Sunday, June 1, 2008

Harlem Rides the Range (1939), Richard C. Khan

Part of the independent effort to produce films with an all-black cast during the 30s & 40s, this one's a true B-movie - no expenditure on production. Looks like they just plunked the camera down & starting filming. Most scenes have no cuts. There's also no soundtrack aside from sung sequences and in some instances no sound effects at all (thank God someone rustled up some pops and bangs for the final shootout). The story isn't bad, though, and alternates between the tale of hero's being framed for murder and a selection of gags, some of which have a bit of life in them still! White Hat is played by tall, thin Herb Jeffries. Probably a lot more fun than trying out for sidekick/stereotype roles (I'm looking at you, Mayor of Hell). Beef: why is this not in Leonard Maltin?

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