Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1943. Story by Jerry Horwin, Seymour B. Robinson, Screenplay by Frederick J. Jackson, Ted Koehler, adaptation by H.S. Kraft. Cinematography by Leon Shamroy. Produced by William LeBaron. Music by Cyril J. Mockridge. Production Design by James Basevi, Joseph C. Wright. Costume Design by Helen Rose. Film Editing by James B. Clark.
The best African-American entertainers in the business are gathered up for this fantastic song-and-dance spectacle, a thorough delight from beginning to end. The scanty story revolves around Bill Robinson and his recounting to some neighbourhood children the various experiences of his career, particularly in regards to his romance with a gorgeous singer (Lena Horne). The story is just an excuse for the songs, but what songs! Horne is fantastic, plus there’s a killer rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” performed by Fats Waller. The ending, featuring the stylings of Cab Calloway and the awe-inspiring dancing of The Nicholas Brothers, is a total showstopper. Musical lovers will be in heaven.