Cabin in the Sky

Cabin in the Sky

Vincente Minnelli (1943)

94min
A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The title itself, if you stop to think about it, is a clear indication of the movie's content: an all-black fable about heaven and hell fighting for the soul of one Little Joe Jackson. Sounds patronising, doesn't it? Well, this little gem from MGM is one of the cinema's great surprises: a stunning directorial debut from Broadway import Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris, Gigi) featuring a sublime score (Taking a Chance on Love, Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe) performed by such fabulous artistes as Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The film's theatrical origins are terrifically subsumed in Minnelli's clever and stylish direction, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson's performance in the pivotal role of Joe is a revelation. A gentle word of warning: in these enlightened days, the black stereotypes on display here may be deemed offensive, and no amount of clever cinematic stylisation can ever overcome that.

Summary

During a bizarre dream in which God and Satan battle for his soul, a lazy gambling husband is guided towards redemption. Oscar-nominated musical stars an all-black cast and features actress/singer Lena Horne ("The Wiz"). With appearances by jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Directed by Oscar-winner Vincente Minnelli ("Gigi," "An American in Paris").

Cast & Crew

Petunia Jackson Ethel Waters
Little Joe Jackson Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
Georgia Brown Lena Horne
Trumpeter Louis Armstrong
Lucius / Lucifer Jr Rex Ingram (2)
Rev Green / The General Kenneth Spencer
Domino Johnson John "Bubbles" Sublett
Duke Ellington Duke Ellington
Director Vincente Minnelli
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAvailable on: video