Friday, January 18, 2008

Cabin in the Sky (Vincente Minnelli, 1943)

***½
USA



Vincente Minnelli's first film, this all-black musical fable is often accused of racism. While such accusations are in part valid, in his defence, Minnelli does treat his stereotypes with a warmth and compassion that allows them some humanity. The earthiness and natural charisma of the likes of Ethel Waters, Eddie Rochester, Lean Horne and Louis Armstrong also help.

The plot - head generals for God and the Devil battle for the soul of a pious woman's gambling husband - and the dialogue sections are hokey. But every number is a treat.

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