7.2/10
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56 user 36 critic

Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | | Musical, Fantasy | 9 April 1943 (USA)
A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors:

Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley (uncredited)

Writers:

Joseph Schrank (screen play), Lynn Root (based upon the book of the musical play by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethel Waters ... Petunia Jackson
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Little Joe Jackson
Lena Horne ... Georgia Brown
Louis Armstrong ... The Trumpeter
Rex Ingram ... Lucius / Lucifer Jr.
Kenneth Spencer Kenneth Spencer ... The General / Rev. Green
John William Sublett ... Domino Johnson (as 'Bubbles' [John W. Sublett])
Oscar Polk ... The Deacon / Fleetfoot
Mantan Moreland ... First Idea Man
Willie Best ... Second Idea Man
Fletcher Rivers Fletcher Rivers ... Third Idea Man (as Moke [Fletcher Rivers])
Leon James Poke Leon James Poke ... Fourth Idea Man (as Poke [Leon James])
Bill Bailey Bill Bailey ... Bill
Ford Washington Lee Ford Washington Lee ... Messenger Boy (as 'Buck' [Ford L. Washington])
Butterfly McQueen ... Lily
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hell | shooting | prayer | church | singer | See All (46) »

Taglines:

Ethel Waters (Famed Torch Singer) See more »

Genres:

Musical | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabin in the Sky See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$662,141 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,606,624, 31 December 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A scene showing Lena Horne singing "Ain't It the Truth" (written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg) while taking a bath, was cut, but later appeared in the one-reel short subject Studio Visit (1946). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jim Henry: [Petunia orders a drink at Jim Henry's] What'll it be, Miss Jackson?
Petunia Jackson: You may get me a double King Kong!
See more »

Connections

Features The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Ship of Zion
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thank the heavens for this gem of a movie!
4 October 2002 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

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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