This Vitaphone musical short was included on the DVD for the feature film "Hallelujah". As "Hallelujah" had an all-black cast, it made sense to include a couple shorts as well with Black-American casts like "Pie, Pie Blackbird". It also is available on the six DVD set "Warner Brothers Big Band, Jazz & Swing" set.
Like so many Vitaphone shorts, this one consists of musical acts and no actual story. The first segment is a short song by Nina Mae McKinney followed by a number by Eubie Blake and his orchestra followed by McKinney singing with the band followed by some amazing tap dancing followed by a VERY creepy ending. Seeing the giant pie set is a treat--something very weird but cool in an old fashioned way.
While I was not particularly in love with the music (it's just my taste), I was thrilled to see a film that was made by Hollywood that chronicled some of the great black talent of the day. As such, it's nice for its historical value. Sadly, however, the sound quality was not at all good and hearing he words to "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You" was quite a chore. It was a bit better on the "Warner Brothers" DVD--as I saw this a year later.
By the way, having McKinney perform also made sense as she starred in "Hallelujah" as the evil temptress. And man, was she evil!
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