Boy! What a Girl!/Boarding House Blues/Killer Diller [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Killer Diller
Enjoy the sounds of Nat King Cole and his Trio in this all-black musical revue. ~ Jeaniff Dorset, Rovi

Boarding House Blues
Josh Binney directed this wonderful, nostalgia-soaked vaudeville revue with an all-black cast headed by the delightful Moms Mabley. Because films like this were aimed specifically at segregated inner-city black audiences, they were treated like disposable product by the studios, which offered them a surprising amount of leeway in terms of material. Drug jokes and sexual innuendos, which would surely have been censored in mainstream films in 1948, rub elbows with some truly bizarre novelty acts including a dancer with one arm and one leg, an acrobat dressed like a monkey, and a genial "let's put on a show to keep the wicked landlord from evicting us" plot line. Mabley does her usual comedy and tap dances, Bull Moose Jackson sings, and many popular African-American acts perform. Binney was something of an expert at films like this, having directed Hi-De-Ho for Cab Calloway, Killer Diller with Nat King Cole and Mabley, as well as this film within the space of a year or so. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Boy! What a Girl
Fans of TV's Amos 'N' Andy series ought to get a big kick out of the black-oriented musical Boy! What a Girl. The "girl" in question, a winsome lass named Bumpsie, is played by none other than Tim "Kingfish" Moore! The story concerns two fly-by-night Harlem producers (Elwood Smith, Duke Williams) who hope to produce a hit Broadway play. Our heroes manage to line up a potential backer, who agrees to bankroll the show only if another backer puts up half the money. The producers engage the services of a female impersonator (Tim Moore) to pose as the second backer-and as a result, they end up with the homeliest "leading lady" in show-biz history. The rest of the film is a vaudeville-style parade of such black specialty acts as the Sid Catlett Orchestra, the Slam Stewart Trio and Deek Watson's Brown Dots. Highlights include a startlingly suggestive dance routine by the International Jitterbugs and a drum solo by Gene Krupa, the only white member of the cast. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Nat "King" Cole
    Nat "King" Cole
  • Image coming soon
    Dusty Fletcher
  • Moms Mabley
    Moms Mabley
  • Butterfly McQueen
    Butterfly McQueen
  • Image coming soon
    George Wiltshire
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