St. Louis Blues (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

St. Louis Blues (1958)

St. Louis Blues





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The life of legendary bluesman W.C. Handy is highly dramatized in this tuneful biopic. The story opens as his father, a minister chastises his son for playing "the devil's music." Despite his father's admonitions, Handy is drawn to the blues. He is encouraged by two disparate women, one an earthy singer from New Orleans and the other a good-hearted girl from his hometown whose main concern is Handy's happiness. Stress causes Handy to go blind for a while, but eventually he regains his sight, becomes famous for his music, and wins the respect of his father. The highlight of the film involves the performance of Handy's music by some of the great blues and jazz singers of the 1950s including Cole, Calloway, Jackson, and Fitzgerald. Songs include "Hesitating Blues," "Chantez Les Bas," "Beale Street Blues," (W.C. Handy), "Careless Love" (based on folk music by Handy; lyrics by Spencer Williams, Martha Koenig), "Morning Star," "Way Down South Where the Blues Began," "Mr. Bayle," "Aunt Hagar's Blues" (Handy; lyrics by Tim Brymn), "They that Sow" (hymn), and "Going to See My Sarah" (spiritual).more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Smith, Ted Sherdeman
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Nat 'King' Cole
as W.C. Handy
Eartha Kitt
as Gogo Germaine
Pearl Bailey
as Aunt Hagar
Mahalia Jackson
as Bessie May
Ruby Dee
as Elizabeth
Juano Hernandez
as Charles Handy
Billy Preston
as W.C. Handy as a Boy
Teddy Buckner
as Musician
Barney Bigard
as Musician
Lee Young
as Musician
Show More Cast

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Audience Reviews for St. Louis Blues


Singer Nat King Cole stars as WC Handy. While the pacing is slow, this film is a generally a decent interpretation of the life and times of WC Handy. Black n White, the movie really involves a love story.

Yes, you really will see Billy Preston (Beatles organist) as a young boy in this film.


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REVIEWS by those like us:

St Louis Blues is one of those movies that deserve to be called a classic because of the great talent.

Nevermind that this is a great biopic of a legendary bluesman W.C.Handy - we have Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, Mahalia Jackson....



1 St. Louis Blues is a 1958 American film broadly based on the life of W. C. Handy.


Nat King Cole - W.C. Handy
Eartha Kitt - Gogo Germaine
Cab Calloway - Blade
Ella Fitzgerald - Singer
Mahalia Jackson - Bessie May
Ruby Dee - Elizabeth
Juano Hernandez - Rev. Charles Handy
Teddy Buckner - Musician
Barney Bigard - Musician
George Callender - Musician
Lee Young - Musician
George Washington - Musician
Billy Preston - Will Handy as a boy
Pearl Bailey - Aunt Hagar
Jester Hairston - Choir Master/Singer


Directed by

Allen Reisner

Produced by
Robert Smith

Written by
Ted Sherdeman
Robert Smith

Haskell B. Boggs

Editing by
Eda Warren

Distributed by
Paramount Pictures

Release dates
April 7, 1958

Running time
105 minutes


Monsieur Rick
monsieur rick

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