Advertisement
 
00:00


Advertisement
Advertisement

Killer Diller

1948

African American musical variety show featuring The Nat King Cole Trio, the Clark Brothers and other musical and comedy acts.


Killer Diller is a 1948 United States musical comedy-drama film directed by Josh Binney and released by All American (production company).
The movie features The Clark Brothers (tap dancers), Nat King Cole, Moms Mabley, Dusty Fletcher, Butterfly McQueen, the Andy Kirk (musician) and the Four Congaroos (dancing Lindy Hop).

Plot summary

Dusty Fletcher plays a comic, tap dancer and bad magician. While practicing his routine for that evening's variety show, he accidentally vanishes Lola (Nellie Hill), the girlfriend of the show's manager Baltimore Dumdone (George Wiltshire). She was wearing a thousand-dollar string of pearls and it seems most likely that criminality is afoot.
Dusty's slapstick antics take up a large portion of the film's first act, with some Keystone cop type schtick thrown in when four police officers (Fredie Robinson, William Campbell, Edgar Martin and Sidney Easton) begin chasing Dusty in and out of his disappearance-cabinet.

Cast

  • Dusty Fletcher as Dusty
  • George Wiltshire as Dumdone, the Manager
  • Butterfly McQueen as Butterfly
  • Nellie Hill as Lola, His Fianée
  • Freddie Robinson as Sarge
  • William Campbell as Policeman
  • Edgar Martin as Policeman
  • Sidney Easton as Policeman
  • Augustus Smith (actor) as Stage Hand
  • Moms Mabley as Moms
  • Ken Renard as The Great Voodoo
The Clark Brothers, Nat 'King' Cole and The King Cole Trio, Four Congaroos, Johnny Miller (musician), Oscar Moore and Warren Patterson appear as themselves.

Music

The variety show is impressive. Ray Abrams & Gator Green play the two-tenor sax number "Gator Serenade" written by Green, supported by the rest of the Andy Kirk and His Orchestra. Beverly White sings the racy jazz tune "I Don't Want to Get Married." Her second song "Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do" is likewise racy, about the joy of carousing & cheating: "If I feel like going out and having some fun/ With some young cat who looks like he might be my son/ That ain't nobody's business what I do."
The act of Warren Patterson & Al Jackson sing Jule Styne & Sammy Kahn's "I Believe," Warren leading off & Al doing his part as a Louis Armstrong impersonation. Then Al sings the Fats Waller classic "Ain't Misbehavin" as Warren tapdances. He is still dancing like crazy when Al adds "Wonderful One" to his medley. Lastly they impersonate the Ink Spots though there's only two of them to recreate "If I Didn't Care," Warren duplicating the tenor lead very nicely until he intentionally goes comical while Al does the spoken bridge with new silly words.
Jackie "Moms" Mabley comes out & does some comedy. She sings the comic song "Don't Sit on My Bed." The Clark Brothers then do a tap dance.
The King Cole Trio's up next. Nat at piano sings "Oo, Kickerooni." The trio follows this song with the Don Wolf & Alan Brandt composition "Now He Tells Me," another humorous bit of cool jazz, & The Trio closes with "Breezy and the Bass" written by Nat & Johnny "Breezy" Miller.
An act called Four Congaroos are next. They do the Lindy Hop while Andy Kirk's orchestra plays "Basie's Boogie." Kirk's Orchestra does two more songs, featuring guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone solos. The "Varietettes Dancing Girls" (from Katherine Durham's School of Dancing) close the show with Andy Kirk and His Orchestra backing them with "Apollo Groove."

=Soundtrack=

  • The King Cole Trio featuring Johnny Miller (musician) - "Breezy and the Bass" (Music by Nat 'King' Cole and Johnny Miller)
  • Andy Kirk and His Orchestra - "Basie Boogie" (Music by Count Basie and Milton Ebbens)
  • Andy Kirk and His Orchestra - "Gator Serenade"
  • Andy Kirk and His Orchestra - "Apollo Groove"
  • The King Cole Trio - "Ooh, Kickeroonie" (Music and lyrics by Nat 'King' Cole)
  • The King Cole Trio - "Now He Tells Me" (Music and lyrics by Don Wolf and Alan Brandt)
  • Warren Patterson and ? Jackson - "If I didn't Care" (Music and lyrics by Jack Lawrence)
  • Warren Patterson and ? Jackson - "I Believe" (Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn)
  • ? Jackson and danced by Warren Patterson - "Ain't Misbehavin'" (Music by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks (composer), lyrics by Andy Razaf)
  • Beverly White - "It Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do" (Music and lyrics by S.G. Stampsel, Morris Markowitz and J.A. Browne)
  • Beverly White - "I Don't Want to Get Married"
  • Moms Mabley - "Don't Sit on My Bed!"

Category:1948 films
Category:1940s comedy-drama films
Category:American films
Category:American comedy-drama films
Category:American musical comedy films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
E.M. Glucksman

More Public Domain Movies