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Cab Calloway in "Hi-De-Ho" (1947)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00114XTF2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick, swinging, yet sadly sexist March 1, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Cab Calloway, leader of one of the most successful hepcat swing ensembles of the Harlem Renaissance, stars as himself in this flimsily plotted showbiz revue. Calloway fans will definitely want to check this film out, although no one should expect much in the way of great drama or filmmaking. It's all just an excuse to show Cab and his band strutting their stuff, which is cool, since he was definitely one of the great showmen of his time. The production quality of the film isn't great, though -- the acting is pretty stiff, and the "scenes" barely exist, hastily stuffed in between the wall-to-wall musical performances (some of which are clumsily dubbed, others which seem to have been filmed live). Also, the plot is a little troublesome -- the story opens with Calloway in an apartment room, bossing around his girlfriend, Minnie (the Moocher, of course) and slapping her down when she back-talks him. Minnie's jealous of Calloway's female business manager, Nettie, a "high-class" bourgeois woman -- and when Cab won't drop the other woman, Minnie goes off as a woman scorned, brewing up trouble for Cab and his pals. The race, class, and gender issues are disturbing from a modern vantage point, but like all the dramatic aspects of this film, have to be taken with a grain of salt. Really it's all about the music... Oh, and the dancing. The last third of this hour-long film features the Cab Calloway nightclub act in full swing, which means some truly amazing tap dancing and leggy chorus girls. Leave the PC issues aside, and this is a great cultural artifact.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent music, bad acting. July 28, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is a must see for anyone who enjoys Cab Calloway and/or his music. Cab's music more than makes up for what is lacking from the actors/actresses. It is in it's original form and is only an hour long, so the music recordings are rather rustic. I highly recommend this film.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Hi De Ho is one more of the quick, cheap movies cranked out by Hollywood featuring black entertainers and designed to fill seats in the movie houses for the segregated black audiences of the south and the unofficially but just as segregated theaters everywhere else. Hi De Ho is exceptional in one regard. It features that great showman and entertainer Cab Calloway in his prime and a year before he decided to disband his orchestra because of changing musical tastes. Calloway had a long career, and had become a star by 1930. He sang, moved (not exactly danced), strutted and jived. White audiences most probably learned what they knew about jump jazz, scat singing and the hep cat beat from Calloway. He was a fine singer, wrote a lot of his own stuff, and led one of the best swing orchestras around. He also seemed to have inexhaustible energy. So fair warning...Calloway's high energy pours out of this movie; watching it can wear you down after a while.

The story line is little more than an excuse for Calloway and his orchestra to perform some great, driving, swing numbers. The movie is little more than an hour long and the plot is over in the first half hour. For the last half hour we watch a non-stop performance of some great music and speciality acts. The idea is that Cab is just starting out in the business. He has a jealous girlfriend, Minnie (Jeni Le Gon) and a new, young manager, Etta (Ida James), who is as pretty as his girlfriend. Etta wangles a gig for Cab and his orchestra at a new nightclub, but it's right across the street from one owned by a gangster. Minnie thinks Cab has fallen for Etta, so she convinces the mob boss to eliminate his new competition by shooting Cab. Then Minnie realizes her mistake, tries to save Cab and takes the bullet meant for him.
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