79

Vitaphone/ Bill Robinson

34. Paree, Paree (1934)

Approved | 21 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

In this musical short, a condensed version of Cole Porter's "Fifty Million Frenchmen" (1929), a wealthy young American meets the girl of his dreams and makes a bet that they will be engaged without her knowing of his riches.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Dorothy Stone, Bob Hope, Billie Leonard, Rodney McLennan

Votes: 186

Warner/ Paula Stone

35. Picture Palace (1934)

21 min | Short, Musical, Romance

Hal and Dawn work at the same vaudeville theater (he's an usher; she's a chorus girl). When they both get fired, they form an act and vow to get back to their old theater--as performers.

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Hal Le Roy, Anne Shirley, Jack Fulton, Charles Anthony Hughes

Votes: 45

Vitaphone/ Hal Leroy

36. Private Lessons (1934)

TV-G | 22 min | Musical, Romance, Short

Hal LeRoy is hired as a tap teacher at Dawn O'Day's dancing school to give private lessons to female students. The school's manager, as well as some of his students, spreads false stories ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Hal Le Roy, Anne Shirley, Dorothy Dare, Barbara MacDonald

Votes: 82

Vitaphone/ Hal Leroy

37. Rhythm on the Roof (1934)

Approved | 11 min | Short, Comedy, Music

Bob Crosby feels inferior to brother Bing, but needs to land a big band job before he can marry sweetheart Toby. Auditioning for Anson Weeks' band, he fantasizes about Toby and some barely ... See full summary »

Director: George M. Arthur | Stars: Anson Weeks, Bob Crosby, Toby Wing, Frank Saputo

Votes: 11

Paramount/ chorus tap

Fox/ Will Mahoney, Two uncredited tap dancing roller skaters

39. Syncopated City (1934)

Approved | 20 min | Musical, Short

Add a Plot

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Hal Le Roy, Dorothy Dare, George Watts, Philip Loeb

Votes: 12

Vitaphone/ Hal Leroy

40. The Whole Show (1934)

Approved | 20 min | Short, Music

James Barton appears in four burlesque skits; one in which, aided by The Arkansas Travelers band, he does a parody of a "Mammy" singer; another one, supported by the Will and Gladys Ahearn ... See full summary »

Director: Milton Schwarzwald | Stars: James Barton, Will Ahern, Gladys Ahern, Katherine Penman

Universal/ James Barton

41. An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935)

9 min | Short, Musical

Black vaudeville acts are featured in this Vitaphone Pepper Pot short. In addition to those listed in the credits, acts include The 3 Whippets, a group of acrobats; and The Five Racketeers,... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Adelaide Hall, The Nicholas Brothers, The 3 Whippets, The Five Racketeers

Votes: 80

Vitaphone/ Nicholas Brothers

42. By Request (1935)

Approved | 11 min | Short, Musical

This Vitaphone Melody Master starts off on the Louisiana levees, and then shifts to a California nightclub, where Claude Hopkins and His Orchestra are performing. Orlando Roberson sings a ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Claude Hopkins, Orlando Roberson, Tip Tap & Toe

Warner/ Tip, Tap and Toe

43. Hollywood Rhythm (1934)

Approved | 10 min | Musical, Short

This short plugs the new tunes written by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel for the movie "College Rhythm" and shows the audience how they were written and rehearsed. Naturally it also advertises... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Moulton | Stars: Mack Gordon, Harry Revel, Lyda Roberti, Jack Oakie

Votes: 24

Paramount/ Uncredited white tap duet

44. Main Street Follies (1935)

Approved | 21 min | Short, Comedy, Musical

A New york producer sends a spy to a nightclub to report back on the musical acts.

Director: Joseph Henabery | Stars: Hal Le Roy, Mary Joan Martin, Arthur Petley Troupe, Burley & Recco

Votes: 43

Vitaphone/ Hal Leroy

45. Musical Memories (1935)

7 min | Animation, Short, Musical

An elderly couple recall their life while listening to music on the radio.

Director: Dave Fleischer

Votes: 57

Paramount/ Ruby Keeler, Hal Leroy

46. Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life (1935)

Unrated | 9 min | Short, Music

Duke Ellington plays his symphonic jazz piece ('A Rhapsody of Negro Life') with his orchestra against slice-of-life background scenes. The four movements: 1) The Laborers, 2) A Triangle: ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Waller | Stars: Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Barney Bigard, Billie Holiday

Votes: 111

Paramount/ "Snakehips" Tucker

47. All-Star Vaudeville (1935)

Approved | 11 min | Short, Comedy, Music

A miniature vaudeville show, complete with a title card introducing each act, is presented. First up is The On-Wah Troupe, an East Asian group of contortionists. Next, Blossom Seeley and ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Pat Rooney, Pat Rooney Jr., Blossom Seeley, Benny Fields

Votes: 60

Vitaphone/ (VAUDEVILLE REEL NO. 4); Pat Rooney, Sr., Pat Rooney, Jr

48. Accent on Girls (1935)

9 min | Short, Music

A swing music short starring Ina Ray Hutton and her 'all-girl' band.

Director: Fred Waller | Stars: Ina Ray Hutton, The MeloDears

Votes: 8

Paramount/ Ina Ray Hutton

49. The Black Network (1936)

20 min | Musical, Short

Brutus Johnson, owner of the Porter Pullman Shoe Polish Company, sponsors the Porter Pullman Shoe Polish Variety Program on the Black Network Broadcasting Co. Mezzanine Johnson, Brutus' ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Mack | Stars: Nina Mae McKinney, The Nicholas Brothers, The Washboard Serenaders, Emmett 'Babe' Wallace

Votes: 87

Vitaphone/ Nicholas Brothers

50. Changing of the Guard (1936)

Approved | 20 min | Short, Musical