Premiere - 04/01/2006
"[With] inspired direction from Vincente Minnelli...and an engaging and more-multifaceted-than-usual turn by Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Hollywood's first all-black film since The Green Pastures tells the vibrant fable of rascally Little Joe, torn between the love of his good wife Petunia and the wiles of good-time bad girl Georgia Brown...and caught in a tug-of-war between emissaries from the Lord and Satan. How can virtue triumph over evil? Well, as Petunia says, "Sometimes when you fight the devil, you gotta jab him with his own pitchfork."
Debuting movie director Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris, Gigi) and stars Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are more than a match for the devil in this musical treasure. With a soundtrack of dazzling standards including "Taking a Chance on Love" and "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe," Cabin in the Sky is a joyous classic.
Musical fable about the forces of good vs. evil. A poor but devout and loving wife struggles to keep the soul of her shiftless husband out of the clutches of the devil. Vincente Minelli's first feature. Academy Award Nominations: Best Song ("Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe").
Little Joe Jackson is a simple down-home, married man. But he has three uncontrollable weaknesses: he loves shootin' craps, he drinks too much liquor and he's been lusting after sultry Georgia Brown, a sexy southern seductress just itchin' to get her hands on him. When he's fatally wounded in a barroom brawl, his gospel-quoting, hopelessly devoted wife Petunia prays by his bedside while Lucifer of Hell and the General of Heaven battle it out for ownership of Little Joe's soul.
In 1940 George Balanchine directed the Vernon Duke-Lynn Root Broadway musical "Cabin in the Sky." He collaborated with Katherine Dunham on the choreography for the all-black cast. The play featured Dunham's company in the dance numbers. The choreographic style was a mix of classical ballet, modern dance, and Afro-Caribbean folkdance.
The film's cast includes: Butterfly McQueen, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Mantan Moreland, Willie Best, Ernest Whitman, Nick Stewart, Ruby Dandridge (mother of Dorothy), Oscar Polk, Kenneth Spencer, Ford Lee "Buck" Washington and John "Bubbles" Sublett.