Films

Ex-Flame (film)
September, 1930, Los Angeles, CA

Louis makes his Hollywood debut in this film for for Tiffany Productions (Liberty Films?). No print has survived although a publicity still with some members of the band, the Les Hite Orchestra, is extant. Date is from Willems.

More info at imdb.com

Mixed Doubles (film)
Early 1931, Los Angeles, CA

A rumored second Hollywood film for Tiffany Productions, probably with the Les Hite Orchestra. No print has survived. This may have been produced as early as 1930.

Rhapsody in Black and Blue (film)
Early 1932, Fort Lee, New Jersey

Shine

A short film featuring Armstrong as a lazy husband who is knocked out by his wife and takes an offbeat dreamtrip to Jazztopia where King Louis performs in full jungle regalia. If you can get past the jaw-droppingly racist setting, it's a very exciting performance that helps explain Armstrong's growing popularity in the 1930s.

More info at imdb.com

I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You (film)
Early 1932, Fort Lee, New Jersey

You Rascal, You (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead)

A typically bizarre, nightmarish Betty Boop cartoon with cannibal Louis scaring the daylights out of the lead cartoon characters. Perhaps recorded on the same day asRhapsody in Black and Blue.

More info at imdb.com

Louis Armstrong and His Harlem Hot Band (film)
October 21, 1933, Copenhagen, Denmark

I Cover The Waterfront
Dinah
Tiger Rag

A fabulous, oft-played short film of Armstrong in concert in Copenhagen. Lamentably brief, but you can see what all the shouting was about. A portion of "Dinah" is available online from leechvideo.com.

Pennies From Heaven (film)
July-August, 1936, Hollywood, California

Skeleton In The Closet

Armstrong's first featured role in a Hollywood musical beside Bing Crosby. Armstrong plays Henry, a hired musician at the Haunted House Cafe. Servants and subserviant roles were pretty much the only options available to blacks in the pre-civil-rights Hollywood - even for as big a star as Armstrong.

More info at imdb.com

Artists and Models (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Public Melody Number One (Koehler, Ted; Lane, Burton)

Armstrong is featured in a specialty duet with an almost-blackfaced Martha Raye in a specialty musical act set in Harlem.

More info at imdb.com

Doctor Rhythm (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Satch is a trumpet player in this Bing Crosby vehicle.

Every Day's a Holiday (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Armstrong plays himself in this Mae West comedy.

More info at imdb.com

Going Places (film)
September, 1938, Los Angeles, CA

Jeepers Creepers

Armstrong's largest role was as a racehorse trainer named Gabriel who tends a horse named Jeepers Creepers that can only be calmed down and ridden when Gabriel sings the song of the same name. The film's conclusion features Armstrong and his band driving in a buggy down the racetrack as Jeepers Creepers competes for a title. Armstrong does the best he can do with the role of a shabby, childlike servant who is referred to as "Uncle Tom".

More info at imdb.com

Soundies (film)
April 20, 1942, Los Angeles, CA

Swingin' On Nothing
     Middleton, Velma (Vocal)
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You
When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Shine

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

These four "Soundies" are promotional films that are genuine predecessors to MTV. They are wonderfully clean samples of Louis at work in his prime (though the soundtracks are prerecorded). Though the material is largely dated ("You Rascal You" and "Shine" having been featured in a short film a decade earlier), an instant classic is created in "Swingin' on Nothing", which features a hefty Velma Middleton doing her astounding breakdance routine.

Cabin In The Sky (film)
August 28, 1942, Los Angeles, CA

Trumpet Break
Ain't It The Truth

A few numbers for an MGM musical. Armstrong is credited as "The Trumpeter". "Ain't It The Truth" was cut from the film.

More info at imdb.com

Jam Session (film)
April 23, 1943, Los Angeles, CA

I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone, Vocal)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Hayman, Joe (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Sturgis, Ted (Bass)
Morrison, Chick (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

Atlantic City (film)
May, 1944, Los Angeles, CA

Harlem On Parade
Ain't Misbehavin'

Pops makes his first movie in two years, sharing the screen with the effervescent Dorothy Dandridge.

