Seventy years ago, 20th Century-Fox gave audiences a chance to see such entertainment giants as Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, The Nicholas Brothers, Dooley Wilson and Katherine Dunham; STORMY WEATHER was one of two all-black musicals released by major studios in 1943—a rare year for Hollywood. Usually, all-black films were only made by smaller, independent film companies for release in segregated theaters in the South and African-American neighborhoods in other regions. Though only half the major theaters in the U.S. would present this film, it still did big business. The great talent helped, as did the air of sophistication—something rare in Hollywood depictions of African-American life. The plot focuses on the romantic conflict between dancer Robinson and songbird Horne, as he longs for domesticity while she lives to perform. But it’s all an excuse for the music, with 20 numbers—including such standards as Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” and the title song—crammed into just 77 minutes.
World premiere restoration reconstructed from the original composite fine grain nitrate master camera negative and presented in collaboration with 20th Century Fox.
Dir. Andrew L. Stone