Watching 1939: The Devil’s Daughter (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: 
The Devil’s Daughter (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 7, 1939

Cast: 
Nina Mae McKinney, Jack Carter, Ida James, Hamtree Harrington, Willa Mae Lang, Emmett ‘Babe’ Wallace

Studio: 
Sack Amusement Enterprises

Director: 
Arthur H. Leonard

Plot:
Sylvia Walton (James) travels from her home in New York to Jamaica, because her father left his banana plantation to her in his will. However, her step-sister Isabelle Walton (McKinney) has already been running the plantation for years. Isabelle goes into hiding in the jungle when Sylvia arrives, and Isabelle conspires with Sylvia’s boyfriend Philip (Carter). In order to get the plantation, Isabelle uses “obeah” (a type of sorcery) to scare Sylvia away for the plantation and for the love of John Loden (Wallace).

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Musical Monday: Hallelujah (1929)

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:
Hallelujah (1929) – Musical #600

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: King Vidor

Starring: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine, Harry Gray, Fanny Belle DeKnight, Everett McGarrity, Victoria Spivey, Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard (uncredited), Sam McDaniel (uncredited), Clarence Muse (uncredited), Blue Washington (uncredited), Madame Sul-Te-Wan (uncredited)
Themselves: Dixie Jubilee Singers

Plot:
Zeke (Haynes) and Spunk (McGarrity) Johnson are cotton sharecroppers and go to town to sell their family’s portion of the season’s crop. While celebrating, Zeke meets Chick (McKinney) who sweet talks Zeke and woos him by dancing with him at a club. Chick is in cahoots with her boyfriend Hot Shot (Fountaine), and she causes Zeke to lose his money gambling. When a gun is pulled in an argument after losing his money, Zeke’s brother Spunk is killed. Fearful, Zeke runs away and turns around his life by becoming a pastor. Despite his new life, Zeke is still tempted by Chick.

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