In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »
Daniel L. Haynes,
Nina Mae McKinney,
Hattie Maloney runs a saloon in Panama where assorted characters congregate where they frequently sing and dance Cole Porter numbers. An upper class gentleman arrives and sparks fly between... See full summary »
Dave Hirsch, a writer and an army veteran winds up in his small Indiana hometown, to the dismay of his respectable older brother. He meets and befriends various different characters and tries to figure out what to do with his life.
Chronic gambler and carouser "Little" Joe Jackson is shot by Domino Johnson at Jim Henry's gambling club over an outstanding gambling debt. Little Joe's wife, the God-fearing Petunia Jackson, prays not only for her husband's mortal life, but also his eternal soul as she's afraid that if he dies now, he, despite not being an evil man, won't make it into heaven. As Little Joe is close to death, he is visited by agents of both the Lord and of Lucifer. They make a deal with him: they will give him six months to atone for the errors of his human life. Once back on Earth, he won't remember the deal but both the Lord and Lucifer will be watching over him, trying to get him to see things their way. As both sides try to get Little Joe's soul, they figure that some of the most powerful tools they have at their disposal are the women in Little Joe's life: Petunia on behalf of the Lord, and Georgia Brown, a gold-digging floozy, on behalf of Lucifer. As hard as both the Lord and Lucifer try to get...Written by
During the nightclub fight between Domino Johnson and Little Joe, the gunshot he fires accidentally hits Petunia. She falls down on the steps of the staircase, where she drapes her right arm twice over the side. See more »
Fabulous first film from director Vincente Minnelli (who went on to become one of America's best directors, and had previously produced stage revues including star Waters) with an all black cast headed by the magnificent Ethel Waters. She sings classics from the musical and interpolated songs -- fortunately MGM had a good songsmith on hand in Harold Arlen, who added tunes which were, for once, the equal of the show's originals. Lena Horne also makes a sensational screen debut as "sweet" Georgia Brown. Loose comedy plot about Rochester saving his soul only holds the songs together, but the whole thing is done in a spirit of fun and shows off the great cast in full flavor. An experimental movie that passes its mark with an A+! May offend some modern tastes, but those who are offended should consider questioning their hangups and just kick their feet up and have a good time with it! Ellington and crew appear in a wonderfully photographed "shack dance".
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