Killer Diller (1948)

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Nat King Cole in Killer Diller
 

Released in 1948: A story about a theater manager who loses his girlfriend, but the show must go on and we watch the best African American musicians, dancers, singers and comedians in a Vaudeville night at the theater.

Directed by Josh Binney

The Actors: Nat 'King' Cole (himself), Dusty Fletcher (Dusty 'Open the Door' Fletcher, aka Killer Diller), George Wiltshire (Mortimer Dumdone, manager), Butterfly McQueen (Butterfly), Nellie Hill (Lola, Dumdone's girlfriend), Freddie Robinson (Sarge), William Campbell (policeman), Edgar Martin (policeman), Sidney Easton (policeman), Augustus Smith (stage hand), Jackie 'Moms' Mabley (Vaudeville star), Ken Renard (Voodoo Man, magician), Andy Kirk and His Orchestra (themselves), The Clark Brothers (themselves), The Four Congaroos (themselves), The King Cole Trio (themselves), Andy Kirk (himself), Johnny Miller (himself, member King Cole Trio), Oscar Moore (himself, member King Cole Trio), Patterson and Jackson (themselves), Warren Patterson (himself, as Patterson and Jackson), Al Jackson (himself, as Patterson and Jackson), Beverly White (herself, singer)

 

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1948 Musical Comedy Vaudeville Extravaganza

No one can deny the African American music influence on jazz, swing and all of the music that followed. If you were lucky enough to be in the neighborhood of the Apollo Theater in New York City or any of the theaters around the country that featured Vaudeville singing, dancing and comedy shows you would have been part of the amazing history of their contributions to music and comedy. Now, because of this motion picture, you can experience the pioneers of entertainment just as if you were in the audience of this theater in 1948. Produced by E.M. Glucksman and directed by Josh Binney, we see a short story about the manager of the theater and his girlfriend, and because of a clumsy magician Dusty Killer Diller, his girlfriend disappears just before the evening show is about to begin, and even the goofy cops cannot find her. But the show must go on, and with a live audience, Andy Kirk emcee's an evening at the theater with his band as the house band. We will see comedians, dancers, singers, including Nat 'King' Cole and the King Cole Trio. Beverly White sings two very sexually controversial songs for the 1948 audience, Moms Mabley provides stand-up comedy, Warren Patterson and Al Jackson crack wise and imitate the Ink Spots singing, The Four Congaroos dance their way around the stage, and a chorus line of long legged beauties dances with the Andy Kirk orchestra to finish off the evening. Pop a really big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy a blast from the past.

Al Jackson and Warren Patterson
Al Jackson and Warren Patterson
Al Jackson sings in Killer Diller
Al Jackson sings in Killer Diller
Andy Kirk and his band
Andy Kirk and his band
Andy Kirk, Ray Abrams and Gator Green
Andy Kirk, Ray Abrams and Gator Green
Andy Kirk and Ray Abrams
Andy Kirk and Ray Abrams
Andy Kirk emcee's the show
Andy Kirk emcee's the show
Beverly White
Beverly White
Beverly White sings in Killer Diller
Beverly White sings in Killer Diller
Butterfly McQueen
Butterfly McQueen
Dusty Fletcher and Butterfly McQueen
Dusty Fletcher and Butterfly McQueen
Dusty Fletcher and Ken Renard
Dusty Fletcher and Ken Renard
Dusty 'Open the Door' Fletcher
Dusty 'Open the Door' Fletcher
Freddie Robinson as Sarge
Freddie Robinson as Sarge
George Wiltshire, Dusty Fletcher and Nellie Hill
George Wiltshire, Dusty Fletcher and Nellie Hill
George Wiltshire gives Nellie Hill a string of pearls
George Wiltshire gives Nellie Hill a string of pearls
George Wiltshire
George Wiltshire
Jackie 'Moms' Mabley doing stand-up comedy
Jackie 'Moms' Mabley doing stand-up comedy
Jackie 'Moms' Mabley in 1948 motion picture Killer Diller
Jackie 'Moms' Mabley in 1948 motion picture Killer Diller
Johnny Miller
Johnny Miller
Moms Mabely doing stand-up comedy
Moms Mabely doing stand-up comedy
Moms Mabley
Moms Mabley
Nat King Cole on piano
Nat King Cole on piano
Nat King Cole in Killer Diller
Nat King Cole in Killer Diller
Oscar Moore, Nat King Cole and Johnny Miller
Oscar Moore, Nat King Cole and Johnny Miller
Patterson and Jackson
Patterson and Jackson
The Clark Brothers
The Clark Brothers
The Congaroos dance
The Congaroos dance
The Four Congaroos in Killer Diller
The Four Congaroos in Killer Diller
The King Cole Trio in Killer Diller
The King Cole Trio in Killer Diller
Broderick O'Farrell as Doc Howell
The King Cole Trio
The Varietettes Dancing girls
The Varietettes Dancing girls
Warren Patterson in Killer Diller
Warren Patterson in Killer Diller