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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
“Hi-De-Ho” (1947) – Musical #503
Cab Calloway (as himself), Ida James, Jeni Le Gon
Cab Calloway plays himself a as a bandleader who is getting bored with his sexy singing girlfriend Minnie who he calls a moocher. Minnie is jealous of Cab’s female band manager named Nettie. Out of jealousy, Minnie gets a job at a night club that rivals the club that Cab is performing at. She also asks gangsters to kill Cab.
-“Hi-De-Ho” is what is known as a “race film.” The film is made up of an entirely black cast that were generally made between 1915 and 1950. These films were usually produced outside of the Hollywood studio system.
-The film also features the Peters Sisters and The Miller Brothers
The movie has several of Cab Calloway’s songs, but sadly no “Minnie the Moocher.”
-“Minnie was a Hep Cat”
-“St. James Infirmary”
-“At Dawn Time”
-“The Hi-De-Ho Man, That’s Me”
The plot to this film is very thin and the quality of the picture is very low. If you go strictly by the story line, “Hi-De-Ho” is lousy. However, this is a great exhibition of Cab Calloway’s music with eight songs from the big band leader. It’s also interesting for its historical value as a “race film.” If you can find this movie, I would highly suggest it for its excellent music. The only disappointing feature is that it doesn’t have the song “Minnie the Moocher.”