Movies Under the Stars: Spencer Williams’ Juke Joint


Movies Under the Stars: Chicago Film Archives and Black Cinema House join forces to bring outdoor film screenings to Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood. Join us on select Fridays this summer for extraordinary and rarely seen films. Our Performance Series includes Duke Ellington’s 1964 tour of Japan, gospel and folktales from the Delta, and the 1976 Oscar-winning film “American Shoeshine.” A special screening of a Spencer Williams classic will cap off the Summer Cinema Series – 2013. Get relief from the heat under the stars with sights and sounds from our past.
July 19: Films by Spencer Williams

The Vanities (1946, 10 min.)
Charles Keith is the Master of Ceremonies of a night club act. He first impersonates Bette Davis, and this longish Bette Davis ‘rap’ gradually convinces us that we are not only hearing, but also seeing, the real Bette. Joesfred Portree sings “I Love My Daddy But I’ve Got To Have My Fun” and “Little Audrey,” and Armstrong dances to “On The Solid Side.” (Description courtesy of Southern Methodist University)

Juke Joint (1947, 68 min.)
Con artist Bad News Johnson and his dimwitted sidekick July Jones pretend to be theatrical experts to get free lodging from Mama Lou Holliday in exchange for helping her daughter Honeydew win a beauty pageant. Shenanigans ensue. This was Williams’s last film as a director; he disappeared from the industry for four years before taking the role of Andy on CBS’s short-lived Amos & Andy series.

Where: 6918 S. Dorchester Ave. (across the street from Black Cinema House)
What if it rains: The screening is canceled