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  • Hallelujah (Sous-titres franais)
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Hallelujah (Sous-titres franais)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Haynes, Nina Mae Mckinney, William Fountaine, Harry Gray, Fannie Bell Deknight
  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Jan. 10 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BNTME6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,566 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Hallelujah (DVD)

Made in 1929, Hallelujah is an artifact of no small historical significance: the first major studio movie with an all-black cast and a white director (the esteemed King Vidor), it was also one of the earliest "talkies" after the silent film era. But it also has considerable artistic merit; simply put, Hallelujah is damned entertaining. Sure, the story isn't exactly subtle, a morality tale chronicling the tribulations of Zeke (Daniel L. Haynes), a poor cotton farmer who, succumbing to the carnal charms of the sexy Chick (Nina Mae McKinney, who was sometimes known as "the black Garbo"), finds himself caught up in a soul-scarring cycle of sin and salvation. There's also some painful dialogue of the "Where is you gwine?" and "Honey, I likes anything you's got!" variety. But the major themes presented here--temptation and transgression, redemption and repentance--are pure and universal, the dancing and singing (including two songs by Irving Berlin) are marvelous, and there are several scenes of extraordinary intensity. Those include Zeke's family's weeping, wailing response to the tragic death of his younger brother, followed by the repentant Zeke's turning to God, a sequence in which he's transformed into a latter day Martin Luther King, Jr., preaching with rhythms and cadences of hypnotic power. DVD extras include audio commentary by historian Donald Bogle, plus two shorts ("Pie, Pie Blackbird" and "The Black Network") featuring McKinney's singing, Eubie Blake's music, and the Nicholas Brothers' dance moves. A final note: Victoria Spivey, who portrays Missy Rose, the down home girl devoted to Zeke, was also one of the finest blues singers of the time. When she underwent a career revival in the early 1960s, she formed a record label whose first recording featured accompaniment by none other than Bob Dylan. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12 2009
Format: DVD
"Hallelujah",released in August of 1929,is a movie that was much better in intention and idea by famed director King Vidor,than in its' final execution on film.The film is ultimately weighed down by its'theme and the music which enhances it;interwoven throughout.One of the first all-black cast movies/musicals it may have been,but it is more a testament to and furthering of movie making in general than a furtherance of the black condition that existed at that time.
The story is about peace,sin,death,redemption and finally peace again;life in full circle,as experienced through a totally black perspective.No whites appear at any time in the film;a plus or minus depending on your perspective.It opens with the strains of "Swanee River" and concerns the story of Zeke(Dan Haynes)who lives on a cotton plantation with his family,Mammy(Fanny DeKnight),Father/Parson(Harry Gray),Spunk,his brother(Everitt McGarrity)and Missy Rose(Victoria Spivey).After a particularly successful crop of cotton is picked Zeke is off to the cotton mill to sell it,with Spunk.With $50 in hand a dancer,Chick(Nina Mckinney) catches his eye.Before he knows it he is playing a crooked game of craps with her compatriot and boyfriend Hot Shot(Bill Founatine).A scuffle ensues and Spunk who has been searching for Zeke arrives on the scene just as shots are fired,and he dies enroute home.
Zeke is beside himself and is too ashamed to attend his brothers' funeral.His pastor father comforts him with words of Grace and Zeke becomes reborn.Zeke now "Ezekial the Prophet" travels the countryside on a train,preaching the good Word to all who will listen and performing baptismals in nearby rivers.At one such stop Chick resurfaces with Hot Shot in tow,who set into beratting him as he passes(riding ala' Jesus on a donkey!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on Oct. 7 2002
Format: VHS Tape
King Vidor, this film's director was vitally interested in social issues: here he wanted to show the rest of 1929 America what the black man was going through. This early talkie was the first all-black feature film and indeed one of the boldest pictures ever made - M-G-M knew it wouldn't get much of a release in the deep Southern states of the U.S. Using many amateurs - for instance, Harry Gray - who played the Parson - was a janitor at a Harlem newspaper - Vidor proved his genius by elicting performances from the melange as good as might be seen in a seasoned troupe. Shot on location in Tennessee, every frame is redolent with authenticity: it's a huge film and no expense was spared to recreate various eras. The love scenes are realistically and believably executed, and the film doesn't date nearly as much as one would suppose. In my opinion, Nina Mae McKinney was a fascinating performer who should have had more to do in films: here she plays Chick, a vibrant beauty among lowlifes. Some of the picture gets overly dramatic - with Holy Roller meetings, a wake, cabarets and various Plantation scenes -but its filled with humanity and a true understanding of the way it was back then. Tunes include AT THE END OF THE ROAD, SWANEE SHUFFLE by Irving Berlin and nearly every well-known spritual ever written. Originally filmed as a silent, the sound was added in post production.
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Format: VHS Tape
For awhile I heard of Nina Mae McKinney, I read she was married to the same man Billie Holiday would marry. Not much is said, but when you see this film you'll fall in love with her and wonder how come she's forgotten. Nina Mae McKinney was the first black beauty on the screen, she was a raw beauty, down-to-earth beauty. After one big movie, Nina Mae McKinney starred in movies as a maid, another film I suggest is a film short "Pie Pie Blackbird". Nina Mae deserved more then what she got from MGM. MGM could of made her into what Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, and Greta Garbo was to whites. Even though she was a hell of a performer, she had a little bad attitude which cost her a lot of work. But a lot her films are around, they may be hard to find, but their around. I hate how people she paved the path for Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge, she may have, but people often say Nina Mae was their role model, not really. If you ask me I think Nina Mae McKinney was better then all of them but she wouldn't kiss the white man's [bottom]. This movie is the ultimate black movie, telling about black southern life.
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Format: VHS Tape
I saw "Hallelujah" on cable television one night, and I had to buy the video because it really touched me. I learned that it was the first all-black sound movie, and I must say it was a classic. This was such an achievement for 1929, and I must say I immediately became a fan of the beautiful Nina Mae McKinney who played the young temptress Chick in the movie. This movie was enlightening because the characters, action and everything that took place reminded me so much of today's time, especially the character Chick as a temptress, the African-American church with its unique praise and the importance of dance and song. I loved the moral of the story, it was one of redemption and forgiveness. This is a powerful film and it will always remain a historical classic. "Hallelujah" gave the young Nina Mae McKinney her start, and she later inspired other African-American beauties like Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne to let their stars shines. Truly she was before her time, but she helped blaze the trail for others to follow, and gave so much light from her star in this film. This movie is unforgettable and truly a classic! God is Love!
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