Do the “Barnyard Boogie!” – Louis Jordan Musical Lookout Sister Screens Sept. 11 in 35mm at NEIU

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, September 11 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Bud Pollard • 1948
R&B legend Louis Jordan stars as R&B legend Louis Jordan, a hard-charging and magnanimous professional who plays so many benefit concerts that he winds up in a sanitarium for overwork. With eleven songs crammed into a running time of just over an hour, Lookout Sister might merit the same diagnosis, but if this joyously ingratiating, loose-limbed musical is sick, then we don’t want to be well. Jordan cameoed in two Hollywood features, but the core of his movie career is a trio of low-budget musicals produced by Astor Pictures for African American audiences. The final entry, shot while a real-life union contract dispute kept the band out of the recording studio, Lookout Sister finds the recuperating bandleader dreaming of wide-open spaces and ten-gallon hats, with Jordan and his Tympany Five ensemble reimagined as Two Gun Jordan and His Jivin’ Cowhands. Two Gun has been brought out to Lookout, Arizona, by the sibling proprietors of the H & H Ranch (‘H & H Means Health & Happiness’) to save the property from an unscrupulous oil speculator. Jordan shows off his questionable riding skills, but the highlight is, of course, the music, including the singular “Barnyard Boogie” and the cold-blooded realism of “Don’t Burn the Candle at Both Ends,” with lyrics like “See your dentist twice a year / And stay away from root beer / But then again you might have bad luck / And walk out in the street and get hit by a truck.” (KW)
63 min • Astor Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress

Louis Armstrong in “A Rhapsody in Black and Blue” (Aubrey Scotto, 1932) – 10 min – 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Cohen Media

Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of their 50th Anniversary.


Music Box Theatre / 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11

Saturday, September 14 @ 11:30 AM
Directed by Sam Taylor • 1926
Harold Lloyd’s iconic screen persona—the earnest innocent next door, forever striving to make good in a boisterous and vulgar world—gets a hilarious but impolitic update in For Heaven’s Sake. The first of Lloyd’s features to be distributed under a lucrative deal with Paramount, For Heaven’s Sake casually flaunts the comedian’s plenty in the caricatured form of J. Harold Manners, a stuffed-shirt scion who thinks nothing of dropping cash on a new car to match his trousers, nor of walking away from the heap within ten minutes. But soon “the man with a mansion” meets “the miss with a mission,” tossing Jobyna Ralston some scratch after destroying her foursquare father’s coffee cart and inadvertently providing the seed money for a new parish. A relentless comedy that also finds room to shoehorn in born-again hoodlums, speakeasy socialites, and roadside mayhem in a double-decker bus, For Heaven’s Sake remains unjustly obscure, sandwiched between The Freshman and The Kid Brother. A connoisseur’s delight, it was perhaps best summed up by the historian William K. Everson:  “Like all Lloyd films, it is constructed rather than written, and assembled rather than directed. But since there is virtually no plot, and the mechanical elements aren’t strained in order to make a plot, it has a grace and fluidity that many Lloyds lack.” (KW)
57 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Harold Lloyd Entertainment
Short: “An Eastern Westerner” (Hal Roach, 1920) – 23 min – 35mm
Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

View the full season schedule here!

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