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CABIN IN THE SKY (1943) - A History of the American Musical + Short Film

Cabin in the Sky IMDB still 1.jpg

85% fresh on Rottentomatoes!

"Cabin in the Sky is a bountiful entertainment"- New York Times

With its all-black cast, MGM’s 1943 musical Cabin in the Sky provided a rare and invaluable showcase for some of the era’s most legendary African American performers. Director Vincente Minnelli’s (An American in Paris, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Band Wagon) first feature, this Faustian fantasy stars Ethel Waters, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson and Lena Horne in her first and only leading role in an MGM musical; with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and his orchestra performing alongside.

Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, it follows compulsive gambler Little Joe Jackson (Anderson) as he dies in a drunken fight. Upon awakening in purgatory, he learns he will be sent back to Earth for six months to prove he deserves to be in heaven, while an angel, The General (Kenneth Spencer) and the devil’s son Lucifer Jr (Rex Ingram) fight for his soul.

With its dreamlike sets and then cutting-edge production design, knockout dance numbers and lively songs (including the Academy Award nominated ‘Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe‘, beautifully performed by Ethel Waters), it is a parable of salvation and an elaborate fantasy of African American life, showcasing a debut director exploring his craft and a truly fantastic cast of under-seen performers.

Starting October 2019, Deptford Cinema joins in the BFI's nationwide three-month celebration of the musical film genre with our own special and spectacular season! From the 'Golden Era' of fabulous foot-tapping ruled by the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers double act, right through to more provocative takes like Bob Fosse's Cabaret, lesser-seen milestones such as the all-black cast of Cabin in the Sky, and on to the 21st Century smashes like La La Land, we will pick you and sweep you right through nine decades of Hollywood's musical history in eight screenings! Expect short films and programme notes at all screenings, and even some special guest speakers!

  • dir. Vincente Minnelli

  • 1943

  • 99 min

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 6.30PM

Film 7.00PM

This screening is part of BFI Musicals! nationwide season.

This screening is part of BFI Musicals! nationwide season.

Later Event: October 29