5.5/10
290
11 user 4 critic

The Duke Is Tops (1938)

Approved | | Musical | 1 September 1938 (USA)
A theatrical producer puts aside his own success to boost the career of a talented singer.

Directors:

William L. Nolte (as William Nolte), Ralph Cooper (uncredited)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Cooper Ralph Cooper ... Duke Davis
Lena Horne ... Ethel Andrews
Laurence Criner Laurence Criner ... Doc Dorando (as Lawrence Criner)
Monte Hawley Monte Hawley ... George Marshall
Willie Covan Willie Covan ... Specialty Tap Dancer
Neva Peoples Neva Peoples ... Ella
Vernon McCalla Vernon McCalla ... Mason (as Vernon McCallum)
Edward Thompson Edward Thompson ... Ferdie Fenton
Johnny Taylor Johnny Taylor ... Dippy - 'Prince Alakazoo'
Ray Martin Ray Martin ... Joe
Guernsey Morrow Guernsey Morrow ... Ed. Lake (as Guersney Morrow)
Charles Hawkins Charles Hawkins ... Sam - Stage Manager (as Charlie Hawkins)
Basin Street Boys Basin Street Boys ... Specialty Act
Rubberneck Holmes Rubberneck Holmes ... Specialty Act (as Rubber Neck Holmes)
Cats and the Fiddle Cats and the Fiddle ... Specialty Act
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Storyline

Duke Davis has invested all his savings to back his sweetheart, Ethel, in a road show over the old T.O.B.A. circuit, on which they have both been performers since childhood. Marshall, a New York talent scout, makes an offer to Ethel as a single and, to induce her to take it, Duke writes a fake check, made out to him, for $5000 pretending he has sold his contract with Ethel to Marshall. Resentful and heartbroken, she accepts and becomes a big hit in New York. Marshall then books her at the swanky Century Club, plans her show himself, and it flops miserably. Meanwhile, Duke has used his last resources to start a new show, but without Ethel it also fails. He joins the Doc Dorando medicine show, and with him as the speiler for the quack elixir sold by Dorando, it is successful. He becomes Doc's partner with an elaborate trailer and a company of entertainers, including Willie Covans, the Basin Street Boys, The Cats and the Fiddle, "Rubberneck" Holmes and Joe Stevenson. Money is rolling in ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bronze Venus See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lena Horne did not attend the June 1938 NAACP charity premiere in Pittsburgh because she was not paid for her work in this picture. See more »

Quotes

Chorus Girl: All right, drizzle puss!
See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Thursday Evening Swing
(uncredited)
Sung by Basin Street Boys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
OK for a Grade B
3 April 2014 | by arfdawg-1See all my reviews

Duke Davis has invested all his savings to back his sweetheart, Ethel, in a road show over the old T.O.B.A. circuit, on which they have both been performers since childhood.

Marshall, a New York talent scout, makes an offer to Ethel as a single and, to induce her to take it, Duke writes a fake check, made out to him, for $5000 pretending he has sold his contract with Ethel to Marshall.

Resentful and heartbroken, she accepts and becomes a big hit in New York. Marshall then books her at the swanky Century Club, plans her show himself, and it flops miserably.

Meanwhile, Duke has used his last resources to start a new show, but without Ethel it also fails.

He joins the Doc Dorando medicine show, and with him as the speiler for the quack elixir sold by Dorando, it is successful.

He becomes Doc's partner with an elaborate trailer and a company of entertainers, including Willie Covans, the Basin Street Boys, The Cats and the Fiddle, "Rubberneck" Holmes and Joe Stevenson.

Money is rolling in.

LIght skinned blacks in a black only produced film from days gone by. Fairly typical of the genre. Largely important for Lena Horne.


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