Lena HorneAmong the many, many films criminally absent from DVD are classics of early black cinema, particularly Hallelujah, "the first all-black feature film from a major studio," Vincent Minnelli's wonderful Cabin in the Sky and 1943's Stormy Weather, which stars Cab Calloway, Lena Horne (also in Cabin) and Fats Waller. In early 2006, though, these omissions will be finally be corrected, thanks to group of releases by 20th Century Fox (in their Studio Classics series) and Warner Home Video.

The releases, which are timed to coincide with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (they go on sale January 10), include all of the above films, in addition to Elia Kazan's Pinky, The Green Pastures (which will include an extra starring a 7-year-old Sammy Davis Jr.), and Island in the Sun. The pick of the bunch is arguably Cabin the Sky, which was Minnelli'sdirectorial debut. It features an amazingly talented, incredibly well-known all-black cast and is truly a gem - I saw it in 16mm for a musicals class in college and still remember it vividly. Making the release even more special will be a commentary track on which Lena Horne appears with as-yet unnamed companions.
categories Movies, Cinematical