All Night Long

Charles Mingus and Richard Attenborough

Charles Mingus and Richard Attenborough (All Night Long)

July, 2017
By
J.C.Phillips
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The film 'All Night Long' is a 1962 British drama directed by Basil Dearden and an adaptation of  William Shakespeare's ‘Othello’.  The Jazz scene, the musicians and the East End of London were the backdrop for Mr. Dearden’s reimagined version of a Shakespearean classic.

If you have read, or seen Othello, then you know to some extent what the plot will be. However, Mr. Dearden’s treatment of this material was like watching a film noir, with his use of lights, shadows, intrigue and music.  Also, the movie is remarkable because you’re offered a brief glimpse into the world of Jazz and how these musicians love to jam with one another.

To give the story some authenticity, Mr. Dearden assembled the most remarkable collection of Jazz greats (American & British) to play themselves in this drama and do what they do best - play.  The soundtrack in this movie was memorable and helped guide the drama and ease the tension that was brewing between the main characters.

Here is a list of the notable Jazz greats that were in this production :-

  • Charles Mingus
  • Dave Brubeck
  • John Dankworth
  • Bert Courtley
  • Ray Dempsey
  • Keith Christie
  • Allan Ganley
  • Tubby Hays
  • Barry Morgan
  • Kenny Napper
  • Colin Purbrook
  • John Scott
  • Harry Beckett

If you call yourself a Jazz Head, then you know that these men were part of some of the most important jazz recordings in the 20th century.  

Mr. Dearden gave film audiences the most entertaining version of Shakespeare’s Othello to date. However, what makes this a must see film is watching the Jazz greats doing their thing and making some terrific music along the way.

 

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