6.3/10
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10 user 4 critic

Black and Tan (1929)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short, Music | 8 December 1929 (USA)
Duke Ellington in a jazz musical short with a tragic plotline.

Director:

Dudley Murphy

Writer:

Dudley Murphy (story)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Duke Ellington ... Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington Orchestra Duke Ellington Orchestra ... Cotton Club Orchestra (as The Cotton Club Orchestra)
Fredi Washington ... Fredi - Duke's Girlfriend
Hall Johnson Choir Hall Johnson Choir ... Choir
Edgar Connor Edgar Connor ... Piano Mover
Alec Lovejoy Alec Lovejoy ... Piano Mover
Edit

Storyline

Duke Ellington plays hot jazz in a fictional story that finds him down on his luck; he tries in vain to dissuade his friend, dancer Fredi Washington, from working with heart trouble even though it means work for his band. Sure enough, she collapses on stage... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Short | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Duke Ellington. See more »

Connections

Featured in Jazz (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Black and Tan Fantasy
Written by Duke Ellington
Played by Duke Ellington on piano
Reprised at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Of historical interest only
30 August 2003 | by thedogeSee all my reviews

Simuland has pretty much said it all concerning this short. It's of no great value beyond the historical interest of seeing a very young Ellington and some members of his band. It's also interesting to note how "modern" some aspects of this are, despite the painfully dated racial stereotyping. Ellington's girl friend, for example, is obviously of the "live in" variety and the dancing costumes are fairly brief - two good indications that this is a "pre-code" film. Had this been filmed after the infamous Production Code went into effect, it would have been much more sanitized.

Anyone interested in actually seeing this will find it on (of all things) a recently issued DVD of the second-string musicals "Second Chorus" and "Mr. Impreium", tucked away behind the Special Features menu, along with another oddball short, "Boogie Woogie Dream" (1944) with a 27-year-old Lena Horne along with boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson and bandleader Teddy Wilson.


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