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Boarding House Blues
Boarding House Blues
Actors: Moms Mabley, Dusty Fletcher, Marcellus Wilson, Marie Cooke, Augustus Smith
Director: Josh Binney
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts, African American Cinema
NR     2005     1hr 30min


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Movie Details

Actors: Moms Mabley, Dusty Fletcher, Marcellus Wilson, Marie Cooke, Augustus Smith
Director: Josh Binney
Creators: Sydney Zucker, E.M. Glucksman, Hal Seeger
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker, Musicals, African American Cinema
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

One of the best of its kind
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 10/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Usually, the old "Colored Movies" as they were called in the 1920s to the 1940s, are high in historical value, but low on entertainment.

This film is one of the best of the genre and will leave you feeling mighty good-if you give it a chance.

This is a first cousin to another Black film called "Killer Diller" (also on DVD) which was essentially a filmed vaudeville show with a threadbare plot that didn't take itself too seriously. This is made by the same people, and also stars the Queen of Black Comedy-Jackie Moms Mabley, Dusty "Open the Door Richard" Fletcher, and the Lucky Millinder Orchestra.

The film starts of with a very stupid intro about Dusty Fletcher sneaking into Moms' boardinghouse with a man in a monkey suit. But don't stop the DVD here or you'll really miss some good stuff! We then get into the "story" of Moms trying to save her boardinghouse of vaudeville performers from an evil landlord. Sounds corny? Yes, but Moms' magnetic personality and genuine bond with the other performers makes it work. How to save the house with all this talent? Well DUH....(fill in the blanks, folks).

The talent assembled is outstanding! Johnny Lee (Calhoun from Amos & Andy) is aboard as a stuttering repo man. "Crip" Heard, a dancer with only one leg and one arm who occasionally appeared at the Apollo Theater with Moms Mabley at the time, astounds and inspires. The Berry Brothers do some comical dancing, as does the superb Stump and Stumpy (who were said to have inspired Dean and Jerry and also appear uncredited in "Stormy Weather). Lewis and White turn what would have been a hackneyed vaudeville jokebook routine (with a gag about a horse on drugs that would have never made it into a mainstream "white" movie at the time) into a thing to behold, with their inspired delivery and jaw-dropping dance routine. Moms herself goes into her famous monologue act and makes us smile with some added dancing.

The Lucky Milliner band does some beautiful songs and even does some precursors to Rock and roll. Bullmoose Jackson sings "I Love You Yes I Do" 14 years before James Brown did it on Live at the Apollo Vol. 1.

By the time it's over, you're almost worn from the great (but largely forgotten and underrated for reasons we all know) talent, but smiling in knowing that in spite of the picture quality and cornball "plot," you've been treated to 90 minutes of some wonderful entertainment that DVD's have rescued from the dustbins of history. Play this and it's companion piece "Killer Diller" while in your favorite chair with a nice cold glass after work or on a lazy afternoon, and enjoy!"
An Oldie But Goodie
woodsprite | Washington, DC | 04/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an old black and white movie for Moms Mabley afficianados. It's a fun movie with lots of old stuff in it that is long gone but should not be forgotten. I heartily recommend it."