Tuesday, December 22, 2009

like a white thumb

Speaking of black Americans, I just watched "Stormy Weather", one of two all-black cast movies made by major studios in the 40's. The headlining stars are dancer Bill Robinson and singer Lena Horne...



... but the movie is devised to showcase many other entertainers like Cab Calloway and the biggest bow-tie in show business:



The Katherine Dunham dance troupe has an extended sequence. I don't recall Fred and Ginger ever pawing each other like this:



From this vantage point it's hard to know how much of the movie is stuff the studio thought had to be in a "colored" movie and how much is what the performers were doing in their acts all along. I'm guessing the black-face flowers was a studio idea.



Film ends with the completely amazing Nicholas Brothers.




I said this was an all-black movie. Almost. If you pause the DVD you can catch one white guy in the middle of Cab Calloway's Band.





The band sounds great, I'm sure he's doing his job, but he does stick out.

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