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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Killer Diller (1948)

  • Dusty Fletcher
  • George Wiltshire
  • Butterfly McQueen
This is another of the filmed vaudeville shows that played to black theaters in the 40's and 50's. These films have just enough plot to string together some musical and comedy acts with varied amount of success. I've seen several of these films now thanks to bargain DVD companies and this is one of the best.

The nominal plot has a theater owner needing a magician to replace one thats disappeared. A booking agent send over a beaten ratty looking gentlemen who makes mischief between the owner and his girlfriend. The owner wants to see the magic act and the magician obliges by making the girlfriend disappear not to mention the police who come to investigate. A chase begins, which gets paused as some one remembers that the show must go on, so the doors are opened and the audience enters. What follows are some dynamite musical and comedy acts including Nat King Cole and Moms Mabley (who appeared in other films like this to better effect, but I'm quibbling). Its a great deal of fun and unlike most other films of this type there really isn't a bad act in the bunch. The film ends with the magician doing his thing...but to say any more would be telling.

Definitely a film worth searching out. No only one of the best films of this type, its also just a very good filmed piece of entertainment. Certainly the sort of thing that will bear repeated viewings, which is probably the best thing I can say about any film.


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