DIXIANA (1930, USA)
directed by: Luther Reed

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IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020828

Submitted by Charles O'Brien on 2006-08-08

Charles O'Brien's comment:
An overdone early RKO musical whose highlight is a technicolor dance sequence featuring Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The male lead is played by Everett Marshall of the NY Metropolitan opera, who has an incredible voice but enunciates in a way that makes the song lyrics difficult for me to make out. Bebe Daniels, in the role of Dixiana, looks and acts a bit like Jeanette MacDonald, but without MacDonald's extraordinary vocal abilities. 0.00: conclusion of the song that had played over the credits, and the beginning of another, a spiritual sung by a choir, which ends at 1.00: introduction of characters Carl (E. Marshall) and Dixiana (Bebe Daniels); 2.00: "Cayetano's Hippodrome in old New Orleans" (title); a contortionist interacts with the audience; 3.10: a new song number, performed revue-style by a team of dancing clowns; 4.00: Dixiana, in a powdered blonde wig, sings, and then dances with two men in ostriche suits, who turn out to be the low-comedy team Wheeler and Woolsey; 5.40: Dixiana dances, ending at 7.00: Mr. Montagu (played by movie-ham villain Ralf Harolde) complains about Dixiana's flirtatious behavior with Carl van Horn; 10.10: conversation between Ginger (Woolsey), Peewee (Wheeler), and Dixiana is punctuated by a blast from the house band's horn section, revealed via a cutaway; 12.00: a hymn, sung by a choir, accompanies images of Mr. and Mrs. van Horn waking up in their mansion; Ginger and Peewee arrive at the mansion, where they have drinks with Mr. van Horn, Carl's dad; 25.30: "The party that night" (title); 27.20: Carl sings a pop ballad, opera-style, "Here's to old friends, loyal and clever," ending at 29.50; Ginger, Peewee, and Carl's Dad repeat the not-especially-funny gag involving a kick to the victim's rear; 34.30: duet with Carl and Dixiana (nice voices but the words are impossible to make out), ending at 37.20: a scandal wells up when it is revealed to the southern aristocracy that Dixiana is, in fact, a circus performer; Carl vows to run off with Dixiana; 43.40: Peewee, Ginger, and Dixiana go up on the Hippodrome's stage for a rehearsal and the manager fires them; Montagu immediately shows up and hires the trio to perform in his gambling house; 46.40: "Montagu's gambling house and entertainment room" (title); 47.30: song and dance sequence with ladies in powdered blonde wigs, with spanish-mexican musical and mise-en-scene motifs, and eventually accompanied by a line of kick dancers; Ginger goes on stage and interacts with Nannie, a dancer in love with Peewee (initially their interaction was part of the show, but as they go on, no one in the audience seems any longer to notice them); Nannie joins Ginger at a table, and then, when Peewee arrives, she leaves with him; 54.50: duet with Peewee and Nannie, "My heart you juggle/My head you spin/It's no good to struggle/I must give in"; followed by dance sequence; 58.30: Dixiana, the star of the Hippodrome, sings "Dixiana," the film's theme, in a production number involving some twenty dancers; 60.10: Montagu announces Queen of the Mardigras Contest; the "Dixiana" theme returns at 61.20, barely audible, but then, at 61.50, it finishes loudly; an offscreen song with vocals accompanies a scene with Nannie, Montagu, Peewee, and Ginger, finishing at 63.05: a lengthy Wheeler and Woolsey sketch, ending at 68.00 with a mock swordfight; 68.30: the "Dixiana" theme returns for roughly thirty seconds; Dixiana and Carl play cards at a table in Montagu's gambling house (underscored by Max Steiner in a violin-heavy arrangemenmt); 73.50: Dixiana sings slow ballad "Each Life is a Card Game," ending at 74.50: [...] 76.20: chorus sings "Dixiana" until 77.40: technicolor sequence with lengthy fanfare buildup; 78.00: Ginger puts on dress military uniform, which draws the attention of four young women; 79.30: Ginger sings a song with a female chorus, who are joined by eight additional female dancers, ending at 81.40, followed immediately by a choir singing a hymn, and then Bill Robinson's tap dance (3.5 minute long take); Dixiana rides onto the stage in a carriage, and is kidnapped by Montagu's gang; Carl breaks in and challenges Montagu to a duel; Dixiana, disguised as a clown, reveals that Montagu, years before, had murdered Carl's grandfather; 95.00: Carl sings "You Are My Shinging Star" and then the chorus sings "Dixiana."


Name:
story
song
exp.tit
Number of shots:
358
115
3
Length(min):
66.02
31.46
0.36
ASL(sec):
11.1
16.4
7.3
MSL 6.6 8 6.3
MSL/ASL
0.6
0.49
0.87
StDev 12.8 23.3 1.4
Min 0.8 1.3 6.3
Max 85.6 194.5 9.2
CV 1.15 1.42 0.19
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