14 January 2009 | gimhoff
Musical with a wisp of a plot
Louis Jordan was a singer, saxophonist, and band leader who specialized in upbeat jazz -- comic, novelty, and good-times songs. The plot of this movie is just as unsubstantial as those of most of Jordan's movies, since the plot is only an excuse for Jordan and his Tympany Five to perform their recent hits. Jordan does eleven songs in this movie, and three of his female costars -- June Richmond, Bea Griffith, and Mabel Lee -- do one song each.
The plot, for those who care, is that Jordan's father had a brief romance with Bea Griffith's mother, and his dying wish is for Jordan to marry Griffith. The family's crooked lawyer tries to substitute an altered will to cheat Jordan out of his inheritance, and also tries to sabotage the new show that Jordan is opening.
What makes Reet, Petite, and Gone different from other Jordan movies is that in addition to music it has many uncredited showgirls, the predecessors of today's video vixens, in daring scenes. Four or five pretty girls in short skirts will stand behind Jordan swaying a bit and doing a little dancing. A line of showgirls in swimsuits will step up to have their measurements taken. There's even a scene in which Bea Griffin sits in a black bra and panties and puts on her stockings -- hot-cha-cha. The highlight of the movie, however, is the strikingly pretty uncredited girl who sits on Jordan's piano and pantomimes her amusing reactions to his accusations of infidelity in "I Know What You've Been Putting Down."