More info at imdb.com

Pillow to Post (film)
August, 1944, Los Angeles, CA

Whatcha Say

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Dorothy Dandridge (Vocal)
Brown, Jesse (Trumpet)
Grinder, Thomas (Trumpet)
Ford, Andrew "Fatso" (Trumpet)
Currant, Lester (Trumpet)
Baird, Taswell (Trombone)
Martin, Adam (Trombone)
Anderson, Larry (Trombone)
Brown, John (Alto Saxophone)
Brown, Willard (Alto Saxophone)
McRae, Teddy (Tenor Saxophone, vocal, conductor)
Gordon, Dexter (Tenor Saxophone)
Thompson, Ernest (Saxophone)
Swanston, Ed (Piano)
Slay, Emmet (Guitar)
Moore, Alfred (Bass)
Harris, James (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

West End Blues
Tiger Rag
Basin Street Blues
Buddy Bolden's Blues
Milenberg Joys
Where the Blues Were Born in New Orleans
Mahogany Hall Stomp
Maryland, My Maryland

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Ory, Kid (Trombone)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
Scott, Bud (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Singleton, Zutty (Drums)

What started as an vehicle to tell something like the story of jazz's origins in New Orleans got slowly watered down into a tepid love story - with Billie Holiday as a maid. However, what's left is a priceless opportunity to see Billie Holiday and Louis together.

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Farewell to Storyville
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Holiday, Billie (Vocal)
Ory, Kid (Trombone)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
Scott, Bud (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Singleton, Zutty (Drums)
Unknown personnel (Choir)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Raymond St. Blues

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
Scott, Bud (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Flee as a Bird / When the Saints Go Marching In

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Ory, Kid (Trombone)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
Scott, Bud (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Singleton, Zutty (Drums)
Kennedy, George (Trumpet)
Yukl, Charles (Trumpet)
Ronka, Ellis (Trombone)
McEachern, Murray (Trombone)
Hennon, Robert (Clarinet)
Hamilton, John (Clarinet)
Murrow, Phillip (Baritone Saxophone)
Green, George E. (Tuba)
Boudreau, John (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Dippermouth Blues
Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
Ballin' the Jack
King Porter Stomp
Mahogany Hall Stomp

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Carey, Mutt (Trumpet)
Ory, Kid (Trombone)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Thompson, Lucky (Tenor Saxophone)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
Scott, Bud (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Singleton, Zutty (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Brahms' Lullaby

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Schutt, Arthur (Piano)

More info at imdb.com

New Orleans (film)
September 5 - October 8, 1946, Los Angeles, LA

Blues Are Brewin'
     Holiday, Billie (Vocal)
Endie

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Butler, Robert (Trumpet)
Gray, Louis (Trumpet)
Mullins, Ed (Trumpet)
Ford, Andrew "Fatso" (Trumpet)
Moore, Russell "Big Chief" (Trombone)
Williams, Waddet (Trombone)
Allen, Nat (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Hill, Don (Alto Saxophone)
Gordon, Amos (Alto Saxophone)
Sparrow, John (Tenor Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Thompson, Ernest (Baritone Saxophone)
Mason, Earl (Piano)
Warner, Elmer (Guitar)
Shaw, Arvell (Bass)
McConney, Ed (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

A Song Is Born (film)
August 6, 1947, Los Angeles, CA

A Song Was Born
Goldwyn Stomp
Flying Home

These soundtrack numbers enjoin Louis with such legends as Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton.

More info at imdb.com

La Botta E Riposta (film)
October 27-31, 1949, Rome, Italy

Struttin' With Some Barbecue
That's My Desire
Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues

An apparent film record of an All Stars concert. AKA I'm in the Revue, Je suis de la revue.

