Musical Monday: Killer Diller (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Killer Diller – Musical #664

Studio:
All American

Director:
Josh Binney

Starring:
George Wiltshire, Nellie Hill, Butterfly McQueen, Freddie Robinson, William Campbell, Edgar Martin, Sidney Easton, Augustus Smith (as Gus Smith),
Themselves: King Cole Trio, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Dusty Fletcher (as Dusty ‘Open the Door Richard’ Fletcher), the Clark Brothers, Andy Kirk and His Orchestra, The Four Congaroos, Patterson and Jackson, Beverlee White (billed as Beverly White)

Plot:
A theater manager (Wiltshire) gives his girl fiancé Lola (Hill) an expensive string of pearls. Shortly after, a magician (Fletcher) at the theater makes her disappear. As the police search for the pearls and Lola, a show has to go on.
The majority of the film is a variety show of singing, dancing and jokes.

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Watching 1939: King of the Underworld (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
King of the Underworld (1939)

Release date: 
Jan. 7, 1939

Cast: 
Humphrey Bogart, Kay Francis, James Stephenson, John Eldredge, Jessie Busley, Murray Alper, Arthur Aylesworth, Mickey Kuhn (uncredited), Richard Quine (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Lewis Seiler

Plot:
Drs. Niles (Eldredge) and Carole (Francis) Nelson are married doctors who primarily work for a clinic. But the two soon become society doctors after Niles takes a deal with gangster Joe Gurney (Bogart) to help treat other criminals. When Niles is killed in a raid, the district attorney tries to charge Carole with involvement in the gang. Carole moves with her aunt (Busley) to uncover Gurney’s gang and prove her innocence.

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Musical Monday: Sepia Cinderella (1947)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Sepia Cinderella (1947) – Musical #663

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Arthur H. Leonard

Starring:
Billy Daniels, Sheila Guyse, Tondaleyo, Ruble Blakey, William Greaves, Jack Carter, Dusty Freeman, George Williams, Harold Norton, Hilda Offley, Sidney Poitier (uncredited)
Specialty Acts and Appearances: Freddie Bartholomew, Deek Watson’s Brown Dot’s, Walter Fuller’s Orchestra, Apus, Estellita, John Kirby Sextet, Leonard and Zolo

Plot:
Bob Jordan (Billy Daniels) is a struggling songwriter. Barbara (Guyse), the adopted daughter of his landlady (Offley), helps him put lyrics to his song, “Cinderella.” Bob’s song becomes a hit, which throws him into society. Bob catches the attention of Vivian (Tondelayo), who owns a nightclub, and replaces her current bandleader (Blakey) with Bob. Vivian’s liking of Bob causes troubles with her fiance and hurts Barbara, as their romance is in the tabloids.

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Musical Monday: Miracle in Harlem (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Miracle in Harlem (1948) – Musical #662

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Jack Kemp

Starring:
Hilda Offley, Sheila Guyse, Kenneth Freeman, William Greaves, Sybil Lewis (billed as Sybyl Lewis), Creighton Thompson, Laurence Criner, Jack Carter, Stepin Fetchit,
Specialty performers: Juanita Hall, Norma Shepherd, Lynn Proctor Trio, Lavada Carter, Savannah Churchill

Plot:
Aunt Hattie (Offley) and her niece Julie (Guyse) run a small candy store. They have a small location and their only help is Julie’s boyfriend Bert (Greaves) and the handyman, Swifty (Fetchit). Julie and Bert want to expand, but Aunt Hattie resists. Wealthy Albert Marshall (Criner) of the big business Harlem Candy Manufacturers tries to put Julie and Aunt Hattie out of business. Marshall and his son Jim (Freeman) trick Julie out of the candy store, but when Marshall turns up dead, Julie is accused.

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Watching 1939: Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 13, 1939

Cast: 
Walter Pidgeon, Rita Johnson, Henry Hull, Stanley Ridges, Donald Meek, Addison Richards, Sterling Holloway, Frank Faylen, Henry Victor, Milburn Stone, Martin Kosleck, Andrew Tombes (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Jacques Tourneur

Plot:
Undercover detective Nick Carter (Pidgeon) is hired to investigate how top-secret blueprints continuously go missing from the Radex Airplane Factory. The airplane plant is working to develop a high-speed plane for the government, and spies are working to get their hands on the plans.

