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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Negro Classic's to watch
I have a copy of own Cab Calloway (CC) HI-DE-HO but it's missing some scenes. Dear one keep an open mind to the era in which films are created. Marketing talented negro's in the 20's - 70's was not an easy road to travel. When I watched this movie what come's across to me is the talent of the individuals who where brave enough to leave something behind for generations of...
Published on January 6, 2012 by Deborah A. Pace

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting slice of 1930's black cinema...
Both of the movies on this DVD appear to be classic black cinema. That is, films made for black audiences of the '30s.
The fist film, "Hi De Ho", Cab Calloway plays himself in a very poor vehicle about the rise to fame of a bandleader. Grade Z acting is the order of the day in this one, but the real reason to watch is Cab's music. There's also a great tap...
Published on June 3, 2001 by Mark Savary


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting slice of 1930's black cinema..., June 3, 2001
This review is from: Hi De Ho / The Duke is Tops (DVD)
Both of the movies on this DVD appear to be classic black cinema. That is, films made for black audiences of the '30s.
The fist film, "Hi De Ho", Cab Calloway plays himself in a very poor vehicle about the rise to fame of a bandleader. Grade Z acting is the order of the day in this one, but the real reason to watch is Cab's music. There's also a great tap dance routine in the finale. Although he plays "himself", Cab gets involved in a gunfight and even smacks his girl around! Certainly an odd proceeding for the bandleader.
"The Duke is Tops" is much better, and better produced. Lena Horne makes her film debut in this story about a show producer who feels he is standing in Lena's way. He loves Lena so much he steps aside so she can have her shot at stardom while he fades into obscurity, eventually working with a travelling medicine show. This film is the more enjoyable of the two.
Included with the two movies is a color cartoon from the forgotten Van Beuren Studios, featuring "Mr. Bang", a perpetually angry and argumentative character, and a foreign woman named Katrinka with superhuman strength. Van Beuren Studios went belly up in 1936, having failed to create any lasting characters of note. A strange, but somewhat useful inclusion on this disc for the film student.
There's also a newsreel with footage of Hitler, the Hindenburg disaster, and Joe Louis preparing for a fight.
The disc is an interesting slice of 1930's black cinema, which no student of film history should pass up. Of course, Cab and Lena's music are the real prize for the collector.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good only for the music and historical purposes, April 11, 2005
By 
Andre M. "brnn64" (Mt. Pleasant, SC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hi De Ho / The Duke is Tops (DVD)
Both of these are considered "classic Black films" of the 1930s and 40s, popular in Black theaters and often shown on BET in the early days before it became "Booty Entertainment Television."

But I digress. "Hi De Ho" is a vehicle for Cab Calloway. Some really great music and comedy, including the legendary Dusty Fletcher in his classic "Open the Door Richard" routine that was as popular among Blacks as "Who's On First" was to whites. Cab also does an excellent "St. James Infirmary" and the scenes of him jamming with his band in his apartment are fun to watch. But the scenes were Cab slaps around Jeni Le Gon (Andy 's girlfriend on the Amos and Andy Show) and barks orders at her are major turn-offs to the modern viewer.

"The Duke Is Tops" has even less to recommend it. Ralph Cooper (best remembered as the MC at the Apollo Theater) plays Duke, the love interest of a young Lena Horne. Mighty humdrum stuff, except for the pioneering rap and doo-wop group the Cats and the Fiddle cavorting and clowing on their jazz/r&b classic "Killing Jive" (listen carefully to the lyrics, it's a coded tune about marijuana smoking). This one scene is usually considered by those who have seen it to be the highlight of the picture.

But music aside, these films are mainly for historic interest as a look at pre-Superfly and Spike Lee African-American cinema.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Negro Classic's to watch, January 6, 2012
By 
Deborah A. Pace (SPRINGFIELD, MA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hi De Ho (Amazon Instant Video)
I have a copy of own Cab Calloway (CC) HI-DE-HO but it's missing some scenes. Dear one keep an open mind to the era in which films are created. Marketing talented negro's in the 20's - 70's was not an easy road to travel. When I watched this movie what come's across to me is the talent of the individuals who where brave enough to leave something behind for generations of today and in the future. HI-DE-HO is hip, jive, doo whop, beboop and rap all in one. Listen and hear the smooth sounds and beats that make you snap your fingers, tap and move your feet. Frankly I was surprised that more women where not featured but Minnie showed her jealous side and although it was wrong to be slapped we know this happened in the past and still happens today. This movie gave a true portrayal of a woman (Minnie)scorned and plotting against the man she said she loved and trying to fix what she started. Nettie reaped the benefits of Minnie's karma and got her man in the end. I found myself singing along to CC and the Peter Sisters singers. One does not need to be a movie or music critic to realize that this movie given the year it was made is something to be viewed numerous times with family and friends. Cab Calloway is the first real Rap Artist of our times and I give this movie 10 **********STARS. Deborah Pace.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Crummy acting, April 2, 2014
This review is from: Hi De Ho (Amazon Instant Video)
I LOVE Cab Calloway but...bless him...he could NOT act. Neither could anyone ELSE in this movie! The MUSIC is great! Just fast forward to the musical numbers and you'll be fine. Notice the extremely racist poster that Amazon has used for this movie? Gads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not much good in these times, but this is a Maxi Moocher!!!!, March 28, 2014
This review is from: Hi De Ho (Amazon Instant Video)
Absolute fun! You don't like this, you aint a mini moocher...you jus' plain dead. The most fun I've had watching something from a hip-er day! These people knew how to have a good time. Must watch. Wait 'til you see the tap dancing toward the end. Simply top quality fun...something we do not have. THIS---- is the story about Mini the Moocher. Enjoy!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cab is the greatest, January 9, 2014
By 
T. Parker (Central California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hi De Ho (Amazon Instant Video)
Cab Calloway and his orchestra are fabulous in this movie. You have to be ready to ignore the scanty plot and wooden acting, however.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, October 11, 2012
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This review is from: Hi De Ho (Amazon Instant Video)
This movie was actually pretty entertaining. I love Cab Calloway ever since I discovered him in Stormy Weather. He is a great actor and great musician. If anyone has any other suggestions with him or the Nicholas Brothers (who aren't in this production) please do let me know.

Also, be mindful that this movie was filmed in a different time period but have an open mind and enjoy it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The DVD Cover Artwork Is Retrograde, September 6, 2013
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This review is from: HI DE HO (DVD)
I felt it was good to see the performers. Didn't expect much of the acting since black subjects never have gotten and often still do not receive the kind of funding needed to develop more complex productions. However, the primary reason I have replied is to protest the degenerate artwork on the cover of the dvd--definitely retrograde--showing a black figure with bursting-out breasts, tongue extension, bulging whites of eyes and teeth, all accented by reds against a yellow backdrop, as a devious attempt to undermine what is a great low-budget cultural presentation of entertaining vintage classic film clips.

Ebony skin is a fine color to be but the caricature on this DVD cover is an aggressively degrading stereotype of the black female juxtaposed (pretty much backgrounded and marginalized) within the context of sharing some of the best, most articulate, glorified, imitated, revered, enduring, cherished and dearly loved music and humor and cultural mannerisms created by an array of the uber-talented blacks of an era that made tremendous contributions to world culture.

Amazon needs to re-market this DVD cover with art that honestly depicts the dignified material contained within.
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Hi De Ho
Hi De Ho by Josh Binney
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