Cabin in the Sky Review

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Petunia Jackson has been struggling to get her husband Joe to give up gambling and lead a righteous life. She appears to have finally succeeded, but when a relapse puts his life in danger he finds heaven and hell battling for his soul.


There is not a white man in sight (but plenty behind the cameras) in this classic musical mixing black gospel, big band jazz and mainstream Broadway styles into a creaky plot. The tediously pious wife Ethel Waters prays for the repentance of her gambler husband Eddie Anderson when he’s shot in a gambling den; devil Lucifer Jnr. (Rex Ingram) then supplies the alluring Lena Horne as temptation. The strong cast manage to overcome dumb racist stereotyping with terrific songs, with all the jazz musicians inexplicably on the devil’s team.

Fairly good, but hasn't aged well