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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Luck Ghost (1942)

  • Mantan Moreland
  • F.E. Miller
  • Maceo Bruce
Two down-on-their luck friends suddenly hit the "jackpot" when they win the clothes, car and chauffeur of a rich man in a game of dice. They wind up in a sanitarium that's being used as an exclusive, though illegal, gambling club and get mixed up with beautiful women, jealous gangsters and ghosts.

Miller and Moreland were a good comedy team, and i agree with others that their brand of comedy is superb. This film has a lot of wonderful moments in it, and is a high quality example of the "all colored cast" genre, but what hooked me most was the spectacular rapping by Moreland as a craps player who cannot lose, talking to and blowing on his dice. Other films (and a few 78 rpm records) have given us documentation on the rhymes and raps of early 20th century crap-shooters, but folks seeking a slice-of-life glimpse of African American gambling culture of the 1930s will enjoy Moreland's routine most of all, as he is exceptionally fluent in his speech and movements, and the scenes in which he shoots craps are long and uncut compared to those in other, similar movies.


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