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Mr. Washington Goes to Town

Mr. Washington Goes to Town(1940)

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NOTES

powered by AFI

[Mr. Washington Goes to Town, which opened in New York City on June 13, 1941, was publicly previewed in Los Angeles on April 11, 1940 and was included in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40;F3.2929.] A working title for this film was Mr. Jones Goes to Town. The film was the first picture to be produced by Dixie National Pictures, Inc., a company formed in March 1940 by Jed Buell, who earlier produced Harlem on the Prairie (see entry above). James K. Friedrich, a minister who made the religious film The Great Commandment (see entry above) was Dixie's biggest investor. Modern sources note that Ted Toddy helped form the company. Although contemporary sources indicate that the film was previewed at the Lincoln Theater in Los Angeles in April 1940, it May not have been released until June 1941, when, according to the Variety review, it opened in Harlem. As noted in Time, there are no characters in the film named "Washington." The picture, which the press preview program called the "first all negro feature comedy ever made," was written, produced and directed by white men, and was made in six days at a reported cost of $15,000. According to Film Daily, many of the actors playing the hotel's "guests" were vaudeville performers.