I’ll probably post mini-reviews for Disc 3 of the Musicals 50-movie pack just before going to Midwinter. It’s a much better disc than Disc 2, comprised entirely of movies made with all-black casts for black audiences, and two of the three I’ve watched so far focus on some great music.
But I thought it was worth a little advance notice on a movie I thoroughly enjoyed (and the IMDB reviewer from France can turn up their nose all they like): Reet, Petite, and Gone, 1947, starring Louis Jordan in a dual role (although one part’s only on screen for a couple of minutes).
There’s a plot–rich dying father, last-minute will, crooked lawyer, all turns out well–but it’s trivial and takes up very little of the movie. Out of 69 minutes, I’d guess that at least 55 minutes are devoted to 14–count them, 14–complete songs, with all the attention on Jordan, the Tympany Five, and occasional guest singers. Jordan appeared in a few other films, but as far as I know this is the only one that focuses almost entirely on his first-rate, varied music. It’s also a pretty good print with clear sound and only a few missing frames. This one, I’ll watch again…and I’m still hearing some of those songs in my mind’s ear as I write this. I gave it $2; but for the missing frames, it might have been even higher.
One of the songs (which range from ballads to hot jazz, and make clear that for Jordan’s style of band in the 1940s, the guitar was just part of the percussion group along with the standup bass) surprised me: The Green Grass Grew All Around. Yes, that one. Not what I would have expected, and Jordan does a great job.
[Someone who knows what I'm trying to do might suggest that I'm procrastinating on the next chapter of my possible-book. Maybe, but this really was a fine movie, mostly as a documentary of Jordan's music.]
[Oh, and just for giggles: You know Cites on a Plane, the phantom non-issue I put out Wednesday night that has no new material? I spent easily an hour total putting it together and posting it, mostly for fun and in the expectation that 50 or 60 people might actually download it. Ahem. Through yesterday, the PDF's been downloaded 390 times. I have no idea what to make of that: Guess those plane rides really are boring, or a lot of people are fascinated by AutoSummary.]