Monday, November 21, 2011

"Check and Double Check" (1930)

 "Check and Double Check". It consists of 74 minutes of nonsence and 2 minutes of Ellington. Why couldn't they have made it the other way round?

Check and Double Check is a 1930 comedy film made and released by RKO Pictures based on the then-popular Amos 'n' Andy radio show. The title was derived from a catchphrase associated with the show.

Duke Ellington and his band were invited to be a part of the film, not just to provide the music but also to appear performing in the film itself. This helped propel Ellington into a national spotlight.
The director did not want to give audiences the impression that Ellington's band was racially integrated, and was worried that two band band members were too light skinned. So tenor sax man Juan Tizol, who was Puerto Rican, and clarinetist Barney Bigard, a Creole, wore stage makeup to appear as dark as Amos and Andy on film.
The film was quite profitable for RKO but critically panned and a disappointment to many moviegoers. Two animated short films were made following Check and Double Check: The Rasslin' Match and The Lion Tamer. However, no sequel was ever produced and there were no further attempts at live-action portrayals of Amos 'n' Andy until the advent of network television. Today, the film is in the public domain, and several DVD editions exist.

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