Thursday, 22 April 2010

Black and Tan (1929)

This 19-minute short is a real movie oddity - Duke Ellington stars as himself in a tragic story of a young woman (Fredi Washington) who dances despite Ellington warning her against it as she has cardiac problems. The end result is predictable, the acting pretty terrible, the dancing downright odd and unfortunately, while there is some good music, the sound quality is very poor (and I don't think a restored copy exists). The cinematography is downright weird - peoples' heads are frequently chopped out of the picture.

This seems more like an experiment in various camera techniques than anything, and though I like Ellington's music I can't recommend that you watch this. Even real die-hard fans of old movies and Duke Ellington are going to have a hard time finding much to like about Black and Tan.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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