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Yes Sir, Mr. Bones! DVD
Yes Sir, Mr. Bones dvd
Vintage 1951 movie features Scatman Crothers and legendary bones player Freeman "Brother Bones" Davis. Only known film recording of minstrel man Emmett Miller.

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  • New DVD release!
  • Rare film with legendary Freeman "Brother Bones" Davis
  • Double feature DVD

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Only $14.97 DVD

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Product Code: 114-1DVD

Description Technical Specs The Inside Story...
Yes Sir, Mr. Bones!
Rare vintage 1951 film with Freeman "Brother Bones" Davis
New dvd release by VCI Entertainment

This film is part of a double feature dvd which includes the 1949 movie, Square Dance Jubilee. Together, the two films comprise volume 2 of the four volume Showtime USA collector's pack. The package is designed for fans of vaudeville, minstrel shows, and vintage musicals.

No Hollywood film has ever captured the true ambience of a minstrel show. This low budget film stands alone as the most accurate representation ever produced. The film presents the traditional parade plus three elements of a minstrel show:

  • First Part (Endman jokes),
  • Second Part (Olio - variety acts)
  • Third Part (Burlesque melodrama)
The movie even portrays a traditional 'afterpiece' Southern Plantation Scene. The production features a cast of authentic minstrel performers - a remarkable feat considering the film was released in 1951. You will also see the only known film footage of legendary minstrel, Emmett Miller. Plus you will see Brother Bones perform a solid two-and-a-half minutes of whistlin', dancin' and bone rattlin' like you have never seen before.

What the Movie is About
The show features a bevy of authentic "late vaudevillian minstrel performers". Their average age is around 70 years old. What we are witnessing on film is a merger of burlesque, minstrelsy and vaudeville.

White and Black Actors in Feature Roles
Racial stereotyping aside, the film is rather progressive for the 1950s. Few movies from that era dared to present African-American actors in a feature role alongside caucasian performers. So if you ignore the blackface and stereotypes, then the comic genius and appeal of these black and white performers is quite evident.

Film Commentary
The commentary by film historians Richard Roberts, Brent Walker, and Randy Sketvedt make this DVD especially worthwhile and important. They provide valuable context for the performances, offer loads of factual tidbits - and they acknowledge the world of musical bones.

"I guess we should get the political correctness apology out of the way now...

Even though it may make us cringe in many places now, it does preserve a very important part of American show biz history and it also preserves a lot of wonderful black performers as well as white performers."

"I suppose we're the only ones brave enough to actually sit down and do a commentary for this show."

"There's actually websites devoted to bones playing and I saw that somebody did a doctoral dissertation all about bones playing."

The Storyline
A young boy wanders into the Show Boat Rest Inn, a home for old minstrel men. The boy wants to know more about them. The oldsters are more than delighted to oblige. We flash back to a
performance from the nostalgic days of riverboat shows...minstrel songs, buck-and-wing dancing, end-man jokes, soft-shoe routines, variety acts - and yes sir, Mister Bones!

Minstrel Show Program and Cast... (coming soon)

Special DVD Features
  • Scene Selection
  • Trailer for Square Dance Jubilee
  • Commentaries by film historians Richard Roberts, Brent Walker and Randy Sketvedt
  • Technicolor Featurette: The Shortest Way Home (1946)

Square Dance Jubilee (B&W, 1949)
Don Barry, Spade Cooley, Mary Beth Hughes, Wally Vernon, Max Terhune, John Eldredge.

New York television talent scouts (Don "Red" Barry and Wally Vernon) head west to look for musical talent for Spade Cooley's TV show and find plenty - and even help round up some cattle rustlers! With a whopping 25 songs, this one "stacks up as a strong entry in western music market...crackerjack exploitation potential" (Variety).

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