More info at imdb.com

Young Man with a Horn (film)
Sometime in 1949 or 1950, Unknown location

Uncredited (cameo?) appearance as himself

More info at imdb.com

Here Comes the Groom (film)
December 1 - 13, 1950, Los Angeles, CA

Misto Cristofo Colombo

Uncredited cameo appearance.

More info at imdb.com

The Strip (film)
December 26 - 29, 1950, Los Angeles, CA

Ain't Misbehavin'
Ole Miss Blues
Basin Street Blues
I'm Coming, Virginia
That's A Plenty
Hines' Retreat
Fatha's Time
Shadrack / When The Saints Go Marchin' In
Steak Face
A Kiss to Build a Dream On
J.T. Jive

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Teagarden, Jack (Trombone, Vocal)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Hines, Earl (Piano)
Shaw, Arvell (Bass)
Cole, Cozy (Drums)

An ersatz film-noir featuring Mickey Rooney as a nightclub drummer mixed up with some bad folks. Armstrong recorded some lively tracks for the score in three sessions.

Glory Alley (film)
November 14, 1951, Los Angeles, CA

Flee as a Bird
Oh, Didn't He Ramble

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Teagarden, Jack (Trombone)
Bivona, Gus (Clarinet)
Raskin, Milt (Piano)
Marshall, Jack (Guitar)
Shapiro, Artie (Bass)
Carlson, Frankie (Drums)

An odd film featuring Ralph Meeker and Leslie Caron, set in New Orleans (especially fashionable in the aftermath of Streetcar Named Desire) and named after a bad part of Bourbon Street. Armstrong is Shadow Johnson, a philosophizing guide that gets to sing and play a few songs. Teagarden had already left the All Stars but rejoined Armstrong for the film.

More info at imdb.com

Glory Alley (film)
November 14, 1951, Los Angeles, CA

South Rampart Street Parade

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Unknown personnel (MGM Studio Orchestra)
Rugolo, Pete (Arranger)
Stoll, George (Director)

More info at imdb.com

Glory Alley (film)
November 15, 1951, Los Angeles, CA

That's What The Man Said

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Teagarden, Jack (Trombone, Vocal)
Unknown personnel (MGM Studio Orchestra)
Rugolo, Pete (Arranger)
Stoll, George (Director)

More info at imdb.com

Glory Alley (film)
November 17, 1951, Los Angeles, CA

Glory Alley

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Raskin, Milt (Piano)
Marshall, Jack (Guitar)
Shapiro, Artie (Bass)

More info at imdb.com

Glory Alley (film)
November 27, 1951, Los Angeles, CA

It's A Most Unusual Day

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Teagarden, Jack (Trombone, Vocal)
Unknown personnel (MGM Studio Orchestra)
Rugolo, Pete (Arranger)
Stoll, George (Director)

More info at imdb.com

Saluti E Baci / La Route Du Bonheur (film)
October 26 or 28, 1952, Rome, Italy

Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Young, Trummy (Trombone, Vocal)
McCracken, Bob (Clarinet)
Napoleon, Marty (Piano)
Shaw, Arvell (Bass)
Cole, Cozy (Drums)

Italian film also known asLa Route du bonheurin France andThe Road to Happinesswhen distributed in English-speaking countries.

More info at imdb.com

The Glenn Miller Story (film)
early June, 1953, Los Angeles, CA

Basin Street Blues
Otchi-tcho-ni-ya

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Young, Trummy (Trombone)
Yukl, Joe (Trombone)
Bigard, Barney (Clarinet)
Russin, Babe (Tenor Saxophone)
Napoleon, Marty (Piano)
Shaw, Arvell (Bass)
Cole, Cozy (Drums)
Krupa, Gene (Drums)

Soundtrack numbers for Louis' co-starring role in the hit Jimmy Stewart movie. Gene Krupa sits in with the All Stars.

