Classic Movie Hub (CMH)

Lookout Sister

September 11, 2019 <m>(Wednesday)
Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University
Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60625 (US)

Event Details

Directed by Bud Pollard • 1948

R&B legend Louis Jordan stars as R&B legend Louis Jordan, a hard-charging and magnanimous professional who plays so many benefit concerts that he winds up in a sanitarium for overwork. With eleven songs crammed into a running time of just over an hour, Lookout Sister might merit the same diagnosis, but if this joyously ingratiating, loose-limbed musical is sick, then we don't want to be well. Jordan cameoed in two Hollywood features, but the core of his movie career is a trio of low-budget musicals produced by Astor Pictures for African American audiences. The final entry, shot while a real-life union contract dispute kept the band out of the recording studio, Lookout Sister finds the recuperating bandleader dreaming of wide-open spaces and ten-gallon hats, with Jordan and his Tympany Five ensemble reimagined as Two Gun Jordan and His Jivin' Cowhands. Two Gun has been brought out to Lookout, Arizona, by the sibling proprietors of the H & H Ranch ('H & H Means Health & Happiness') to save the property from an unscrupulous oil speculator. Jordan shows off his questionable riding skills, but the highlight is, of course, the music, including the singular "Barnyard Boogie" and the cold-blooded realism of "Don't Burn the Candle at Both Ends," with lyrics like "See your dentist twice a year / And stay away from root beer / But then again you might have bad luck / And walk out in the street and get hit by a truck." (KW)

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