Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed   |    |  Fantasy, Musical


Cabin in the Sky (1943) Poster

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

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7.2/10
2,457

Photos

  • Rex Ingram and Lena Horne in Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson and Lena Horne in Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Lena Horne in Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Rex Ingram and Lena Horne in Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Lena Horne and Eddie Anderson in Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  • Ford Washington Lee and John W. Bubbles in Cabin in the Sky (1943)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


29 August 2006 | storyguy
9
| I don't understand the racism charges.
I just watched this on DVD and found myself more amused than anything by the disclaimer at the front that warns viewers that it was made in racist times and should be regarded as a historical artifact. Are they kidding? Even by the standards of today, the movie is extremely sympathetic and affectionate toward its subjects. Compare this with the Chris Rock movie "Head of State" and then try to judge how much genuine progress has been made since 1943. Many films from the first half of the 20th century were vastly more racist in tone and attitude than this one. "Birth of a Nation" this ain't. So the people in the movie gamble and fight and screw around? Who doesn't? I watched "Dead End" last week, and the thuggish white kids in that were portrayed in a much less appealing manner than the cast here.

Some gripe that the script is a little rudimentary and the acting uneven and un-nuanced. It's a little heavy on sentimentality and slow in spots. But it's a musical. You could say the same of any of the Andy Hardy movies or even many Astaire and Rogers pictures.

On the plus side, the cast is utterly stupendous. It's only a shame that Minelli couldn't shoehorn in a few more spotlight moments for all the talent that was on hand. Unlike one of the other commenters, I very much enjoyed the performances of Waters and Anderson, neither of whom I was especially familiar with previously. Bubbles of "Buck and Bubbles" was riveting for his few minutes on screen. Horne is cute as hell. Would have loved to see more of Ellington and Armstrong.

I did get the impression that Waters was holding back at times for the sake of a screen performance. She begins to let loose vocally during the dance scene in the kitchen, and Anderson humorously reins her in, seemingly making a joke of the fact that they've been told to make their performances a bit more staid for the benefit of conservative audiences in the hinterlands.

Worth seeing as just plain old entertainment, never mind the "historical interest." If you can't see its good points, it may have more to do with being unfamiliar with the idioms and conventions of the era than with any major intrinsic deficits in what's on offer.

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