Musical Monday: Song of Freedom (1936)

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:
Song of Freedom (1936) – Musical #639

Studio:
British Lion Films

Director:
J. Elder Wills

Starring:
Paul Robeson, Elisabeth Welch, Esme Percy, Robert Adams, Joan Fred Emney, Robert Adams, James Solomon, George Mozart, Jenny Dean, Cornelia Smith, Ronald Simpson, Bernard Ansell

Plot:
John Zinga (Robeson) works on the English docks and wants to travel to Africa to learn more about his heritage. While driving by, composer and impresario Gabriel Donozetti (Percy) hears John singing in the street. Struck by his voice, Donozetti seeks out John to make him an opera star. With the encouragement of his wife Ruth (Welch), John reluctantly accepts; seeing that this career could allow him the opportunity to travel to Africa. After one performance during an encore, John sings a piece of a song that he has known all his life, but isn’t sure of the origins. A professor in the audience tells John that the song is a war song for an African tribe and that John may be king based on a pendant that John has worn since childhood. John and Ruth travel to the small African island so he can lead the island and his people, but they aren’t welcomed with open arms.

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Musical Monday: Show Boat (1936)

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:
Show Boat (1936) – Musical #78

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: James Whale

Starring:
Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, Helen Westley, Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, Queenie Smith, Donald Cook, Sammy White, Hattie McDaniel, Marilyn Knowlden, Sunnie O’Dea, Arthur Hohl, J. Farrell MacDonald, Francis X. Mahoney, Clarence Muse, Eddie Rochester Anderson (uncredited), Dennis O’Keefe (uncredited), Barbara Pepper (uncredited), Bobs Watson (uncredited), Delmar Watson (uncredited),

Plot:
Set in the 1880s, the Cotton Palace Show Boat travels from town to town to perform. When the show’s leading lady Julie LaVerne (Morgan) is told to leave because of a case of miscegenation, or an interracial relationship, Capt. Andy (Winninger) and his wife (Westley) have to find a new leading man and leading lady. Their daughter Magnolia (Dunne) takes the part and a gambler Gaylord Ravenal (Jones) is hired. The two fall in love and are married, against Magnolia’s parent’s wishes. The couple moves to Chicago and lives off of Gaylord’s gambling success, which is short-lived.

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