UC Berkeley Library

Black Cast Films

Beware (1946)

Directed by Bud Pollard. Cast: Louis Jordan,Frank Wilson, Emory Richardson, Valerie Black,Milton Woods, Joseph Hilliard, Tommy Hix, CharlesJohnson, John Grant, Walter Earle, Ernest Calloway,Dimples Daniels, Aristo-Genes Girls Club, TympnayFive. Ware College is about to close its doorsforever because its endowment has run dry. A lastminute appeal to famous alumni brings the college'splight to the attention of Louis Jordan.

Birmingham Black Bottom: The First BlackTalkies.

Contents: Music hath harms / Cast: SpencerWilliams, Roberta Hyson, Curtis Mosby's DixielandBlue Blowers -- The melancholy dame / Cast: EvelynPreer, Spencer Williams, Roberta Hyson -- Framingof the shrew / Cast: Evelyn Preer, Edward Thompson-- Oft in the silly night / Cast: Spencer Williams,Roberta Hyson. These groundbreaking comedies, thebrainchild of pioneer director, Al Christie, arefrom the first series of talking pictures writtenand conceived for black performers, rare shortsfrom 1929.

Black Shadows on a Silver Screen.

History of the motion picture made by Blackfilm makers between 1900 and 1950, including scenesfrom these films. Emphasizes the attempt by Blackfilm makers to provide alternatives to the lack ofsensitivity and racism of Hollywood films byportraying Blacks realistically. 52 min.

Blue Melodies (Hollywood rhythm: Paramount Musical Shorts; 3)

Various, Paramount (1929-34). Eight minimusicals featuring landmark performances by thelegends of jazz and blues from the early years ofsound film production. Bessie Smith stars in heronly film, the once-notorious musical St. LouisBlues. Teenaged Billie Holiday performs with DukeEllington's orchestra while another piece, Bundleof Blues, spotlights Ellington's favorite bandsinger, Ivie Anderson. And, months before herBroadway debut, a girlish Ethel Merman defends herlife before a judge in Her Future.

Boarding House Blues (1948)

Directed by Josh Binney. Cast: Dusty Fletcher,Lucky Millinder and Orchestra, Bull MooseJackson, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, Una MaeCarlisle, Berry Bros., Marie Cooke. An "evil"landlord threatens to evict "Moms" and hertenants from their boardinghouse because shecan't pay the rent. Since the tenants aremostly entertainers they decide to put on ashow to raise the money. 90 min. ;
Credits and other information from the InternetMovie Database

Body and Soul (1925)

Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Cast: Paul Robeson,Julie Theresa Russell, Marshall Rogers, Chester A.Alexander, Walter Comick, Mercedes Gilbert. PaulRobeson stars in this early silent film of aminister gone corrupt. He associates with the ownerof a house of gambling, forces a girl to steal andlater kills the girl's brother. But, when all issaid and done it's only a dream. 80 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet MovieDatabase

Boy! What a Girl! (1947)

Director Arthur Leonard. Cast: Tim Moore, BettiMays, Elmwood Smith, Warren Patterson, Al Jackson,Duke Williams, Sheila Guyse, Slam Stewart Trio, SidCatlett and Band, Basil Spears, Ann Cornell,Harlemaniacs, Milton Wood, Gene Krupa, Deek Watsonand The Brown Dots. Tim Moore in an Amos 'n AndyKingfish impersonates a wealthy spinster fromParis. Includes a series of musical performances byblack artists including Slam Stewart, Sid Catlett,Deek Watson and a guest appearance by Gene Krupa.70 min.

Broken Earth (1939)

Directed by Roman Freulich. Cast: ClarenceMuse. A widowed farmer with a sick young son praysfor his son's recovery. A ray of sunlightaccompanied by spiritual music signifies that hispleas won't go unanswered. A film produced byblacks for a black audience. 17 min. Credits and other information from the Internet MovieDatabase

Broken Strings (1940)

Directed by Bernard B. Ray. Cast: ClarenceMuse, Sybil Lewis, William Washington,Tommiwitta Moore, Stymie Beard, Pete Webster,Edward Thompson, Buck Woods, Jess Lee Brooks,Earl Morris. An all-Black melodrama concerninga classical violinist who injures his fingers.His son tries to earn the needed cash torestore his father's paralyzed hand byfollowing in his father's footsteps as aviolinist but to his father's displeasure, heprefers swing to classical music. 70 min.;
Credits and other information from the InternetMovie Database

Burlesque in Harlem (1949)

Directed by William Alexander . A typical 1950Harlem burlesque show, complete with racy slapstickcomedy, bawdy blues singers, showgirls, and slicktap dancers. Featuring Burlesque in Harlem: Dewey"Pigmeat" Markham, George Wilshire, Vivian Harris,Dick Barrow, Jo Jo Adams, Hucklebuck Jones, TarzaYoung, Slip and Slide, Princess D'Orsey, MabelHunter, Gertrude Baby Banks, Gloria Howard. 49 min.;