Monday, 22 June 2009


This is a fascinating historical curiosity - an example of the "Race" films that were made during the 1930s and 1940's specifically for black audiences. These low budget films aped all the major Hollywood genres from comedies and musicals to horror films and even Westerns. The film under review (directed by William Beaudine) is one of a couple of attempts to team Flournoy Miller with Mantan Moreland, here as two down at heel types who come into money and win a haunted casino because of their dexterity with dice. The film, while it has its share of rolling eyes, is generally lacking in to many of the racial stereotypes we see in in films aimed mainly at white audiences. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film is watching Mantan Moreland carry the film virtually single-handed. Moreland was a familiar face in mainstream "white" productions and was a talented performer. Here he works his butt off, giving the material much more than it really deserved. Rating **

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Dear Mantan was always so good at being so much better than most of the vehicles in which he was placed; even just a tiny cameo could elevate the most tedious programmer and then make us feel the loss when his scene was over! A great talent that was never utlized to his full potential.