This Day in Film: Stormy Weather

The iconic movie featuring Lena Horne premiered in 1943.

Posted: 07/21/2011 03:00 AM EDT
Filed Under Lena Horne

On this day nearly 70 years ago, an ensemble cast of pioneering Black entertainers joined together to create one of the most beloved musicals of the last century. Stormy Weather is based on the story of the relationship between a World War I vet who returns home and revisits his dancer aspirations and the popular singer he encounters along the way. Released by 20th Century Fox, it was one of two major Hollywood musicals produced in 1943 that featured a predominately Black cast.

 

At the time, few Black actors and singers played in lead roles, much less those that fell outside of the stereotypical stock characters–servants and comedic buffoons. The film starred the legendary Lena Horne, along with Cab Calloway, Fats Walter, Fayard and Harold Nicholas and Katherine Dunham.

 

In 2001, Stormy Weather was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

(Photo: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation)

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