Killer Diller (1948)

All-American News
1948
Director: Josh Binney
Producer: E. M. Glucksman
Story/Screenplay: Hal Seeger
Photographer: Lester Lang
Editor: L. Hesse
Music: Rene J. Hall.
73 mins., black & white, 35mm.
FGC 2380-83

The Congaroo Dancers do a Lindy Hop routine next to a prop palm tree. They dance extremely fast with excellent execution to the music of Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy. Although Frankie Manning felt that the Congaroo Dancers were the best group that he ever had, he felt this particular film does not show them at their best because the music was played too fast. Since the Congaroo Dancers also appeared on TV and in many nightclub shows, we hope other film record of their dancing will be discovered.

Killer Diller is a film re-creation of an all-black musical variety show, with the story of a magician who does disappearing acts tying together the program. Includes performances by the Clark Brothers, the Nat “King” Cole Trio (with Oscar Moore and Johnny Miller), Dusty “Open the Door, Richard” Fletcher, Andy Kirk and his Band, the Congeroo Dancers, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Butterfly McQueen, Beverly White and George Wiltshire. Numbers include “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Breezy and the Bass,” “Don’t
Sit on My Bed,” “I Believe,” “If I Didn’t Care,” “Now He Tells Me” and “Ooh Kick a Rooney.”

Dancers:

The Congaroo Dancers:
Frankie Manning
Ann Johnson
Willa Mae Ricker
Russell Williams

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