Hellzapoppin’ – The Ultimate Version?

The movie Hellzapoppin’ features, as most swing dancers know, the greatest Lindy Hop routine ever to appear in the cinema – in a scene preceded by an absolutely fantastic jam featuring some of the great names of jazz.

This year, a German company named Anolis Entertainment has released it on Bluray – and the quality is absolutely stunning.

So naturally, I’ve dusted off my retiming project!

Why a retimed version? In case you’ve not seen any of my older posts on the subject – I realised a long time ago that amazing though it is, the routine we see in the film just doesn’t quite fit the music. It becomes clearer as you look carefully at the film – for example, the dancers are consistently clapping on the wrong beat, and are often dancing waaaay off phrase – when in Frankie’s account of, they made a real effort to keep to the phrasing when choreographing. It’s true that it was originally choreographed to Jumpin’ at the Woodside, but the music the studio chose was written specifically for the routine, and the dancers spent a week practicing to the new music – so I believe it should fit better.

Have I restored it to how it should be? Almost certainly not – I suspect that’s impossible without the original footage, and the dancing and music are so fast that it’s incredibly hard to match music and dance. I harbour a dream that some collector somewhere has all the cut and discarded footage that didn’t end up in the film, and that I one day get a chance to see it – but realistically, the chances of that are somewhere between impossible and non-existent.

For more details, I have various posts on the subject elsewhere on the blog. In the meantime, enjoy one of the most extraordinary music and dance scenes ever filmed, in the best quality we’re ever likely to see it in.

For a little more on the routine, and my earlier efforts to improve it, here’s some of those previous posts:
Improving on Perfection. Have I Managed to Fix Hellzapoppin’?
Think You’ve Seen Hellzapoppin? Think Again…
Hellzapoppin’ – Retimed, Enhanced, now in 4K

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