Stormy Weather (1943) follows the life and times of Bill Williamson (Bill Robinson), a dancer looking to make it big, and his relationship with beautiful singer, Selina Rogers (Lena Horne).
Thin on plot, but a complete orgy of the greatest black performers (greatest performers, full stop) of the 30s and 40s. It has loads of classic musical numbers, swinging jazz, and great tap-dance performances.
As of 2001, this film was put in the National Film Registry.
Dont Know Why Theres No Tropes Up in the Sky:
- Blackface: Of the black minstrel kind.
- Break Up Song: Stormy Weather is a classic one.
- The Cameo: Cab Calloway! The Nicholas Brothers! Fats Waller! Ada Brown!
- Career Versus Man: Bill wants to build a dream home for Selina and for her to quit her singing career and start a family with him. She decides not to. By the end, Selina changes her mind and decides to settle down with Bill.
- Dream Ballet: During the Stormy Weather number.
- Exact Words: Chick is intensely jealous of Bill but puts him in the show at Selina's insistence. Selina extracts a promise from Chick to put Bill "at the very top" of the show. Cut to the next scene, when he's an extra, in a perch at the very top of the set.
- Expy: Robinson plays one Bill Williamson, who hit it big in show business.
- Framing Device: Bill tells reminisces to his neighbours kids and most of the story is told in flashbacks.
- Gray Rain of Depression: What the song "Stormy Weather" is about.
- Jerkass: Selina's boss.
- Jive Turkey: Cab totally confuses Bill with some hep talk, and it is awesome.
- Jukebox Musical: A lot of popular music from the 30s and 40s are used.
- Hey, Let's Put on a Show: Cab invites Bill to do a routine for his show that's entertaining soldiers before going off to WWII.
- Let's Duet: The ending musical number is about a nervous Bill unable to knock on a lovers door, but he ends up singing with her anyways.
- Love Theme: An orchestral reprise of "Stormy Weather" plays during Bill and Selinas break up.
- MayDecember Romance: Bill is a lot older than Selina.
- Mock Millionaire: Bills friend, the shoe shiner, pretends to be a very giving millionaire in order to stop some showgirls from striking.
- The Musical: Not a lot of story, really, but a hell of a lot of musical numbers.
- Romantic False Lead: Chick, the leader of Selina's theater troupe, and Bill's rival for her hand. He's an obvious Jerkass who never stands a chance.
- Show Within a Show: Too many to count. Bill upstages one because of a Jerkass boss who won't let him show off his talented tap-dancing.
- Titled After the Song: The movie's title is taken from the 1933 Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler song.