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The Blues - Bessie Smith
The Blues - Bessie Smith
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     0hr 49min


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Blues
Studio: Storyville Films
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/17/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 49min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Blues gems and rarities
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 09/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since the sound film was developed after many of great blues artists played, sung and "waxed" their best work, this DVD is unusual collection of gems; at times odd, but both musically and historically interesting.

The number one attraction should be the complete and satisfyingly restored Dudley Murphy's film "St. Louis Blues", starring Bessie Smith in performance of Handy's classic song, but although Bessie shines in some of the scenes and although Murphy has the pedigre of a contributor to french avant-guarde cinema, that film is musically slightly disappointing. Back-vocals at times suffocate great Bessie, while the director only occasionally shows some stylistic dexterity.

Amateurish pieces of film starring Big Bill Broonzy, another true giant of the blues, are much more rewarding. Although crude from cinematic point of view (framing is wabbly, some song performances are even incompletely filmed) they represent the artist very well and give the impression of true documentarism.
Another attraction is well directed Sonny Boy Williamson's virtuoso TV performance that gives a great lesson in blues harmonica and singing.

DVD also contains rare, short but interesting recordings of Ida Cox and Mamie Smith, good old blues red hot mamas.
Recomended to all blues fans."