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Musical Monday: Boy! What a Girl! (1947)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Boy! What a Girl! (1947) – Musical #426

Studio:
Herald Pictures

Director:
Arthur H. Leonard

Starring:
Tim Moore, Elwood Smith, Duke Williams, Alan Jackson, Sheila Guyse, Betti Mays, Sybil Lewis, Warren Patterson
Themselves: Slam Stewart Trio, Deek Watson and the Brown Dots, Big Sid Catlett, Ann Cornell, Gene Krupa, Harlemaniacs

Plot:
Jim Walton (Smith) and Harry Diggs (Williams) are trying to get a show on Broadway but lack the financial backing. Jim hopes that his girlfriend’s rich father, Mr. Cummings (Jackson), will help fund the show. Mr. Cummings will only help fund the show if wealthy French impresario Mme. Deborah Martin pays for half of the show. In her absence, female impersonator Bumpsie (Moore) poses as Mme. Deborah, but the issue is when the real Mme. Deborah (Lewis) arrives.

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Watching 1939: Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

Release date: 
March 24, 1939, in the UK
March 29, 1939, in the US

Cast: 
John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny, E. E. Clive, Elizabeth Patterson, Leo G. Carroll (billed as Leo Carroll), Forrester Harvey, Elspeth Dudgeon

Studio: 
Paramount Pictures

Director: 
James P. Hogan

Plot:
After several failed attempts, Bulldog Drummond (Howard) and his girlfriend Phyllis (Angel) are finally getting married; traveling to an old family mansion in Rockingham for the occasion. However, their nuptial efforts are thwarted when Drummond is informed by guest Professor Downie (Harvey) that there is a fortune buried somewhere on the estate. While he’s curious about finding the money, so is everyone else. In the process, guests are killed as someone inside the house is trying to get the money.

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Musical Monday: The Benny Goodman Story

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
The Benny Goodman Story (1956) – Musical #331

Studio:
Universal Studios

Director:
Valentine Davies

Starring:
Steve Allen, Donna Reed, Herbert Anderson, Sammy Davis Sr., Dick Winslow, Berta Gersten, Barry Truex, Robert F. Simon
Themselves: Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, Ben Pollack, Kid Ory, Martha Tilton, Harry James, Babe Russin, Allan Reuss

Plot:
This is a biographical film on clarinet player Benny Goodman (Allen). The film follows Goodman as a child when he learns the clarinet and becomes interested in jazz and swing music. Goodman struggles with gaining interest in “hot” music, especially in New York City. Many prefer classical music, including Alice Hammond (Reed), who is interested in Benny Goodman but isn’t sure about his music. Alice and Benny have a romance, but with his busy music schedule and his skeptical mother, it’s hard for the two to be together.

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Watching 1939: Inquest (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Inquest (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 1939

Cast: 
Elizabeth Allan, Philip Friend, Harold Anstruther, Herbert Lomas, Malcom Morley, Jean Shepherd, R. Watts-Philipp, Richard Coke, Charles Stevenson, Jack Greenwood, Jack Madren, Hay Petrie, Basil Cunard, Olive Sloan, Barbara Everest, Basil Cunard

Studio: 
Highbury Studios London

Director: 
Roy Boulting

Plot:
A gun is found in the ceiling of an old cabin where the Hamilton couple used to live. Margaret Hamilton (Allan) moved after the death of her husband Tommy. When the new owner finds the gun and sees the gun has two empty shells (indicating that it was once fired), he calls the police. Margaret is then contacted by the police and her deceased husband is exhumed. Margaret is then tried in Coroner’s Court, which is accusing her of killing her husband.

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Musical Monday: St. Louis Blues (1958)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
St. Louis Blues (1958) – Musical #659

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
Allen Reisner

Starring:
Nat ‘King’ Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Juano Hernandez, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Dee, Billy Preston, C. Bakaleinikoff (uncredited)

Plot:
A biographical film on composer and musician Will C. Handy (Cole), who is considered the Father of the Blues. Will’s father is a pastor who belives any music outside of hymns is devil-worshipping music. Nevertheless, Will is drawn to writing and performing secular music, which causes a divide between he and his father. As Will becomes successful, he is torn between his success and losing his family.

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