Double Deal (1939)

double deal 1939

Entertaining movie about a gambler, his kid brother, a crooked nightclub owner and his gang including his main man Dude. A lot of the Black movies of the era were knocked for bad acting etc. but this is one of the better ones.

Nita Walker (Jeni Le Gon) is a singer-dancer at a nightclub owned by Murray Howard.  She’s the girlfriend of gambler Jim McCoy (Monte Hawley). That doesn’t stop gangster Dude Markey (Edward Thompson) was from making some moves. Club manager Snively goes for cigarette girl Sally. Too bad for him that she likes the sad sack Slim.

Jim’s younger brother Tommy turned down a Pullman job Jim offered him. Now he’s got an offer from Dude and Murray as long as he doesn’t ask any questions. The job turns out to be the robbery of a jewelery store safe. Tommy holds the flashlight while Dude cracks the safe. The night watchman spots them and Dude kills him. They take the jewels back to Murray who puts them in his safe. He doesn’t see Dude write down the combination.

It’s showtime. Sheldon Brooks, composer of “Darktown Strutters Ball” and “Some Of These Days” portrays himself and sings a great number called “The Hole In The Wall.” Now it’s Nita’s turn as she sings and dances to “Getting Right With You.”

Dude tells Snively to get Nita to be nice to him. When she goes back to her dressing room he’s not far behind. Jim gets jealous and that leads to a brawl. The cops break it up after a shot is fired. Jim takes Sally and Nita back to their rooming house. Tommy is waiting. While Slim tries his best to serve coffee a police inspector shows up. He tells them about the robbery and murder. No one notices how nervous Tommy has gotten.

Jim has an idea and he makes peace with Dude and joins the gang in a poker game. At one point Dude leaves the game for a few minutes. That’s when he robs the safe. When he returns to the game he slips the paper with the combination in Jim’s pocket.  When the fence shows up Murray opens the safe to get the jewels. The frame is set. Jim is in big trouble. When there’s another murder Tommy is in even bigger trouble.

The ending isn’t all that believable but it doesn’t take away from the overall production. It’s worth checking out.

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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