Saturday, March 22, 2014

Movie of the Week: Double Deal (Review)

Movie poster available for purchase on Movie Poster Shop


Tommy McCoy (Freddie Jackson) and "Dude" Markey (Edward Thompson) are both in love with Harlem singer/dancer Nita (Jeni Le Gon). Markey robs a jewelry store and turns the loot over to gang-boss Murray Howard (Maceo Bruce Sheffield). Later, Markey robs the safe, steals the jewelry, and, in order to get rid of his rival for Nita, frames the robbery on McCoy. The latter's big-brother (Monte Hawley) thinks otherwise, and with Nita's help, sets out to prove it. [IMDb]


If it weren't for the IMDb summary, I wouldn't have had a clue on what was going on in this movie. The storyline was interesting, but the actual writing and plot was There were too many unnecessary ('silly' might be a better word) things going on, for one. Then, the movie is supposed to be a crime drama, but there seemed to be more contrived comedy than drama. I honestly did not get where this movie was trying to "go". 


Jeni Le Gon rehearsing with none other than Bill "Bojangles" Robinson [NY Times]

I'm a big fan of Ms. Jeni Le Gon, so I jumped at the opportunity to watch anything in which she starred. She shined in her musical numbers (as she always does), but she didn't do the same as an actress. However, Ms. Le Gon's acting skill would improve by 1947 when she co-starred with Cab Calloway in Hi-De-Ho (the movie that put her on my radar). 

Singer, dancer, and actress, Florence O'Brien

The only character/performer that really stood out to me was was 'Sally', the spunky and talkative cigarette girl played by Florence O'Brien. The character of Sally wasn't particularly unique, nor was Ms. O'Brien's performance award-worthy, but both she and the character were memorable, which is a lot more than I can say about everyone else.

*Fun Florence O'Brien gifs for ya!*


(From Shelton Brooks

Another performer worth pointing out is Shelton Brooks (composer of the jazz standards like "Darktown Strutters' Ball" and "Some of These Days"), who appears briefly as himself to perform a song called "The Hole in the Wall". 


Overall Thoughts

I'm not even going to discuss cinematography or direction. There was nothing special or worth pointing out about either. I'd recommend watching Double Deal for historic/historic entertainment purposes, but other than that, you aren't really missing out on anything.


Double Deal (1939) on Youtube


All of the images used in this post are being used for informational purposes only. If the rightful owner(s) of any of these photos wishes to have them removed, please contact me, and I will do so immediately.

The photo of Florence O'Brien was obtained from a personal blog, but I was unable to find the original source for it.

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