Killer Diller (1948 film)

Killer Diller
Directed by Josh Binney
Produced by E. M. Glucksman
Written by Hal Seeger
Starring Dusty Fletcher
George Wiltshire
Butterfly McQueen
Andy Kirk
Four Congaroos
Music by Count Basie
Milton Ebbens
Johnny Miller
Cinematography Lester Lang
Edited by Louis Hesse
Distributed by All American
Release dates
Running time
73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Killer Diller is a 1948 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Josh Binney and released by All American.

The movie features The Clark Brothers (tap dancers), Nat King Cole, Moms Mabley, Dusty Fletcher, Butterfly McQueen, the Andy Kirk Orchestra and the Four Congaroos (dancing Lindy Hop).

Plot summary

Dusty Fletcher plays a comic, tap dancer and bad magician. While practicing his routine for that evening's variety show, he accidentally vanishes Lola (Nellie Hill), the girlfriend of the show's manager Baltimore Dumdone (George Wiltshire). She was wearing a thousand-dollar string of pearls and it seems most likely that criminality is afoot.

Dusty's slapstick antics take up a large portion of the film's first act, with some Keystone Cops type schtick thrown in when four police officers (Fredie Robinson, William Campbell, Edgar Martin and Sidney Easton) begin chasing Dusty in and out of his disappearance-cabinet.


The Clark Brothers, Nat 'King' Cole and The King Cole Trio, Four Congaroos, Johnny Miller, Oscar Moore and Warren Patterson appear as themselves.


The variety show features Ray Abrams & Gator Green playing the two-tenor sax number "Gator Serenade" written by Green, supported by the rest of the Andy Kirk and His Orchestra. Beverly White sings the racy jazz tune "I Don't Want to Get Married." Her second song "Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do" is likewise racy, about the joy of carousing and cheating: "If I feel like going out and having some fun/ With some young cat who looks like he might be my son/ That ain't nobody's business what I do."

The act of Warren Patterson & Al Jackson sing Jule Styne & Sammy Kahn's "I Believe," Warren leading off and Al doing his part as a Louis Armstrong impersonation. Then Al sings the Fats Waller classic "Ain't Misbehavin" as Warren tapdances. He is still dancing like crazy when Al adds "Wonderful One" to his medley. Lastly they impersonate the Ink Spots though there's only two of them to recreate "If I Didn't Care," Warren duplicating the tenor lead very nicely until he intentionally goes comical while Al does the spoken bridge with new silly words.

Jackie "Moms" Mabley comes out and does some comedy. She sings the comic song "Don't Sit on My Bed." The Clark Brothers then do a tap dance.

The King Cole Trio's up next. Nat at piano sings "Oo, Kickerooni." The trio follows this song with the Don Wolf & Alan Brandt composition "Now He Tells Me," another humorous bit of cool jazz, & The Trio closes with "Breezy and the Bass" written by Nat & Johnny "Breezy" Miller.

An act called Four Congaroos are next. They do the Lindy Hop while Andy Kirk's orchestra plays "Basie's Boogie." Kirk's Orchestra does two more songs, featuring guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone solos. The "Varietettes Dancing Girls" (from Katherine Durham's School of Dancing) close the show with Andy Kirk and His Orchestra backing them with "Apollo Groove."


External links

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