Check and Double Check

1930

Dir. Melville Brown, B/W Sound 01:17:00

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Description

A feature film version of Amos and Andy, called CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, was made in 1930. Radio listeners were anxious to get a look at Gosden and Correll's faces - especially since many fans actually believed the pair was black. That perception changed after Gosden and Correll appeared in blackface for CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK. The film's plot finds Amos and Andy helping white characters locate a missing deed. And sends the cabbies into a familiar movie scenario - as frightened black characters in a haunted house.

Amos and Andy also meet Duke Ellington and his Orchestra in CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, when they are hired to transport the band to a society ball. The combination seemed a logical fit - Amos and Andy's fictional cabdrivers worked in Harlem and Duke Ellington performed nightly in Harlem's Cotton Club. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK marked Duke Ellington's Hollywood feature debut and it introduced him to a broader audience.

CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK had its Harlem premiere at the Douglas Theater which was downstairs from the Cotton Club. Duke Ellington and his Orchestra appeared on stage at the movie theater. The movie did mediocre business, but wasn't the runaway hit it was on radio. Even contemporary reviews found the blackface unsettling. It would be the only Amos and Andy feature film.

[Source: Turner Classic Movies]

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