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
Nat ‘King’ Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Juano Hernandez, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Dee, Billy Preston, C. Bakaleinikoff (uncredited)
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.
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.
Lying Lips (1939)
July 9, 1939
Edna Mae Harris, Carman Newsome, Robert Earl Jones, Frances E. Williams, Juano Hernandez, Cherokee Thornton, Slim Thompson, Gladys Williams, Don De Leo, George Reynolds, Charles La Torre, Henry ‘Gang’ Gines
Elsie Bellwood (Harris) is a nightclub singer at the Poodle Dog night club, but the Italian owners, Farina (Leo) and Garotti (Torre) want her to use her talents off stage and attend “private parties” to bring in extra money. Elsie refuses, insisting she’s a good girl, and her agent Benjamin Hadnot (Newsome) stands up for her. After Hadnot has an altercation over Elsie with Farina and Garotti, Elsie returns home to find her aunt dead. Elsie is framed for the murder and Hadnot and Detective Wenzer (Jones) try to uncover the case.