978. MEET THE NAVY (1946-England). A musical revue starring, believe it or not, members of The Royal Canadian Navy! Ship ahoy mate! 81 minutes. Musical
934. REET, PETITE, AND GONE (1947-USA). With LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPAN FIVE, JUNE RICHMOND. Louis Jordan became well known with the Chick Webb band in 193 before organizing his swinging “Tympany Five.” His million-selling hit “Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie” putting him on the map in 1946, and had him featured with the likes Of Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald an Louis Armstrong. This all-black programmer has typical B feature plot but A plus jazz by Louis and his sax. Louis plays two roles, sings most Of the vocals and fronts his fine swinging group. A dishonest lawyer tries to do young Louis out Of his inheritance by changing his dying father’s eccentric will. A boyhood sweetheart and a faithful servant save the day, but you should ignore the plot and just dig the large quantity Of fine music Served up by Louis. Favorites include “Let the Good Tim< Roll," the title song "Reet, Petite and Gone," and "That Chick's Too Young To Fry." Fat |un Richmond is a delectable morsel indeed as she wades through the blues. She's also probably the only one in the picture who could act! No matter, the film's mostly Louis Jordan and his music, an that's all-reet. 67 minutes. Musical All Black
89. GLORIFYING THE AMERICAN GIRL (1929-usA). With EDDIE CANTOR, HELLEN MORGAN, RUDY VALLEE, MARY EATON, DAN HEALY, KAYE RENARD Featuring “a singing a dancing chorus Of seventy-five glorified beauties.” Music by IRVING BERLIN. Ballet ensembles by T. SHAWN. Production personally supervised by FLORENZ ZIEGFELD. Reportedly the only movie which Ziegfeld made a significant contribution, this vintage “backstage” musical displays the mas showman’s unmistakable touches: lavish production numbers, sketches with the biggest performers the day, and all those “glorified beauties” wearing such extravagant costumes and enormous headpieces you wonder how they manage to move at all. The paper-thin plot concerns a young singer/dancer with dreams Of starring in the Follies, the sleazy dancer who gets her into the big time and tries to exploit (sexually as well as financially) and the nice boy she leaves behind. The heroine finally achieves stardom in a Ziegfeld Follies-like production Of suitably gargantuan proportions. The show, and the film, is highlighted by Rudy Vallee’s “Vagabond Lover,” Eddie Cantor in his famous “Cheap Charlie” skit about two obnoxiously aggressive tailors, and, best Of all, Helen Morgan’s immortal torch song, “What Wouldn’t I Do for That Man!” (She had introduced the number in “Applause,” where it was continues interrupted by dialogue; here it gets the full-blown treatment, with the sultry singer in her familiar pose atop a white piano). Brief glimpses Of celebrities supposedly arriving at the show – RING LARDNI, TEXAS GUINAN, MAYOR JIMMY WALKER, NOAH BEERY, ADOLPH ZUKOR and FLORENZ ZIEGFEI himself, with his wife BILLIE BURKE. This movie will magically transport you back to 1929 (when more musicals were made than in any year since) – to that glorious “All Talking, All Singing, All Dancing” entertainment 95 minutes. Musical
899. ROCK YOU SINNERS (1957). With TONY CROMBIE and HIS ROCKETS, ART BAXTER and HIS ROCKIN’ SINNERS, DON SOLLASH and HIS ROCKIN’ HORSES. British rock and roll musical with pre-Beatle rockers from the U.K. A BBC disc jockey decides to put on a rockin’ TV show. 59 minutes. Music
916. THE VAGABOND LOVER (1929-USA). WITH Rudy Vallee AND THE Connecticut Yankees SALLY BLANE, MARIE DRESSLER. Young Rudy and his amateur musician chums visit the swank home Of band leader Ted Grant. All Rudy wants to do is audition for Ted after his graduation from the Ted Grant mail order saxophone school. A zany series Of events leads to Rudy and his band being mistaken for the famous Ted Grant Orchestra and getting in hot water with the local police. The plot may wear a bit thin in spots, but there’s plenty Of crooning and “prOfiles” by Rudy as he serenades the Flapper Of his dreams. A fine quality print and an exceptionally clean sound track preserve a very early and most enjoyable musical. 66 minutes. Musical
Big band icons Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey play themselves in this biopic that chronicles their lives as children in a Pennsylvania industrial town and their eventual rise to fame as the best bandleaders of the swing era.
817. HOLLYWOOD ON PARADE (1932). With FREDRIC MARCH, GINGER ROGERS, HELEN KANE (As Betty Boop), BELA LUGOSI, UKULELE IKE, JEANETTE MacDONALD, MAURICE CHEVALIER. Five star-filled music and comedy short subjects with everyone from Dracula to Betty Boop. Highly recommended. 59 minutes total. “Silent” Film
517. PARADISE IN HARLEM (1940-usa). WITH frank wilson, mamie smith, luck millinder and his orchestra, juanita hall singers. Back when African-Americans only were allowed to play maids and pullman porters in Hollywood movies, dozens Of independently produced, all-black-cast features were made specifically for black audiences. Here, dark-skinned performers were able to play G-men and gangsters, showgirls and cowboys, and to display the full range Of their talents. This is an outstanding example Of the genre, an entertaining combination musical gangster drama. The scenario follows the plight Of Lem Anderson (played by the esteemed actor Fran Wilson), a famed but troubled vaudeville performer, unhappy because he has not been able to fulfill his dream Of playing Othello. Lem’s problems are not limited to his prOfessional frustrations: his will is dying, he fears for his beloved nephew’s future, and he innocently becomes involved in complicated crime scheme. The great blues singer Mamie Smith is on hand, and she steams up the screen during each Of her numbers. Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra also really swing here. The presence is proOf positive that the era’s hot big bands who appeared in movies were not just headed by the likes Of Benny Goodman, Artie Show and Harry James. 83 minutes. Musical All Black