Short – “A Rhapsody in Black and Blue” (1932) Review

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Released by Paramount | Directed By Aubrey Scotto

Rhapsody in Black and Blue: And Fun All Over

“Who’s gigolo-in’ what? You haven’t paid me for that last romancing yet!”

So when I wrote my review of “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You” a short while ago, I’d naively assumed I’d seen the weirdest visualization of that one specific Louie Armstrong song that I’d ever see. I was wrong.

Set in a black household, a husband doesn’t want to do his chores and instead wants to bang along to his new Armstrong record. His wife rightfully beans him on the head, and suddenly he’s the King of Jazzmania. There’s Armstrong dressed in cheetah printed garments wailing on his trumpet and singing along in some sort of foam-filled paradise. He also gets out “Shine” with plenty of scatting and bravura trumpeting. The energy just vibrates off the screen.

The stereotypes presented in the married couple are far from progressive, but it’s a great showcase for Armstrong. The guy had charisma, ya know? Definitely deserved better than being popularly remembered for Hello Dolly (1969), that’s for damn sure.

Awards, Accolades & Availability

  • This film is available on YouTube. (It only occupies the first 10 minutes of this video)

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