"Race movies" were a major genre some decades ago during an era of severe segregation and discrimination. Like the Negro Leagues in baseball, race movies starred blacks who (with extraordinarily rare and limited exceptions) couldn't get work in the mainstream industry. Some of these actors and actresses were quite good, though the films they appeared in were often low-budget and rather predictable in their plots.

Parallel to Bollywood productions of today, many race movies included spectacular song and dance routines. One such came to mind today when I overheard someone describe a frustrating situation with the simile "... like a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest" (possibly a ruder variant of "... like a one-armed paper-hanger").

The classic 1948 film Boarding House Blues featured a performance by "Crip" Heard. The emcee for a vaudeville show-within-the-movie introduced Crip as " ... a sensation and an inspiration to us all" --- and he was! Crip's softshoe routine was breathtaking. He began on crutches and then, even more amazingly, tossed away all artificial support and continued with moves that most two-legged and two-armed breakdancers couldn't begin to accomplish. No need for pity; the feeling that his act produced was genuine admiration --- applause for human triumph, talent, and ingenuity.

Bravo, Mr. Heard!

(see also PassingInspiration (7 Apr 2002), ... )

TopicEntertainment - 2003-10-01

(correlates: MovieReview, LoveWindsAndFanService, SixProjectStages, ...)