Wednesday 4/20: “Beware” & Jazz Shorts at the Portage Theater

This week’s all about Jazz. We’ll be showing Louis “King of the Jukebox” Jordan’s underground 1940s musical “Beware” and a long program of musical shorts!

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket

Louis Jordan on stage in 1946

April 20th, 2011
Bud Pollard • 1946
54 min • Astor Pictures Corporation • 35mm

MGM may have had sultrier production values and an endless supply of moppets, but few musicals can lay claim to the effortless, straggling charm of Louis Jordan’s all-black, ultra-cheap Astor Pictures efforts–riffs in the best sense. Barely feature-length and accidentally plotted but overflowing with charm and verve, Beware was the first in the series. In this one, Louis plays bandleader Lucius Brokenshire Jordan, who returns to his alma mater, Ohio’s Ware College, to play a fundraiser with his band. Will he win back his college sweetheart Annabelle (now a gym teacher!) or lose her to the crummy oligarch who threatens the school’s solvency? If only Development personnel were this tuneful in real life … Numbers include Long Legged LizzieLand of the Buffalo Nickle, and Salt Pork, West Virginia. (KW)

Print preserved by the Library of Congress. Special Thanks: Rob Stone.

And a red hot selection of shorts: 

Katnip Kollege (Hardaway/Dalton, 1938, 7min) 16mm
Jammin’ the Blues (Gjon Mili, 1944, 10 min) 35mm
Trailer for Carmen Jones (Otto Preminger, 1954) 35mm Technicolor!

For more information, please read this week’s blog post on the curious history of Beware.

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