Hearts in Dixie (1929)

71 mins | Comedy-drama | 10 March 1929

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HISTORY

An item in the 31 Oct 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review reported that "noted negro star" Charles Gilpin was at work on North of Dixie, an "all-colored" film taken from Walter Weems' stage play, Lonesome Road. However, according to news items, Charles Gilpin ultimately did not appear in the film. George Reed was next mentioned for Gilpin's role of "Nappus" before it eventually was given to Clarence Muse.
       The 8 Dec 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World announced that the production starting date for Hearts in Dixie was 24 Nov 1928.
According to a Chicago Tribune article on 9 Dec 1928, the cotton field scenes of the film were shot on location near Bakersfield, CA. An ad in The San Jose News on 21 Feb 1929 listed the following additional song titles among the "25 songs you'll love" in the picture: "Lil' Liza Jane" and "All Over Heaven."
       Hearts in Dixie was the first African-American feature film produced by a major studio, as well as being the first African-American musical. Advertisements for the film boasted that it was "The screen's first singing, dancing and talking comedy of the Southland, with two hundred entertainers from the levees and cotton fields." As noted in the Chicago Tribune article, the picture was the first of several films then being made in Hollywood that featured all, or primarily, African-American ... More Less

An item in the 31 Oct 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review reported that "noted negro star" Charles Gilpin was at work on North of Dixie, an "all-colored" film taken from Walter Weems' stage play, Lonesome Road. However, according to news items, Charles Gilpin ultimately did not appear in the film. George Reed was next mentioned for Gilpin's role of "Nappus" before it eventually was given to Clarence Muse.
       The 8 Dec 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World announced that the production starting date for Hearts in Dixie was 24 Nov 1928.
According to a Chicago Tribune article on 9 Dec 1928, the cotton field scenes of the film were shot on location near Bakersfield, CA. An ad in The San Jose News on 21 Feb 1929 listed the following additional song titles among the "25 songs you'll love" in the picture: "Lil' Liza Jane" and "All Over Heaven."
       Hearts in Dixie was the first African-American feature film produced by a major studio, as well as being the first African-American musical. Advertisements for the film boasted that it was "The screen's first singing, dancing and talking comedy of the Southland, with two hundred entertainers from the levees and cotton fields." As noted in the Chicago Tribune article, the picture was the first of several films then being made in Hollywood that featured all, or primarily, African-American casts. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
California Eagle
14 Dec 1928.
---
California Eagle
21 Dec 1928.
---
Chicago Tribune
9 Dec 1928
p. 17.
ChiDef
16 Mar 1929
pt. I, p. 6.
Christian Science Monitor
5 Mar 1929
p. 7.
Exhibitor's Daily Review
31 Oct 1928
p. 4.
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
8 Dec 1928
p. 50.
Film Daily
3 Mar 1929.
---
New York Times
28 Feb 1929
p. 30.
New York Times
10 Mar 1929.
---
Reading Eagle
9 Jun 1929
p. 12.
San Jose News
21 Feb 1929
p. 6.
Variety
6 Mar 1929
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Addl dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Scen, story and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
DANCE
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on Walter Weems' stage play, Lonesome Road (date unknown).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Hearts in Dixie," music and lyrics by Walter Weems and Howard Jackson
Deep River" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," music and lyrics by Henry Thacker Burleigh
"Old Folks at Home," music and lyrics by Stephen Foster
+
SONGS
"Hearts in Dixie," music and lyrics by Walter Weems and Howard Jackson
Deep River" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," music and lyrics by Henry Thacker Burleigh
"Old Folks at Home," music and lyrics by Stephen Foster
and other songs.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
North of Dixie
Release Date:
10 March 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 February 1929
Los Angeles opening: 6 March 1929
Production Date:
began 24 November 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 March 1929
Copyright Number:
LP234
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71
Length(in feet):
6,444
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Nappus, an old black man who works a farm, despite his advanced years, has a daughter named Chloe who is married to Gummy, a shiftless young man who does nothing but sun himself while Chloe does both the housework and the manual labor. Gummy and Chloe have two children, Chiquapin and Trailia. Chloe and Trailia are taken ill, and instead of sending for the white doctor, Gummy sends for the voodoo woman. Both mother and daughter die, and Nappus sells his farm and his mule to raise enough money to send Chiquapin north to become a doctor, hoping that the boy will someday return south to help his ... +


Nappus, an old black man who works a farm, despite his advanced years, has a daughter named Chloe who is married to Gummy, a shiftless young man who does nothing but sun himself while Chloe does both the housework and the manual labor. Gummy and Chloe have two children, Chiquapin and Trailia. Chloe and Trailia are taken ill, and instead of sending for the white doctor, Gummy sends for the voodoo woman. Both mother and daughter die, and Nappus sells his farm and his mule to raise enough money to send Chiquapin north to become a doctor, hoping that the boy will someday return south to help his people. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
African American, with songs


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.