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59 minutes · 2013

Spencer Williams directed his last big-screen comedy with this ultralow-budget 1947 effort, about two penniless con men who charm a woman into putting them up in return for coaching her daughter for an upcoming beauty contest. It's technically crude and lacks comedic rhythm, though Williams (later of TV's Amos 'n' Andy) performs with verve as one of the hustlers. The stereotypes on display would likely have played differently before the original all-black audience, and one striking scene, in which the family members say grace in succession, recalls the appealing sincerity of Williams's religious films. Note: the film has been preserved from a damaged original.

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