Stormy Weather

1943, Movie, NR, 77 mins

Review

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Because it contains performances by many of the great black musical stars of its day, STORMY WEATHER will be studied for years to come. The slim story into which the acts are incorporated concerns veteran entertainer Corky (Bill Robinson), who, as he reflects on his career, flashes back to a number of scenes that are all neat musical bits in themselves. (A few were later released as short subjects in black theaters.) Corky's struggles and rise in show business, as well as his split and eventual reconciliation with his wife (Lena Horne), are thinly sketched, with a cavalcade of musical numbers in between. Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Robinson, Horne, Mae Johnson, The Nicholas Brothers, Babe Wallace, Ada Brown, and many others are featured; about the only cast member who doesn't perform is Dooley Wilson, whose singing was so important in CASABLANCA. Horne, who had just completed CABIN IN THE SKY, was 26, making the 65-year-old Robinson old enough to be her grandfather, not her husband, but the discrepancy is overlooked. Jazz fans will recognize Zutty Singleton at the drums, Coleman Hawkins playing sax, and Taps Miller on trumpet, among several others. leave a comment

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