Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Juke Joint/Reet Petite and Gone|
Actors: Spencer Williams, July Jones, Inez Newell, Leonard Duncan, Dauphine Moore
Directors: Spencer Williams, William Forest Crouch
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Mixed bag of early Black cinema
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 10/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a mixed bag of a couple of 1940s Black cast films.
"Juke Joint" (1947) was the product of Spencer Williams, best remembered as "Andy" from the Amos & Andy comedies. Not only did he write and direct this, he co-starred in this Dalls-made comedy with his then-partner July Jones (nee' Robert Orr) as two likeable con artists who pose as "thespians" to gain free room and board at Mama Lou's Boarding house. They also show their good side by stopping Mama Lou's wayward daughter from being tricked by an (implied) pimp who wants to take her to Chicago.
This is a very pleasant and likeable comedy and interesting to compare to Williams's later work with Tim "King Fish" Moore in Amos & Andy. The jitterbug contest is an amazing highlight, but the camera is anchored a bit too far from the dancers. The cinematography is rough, but can be overlooked by the overall good feelings one gets from this film.
Louis Jordan, the King of Jazz Comedy, also made some memorable all-Black movies from this era. Unfortunately, "Reet Petite and Gone" is not his best. In this dull and hard-to-follow story, our man is forced to marry a woman he doesn't love based on his father's will. The only thing that saves this film is Jordan and his Tympany 5's high-powered comical songs. As a second-generation Louis Jordan fanatic (my parents who grew up in the 40s turned me on to him), I would recommend his better films CALDONIA, BEWARE, and LOOK OUT SISTER. In fact, they should put all these films together on one DVD of Louis Jordan films.
But all that aside, enjoy these on a lazy Sunday afternoon."