Go Down, Death

1421. GO DOWN, DEATH! (1944-USA). Directed by and featuring SPENCER WILLIAMS. ‘Prior to the 1950s film roles for Blacks in Hollywood were usually servants, pullman porter types, or characters that seldom went beyond a one-dimensional stereotype. For this mason, independent filmmakers produced a cycle Of “race” films, tailored especially to ghetto audiences. They featured Blacks as heroes, heroines and villains, as cops, gangsters, lawyersÑ; gamut Of characterizations. Go Down, Death ‘is directed by and features Spencer Williams, whose face will be parÂticularly familiar to fans Of television’s Golden Age I” Andy” Of “Amos ‘n Andy”). A story Of love and simple faith, arc the triumph Of good over evil. The story tells the plight Of a pious preacher, whose sermons have been denting the business Of a sneaky nightclub entrepreneur. This devil attempts to defame the Reverend by tempting him with; trio Of double-dealing dames-and blackmailing him with an allegedly incriminating photo. Some vi mage jitter bugging sequences and performances Of Negro spirituals add to this film’s interest. Its story was inspired by the poem Ct Down, Death/, penned by the celebrated Black author JAMES WELDON JOHNSON. 54 minutes. All Black Drama