St Louis Blues

  • Film
0 Love It
The usual liberties are taken in this so-called biopic of WC Handy, which ends with the usual embarrassingly patronising attempt to dignify jazz by showing its triumphant arrival in the concert hall. Otherwise, despite some heady melodramatics (Handy suffering psychosomatic blindness because of his preacher father's stern disapproval) which are defused by sympathetic handling and excellent performances from Nat King Cole and Juano Hernandez, this is a pleasing film with a distinct feel for jazz. Above all, Nelson Riddle's arrangements provide an excellent account of Handy's marvellous blues, and the cast assembled to play and sing them is well worth listening to (with only Eartha Kitt remaining obstinately out of period).

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Allen Reisner
Screenwriter: Robert Smith, Ted Sherdeman
Cast: Nat King Cole
Eartha Kitt
Juano Hernandez
Pearl Bailey
Cab Calloway
Mahalia Jackson
Ruby Dee
Ella Fitzgerald
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