Paradise in Harlem movie
3.0
1 votes
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  • The vocal intonations, the slap happy gestures, and some of the dialog are so stereotyped
  • Mamie Smith sang a couple of songs I liked a lot, and I loved The Alphabetical Four

    • by Orrymain
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      From 1939, Paradise in Harlem is a mostly all black cast musical that follows one man who dreams of being a respectable dramatic actor but who then is forced out of New York by the mob after witnessing a hit. With his wife dead, he finally flees. He hits the sauce, as in alcohol frequently, and that impacts his future as could be expected.

      You know, what is hard about


      some of these old shows is that you just know the Hollywood hand of the white man was still around the corner. The vocal intonations, the slap happy gestures, and some of the dialog are so stereotyped. It reminds me of a scene out of Finian’s Rainbow when the college graduate serves a mint julep to the wealthy political white man and puts on the slow walk and crazy ...

      • speech that was ascribed to African Americans. I have to take a breath and remind myself that it was the era, but it still weighs hard on the mind.

        Some of the music is quite entertaining and fun. Mamie Smith sang a couple of songs I liked a lot, and I loved The Alphabetical Four; they were great. Others didn’t work for me, but the one thing they all

        had in common is that they were new; I’d never heard them before.

        Something else that was very new was a gospel version of Othello’s big Desdemona killing scene. I haven’t seen that before and it had a really strange appeal to it.

        Ultimately, this movie does a decent job in telling its story, and the music was appropriate and enjoyable for the most part. Plus, it’s nice to see that good overcame evil.




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