Boogie-Woogie Dream: A Synopsis
by Colin Davey
The short film, Boogie Woogie Dream, released in 1944, contains the only known footage of Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. The title number, Boogie Woogie Dream, is one of the hottest boogie woogies ever recorded. This article provides a brief summary of the plot, and also includes the credits.
The film opens in a nightclub as Teddy Wilson and his band are finishing their act. Russel Weathercoop (Russel Morrison) and his companion (Virginia Pine) are in the audience. As they get up to leave, the following dialog takes place:
Weathercoop's Companion: Well, the band is good.
Russel Weathercoop: But that wasn't what I was looking for.
As they are leaving the club, Mr. Weathercoop's companion asks him to wait while she "powders her nose".
Scene two takes place in the nightclub's back room, where Pete Johnson is tuning the piano, Albert Ammons is hanging wallpaper, and Lena Horne is washing dishes.
Horne begins to sing about her wishes of singing the blues in a brand new evening gown instead of washing dishes. Pete Johnson accompanies her on the piano. Johnson then breaks into a medium paced boogie-woogie instrumental, and Ammons sits down to join in a duet. While this is happening, we get a glimpse of Weathercoop and his companion listening appreciatively from the nightclub.
Ammons, Johnson and Horne then enviously discuss how they wish they could perform, like Teddy Wilson and his band.
In a transitional sequence, Weathercoop and his companion are shown falling asleep, and puffs of smoke appear, after which Ammons, Johnson and Horne find themselves in brand new outfits, preparing to perform at the nightclub.
After Horne introduces them, Ammons and Johnson proceed to play the duet Boogie Woogie Dream, one of the hottest boogie woogies ever recorded.
Horne then sings Unlucky Woman, accompanied by Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra, and Pete Johnson.
After more puffs of smoke, Ammons, Johnson and Horne are shown in the back room, being woken up by the phone ringing. It was all a dream. Or was it?
The phone call is for Weathercoop. After his companion and he speak on the phone, Weathercoop offers Ammons, Johnson and Horne an audition - the big break they've been dreaming of.
Leslie Winik presents an Official L'il Musical
Lena Horne in
Teddy Wilson and his Band
Assistant Director...Martin Henry
Sound................A. W. Manchee
Produced by Mark Marvin
Directed by Hans Burger
RCA High Fidelity Sound