Check and Double Check (1930)

Article 3486 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-24-2011
Posting Date: 3-1-2011
Directed by Melville W. Brown
Featuring Freeman F. Gosden, Charles J. Correll, Sue Carol
Country: USA
What it is: Radio stars make a movie

Amos and Andy try to make a go of an open-air taxi service, and are sent on a quest by the Mystic Knights of the Sea.

I’ve run into a few sources that claim this is the only film appearance of Gosden and Correll in their “Amos ‘n’ Andy” characters, but that’s not true; on top of providing voices for a couple of theatrical cartoons featuring their characters, they also appeared in THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1936; this was, however, the only movie in which they starred. They were big radio stars at the time and their show would make a successful transition to TV when the time came; however, they are seen very rarely nowadays in the age of political correctness. They were talented comedians, nevertheless, and there are some good moments to be had here; I particularly like a scene where Andy almost destroys a phone conversation that Amos is having merely by interjecting phrases that Amos keeps repeating. The movie is also historically interesting in that it also features one of the earliest screen appearances of Duke Ellington and his orchestra, and they provide a musical highlight to the movie. However, the movie does suffer from that early-talkie creakiness, and it’s saddled with a dull romance subplot. The fantastic content has the duo visiting a supposedly haunted house as part of an assignment from the Mystic Knights of the Sea, but since there’s no real haunting going on, it just adds a slight touch of horror to the proceedings.

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