Friday, May 27, 2016

Rufus Jones For President w/ Sammy Davis Jr. 1933, Stranger Than Trump

This years presidential race has been offered us the surrealistic experience of the Donald Trump campaign.  From the moment he came gliding down the escalator with Neil Young's "Rockin In The Free World" blasting in the background I thought this will be entertaining. I haven't been disappointed. I was lucky enough to be at his Chicago rally that he chickened out of when he discovered most of the audience was there to jeer not cheer.

It took some looking but I've found a Presidential campaign that's even more bizarre. Of course it's fictional what I'm talking about is a short film from 1933 entitled "Rufus Jones For President". It tells the story of a seven year old Rufus who is played by a very young Sammy Davis Jr. (in his first film) who becomes President.

It all takes place in a daydream that his "mammy" played by blues singer Ethel Waters is having. It is a musical fantasy played for laughs with LOTS of racial stereotyping but is still worth watching. There are a number of songs including; Underneath The Harlem Moon, I'll Be Glad When Your Dead You Rascal You and The Great Day's Come. It's great entertainment once you get past the racism. Kind of like the Trump campaign.

Directed by Roy Mack who was a prolific director of shorts with more than 200 titles credited to him.
Written By A. Dorian Otvas & Cyrus Ward
Starring Ethel Waters & Sammy Davis Jr. with The Will Vodery Girls as the dancing ensemble, Russell Wooding as the Leader of vocal ensemble and The Russell Wooding's Jubilee Singers appearing as the vocal ensemble
Music by Cliff Hess
Cinematography by Edwin B. DuPar

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