More info at imdb.com

Finian's Rainbow (film)
Late 1954 or early 1955, Unknown location

Ad Lib Blues

Backing Frank Sinatra in a soundtrack song for an uncompleted animated feature.

High Society (film)
January 6-18, 1956, Unknown location

High Society Calypso (Porter, Cole)
Little One (Porter, Cole)
I Love You Samantha (Porter, Cole)
Now You Has Jazz (Porter, Cole)
Here Comes the Bride

Musical adaptation ofThe Philadelphia Storywith a score by Cole Porter and featuring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

More info at imdb.com

Satchmo the Great (film)
September 5, 1957,

New York premier of a program hosted by Edward R. Murrow (originally on CBS) that documents Armstrong's trip to West Africa. Armstrong is treated like a king and is featured in a number of live musical performances with the All Stars for huge audiences. Despite a vaguely propagandistic quality, this is arguably one of the best video records of Armstrong.

More info at imdb.com

The Five Pennies (film)
October, 1958, Los Angeles, CA

After You've Gone
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home
     Kaye, Danny (Vocal)
Lullaby In Ragtime
     Kaye, Danny (Vocal)
The Five Pennies Saints
     Kaye, Danny (Vocal)
Goodnight, Sleep Tight Medley
     Kaye, Danny (Vocal) Gordon, Susan (Vocal)
Just The Blues

Armstrong appears as himself. Maudlin treacle from '50s Hollywood with a soundtrack of tired "Dixieland" cliches. Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to pursue his dream of playing jazz. He forms the "Five Pennies" which features his wife, Bobbie, as vocalist. At the peak of his fame, Red and Bobbie's daughter, Dorothy, develops polio. Red quits the music business to move to Los Angeles where the climate is better for Dorothy. As Dorothy becomes a young teen, she learns of her father's musical past, and he is persuaded to open a small nightclub which is failing until some noted names from his past (including Armstrong) come to help out. (IMDB)

More info at imdb.com

The Beat Generation (film)
October, 1958, Los Angeles, CA

The Beat Generation
Some Day

Appearance as himself. Reissued as This Rebal Age

More info at imdb.com

Kaerlighedens Melodi (film)
January 26, 1959, Copenhagen, Denmark

Armstrong is credited as "Musician with orchestra".

More info at imdb.com

Die Nacht vor der Premiere (film)
February 23, 1959, Hamburg, Germany

Kisses in Der Nacht

Appearance as himself.

More info at imdb.com

Auf Wiedersehen (film)
February 25, 1959, Berlin, Germany

Back O' Town Blues
Pretty Little Missy
Dippermouth Blues
The Faithful Hussar

German film appearance (?) listed in IMDB as being released in 1961. A.K.A. Drei gegen Amerika.

More info at imdb.com

La Paloma (film)
May 20, 1959, Berlin, Germany

Onkel Satchmo's Lullabu

Credited as Sanger and himself in IMDB.

More info at imdb.com

Paris Blues (film)
December 14, 1960, Paris, France

Battle Royal
Wild Man Moore

Armstrong is Wild Man Moore in film with Ellington and a brace of French jazzmen. Recordings are a with a largely French big band. Solos were supposedly overdubbed later.

More info at imdb.com

Hello Satchmo (film)
March, 1965, Lucerna Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
Tiger Rag
Indiana
Hello, Dolly
When the Saints Go Marching In
Royal Garden Blues
The Faithful Hussar
Mack the Knife
Struttin' With Some Barbecue
Blueberry Hill

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Glen, Tyree (Trombone)
Shu, Eddie (Clarinet)
Kyle, Billy (Piano)
Shaw, Arvell (Bass)
Barcelona, Danny (Drums)

25-minute documentary of Armstrong's visit to Prague filmed by the (then-young) documentary film maker Jan Spata. Not included in Willems discography.

More info at imdb.com

Where the Boys Meet the Girls (film)
July 26, 1965, Hollywood, CA

I Got Rhythm
Throw It Out Of Your Mind

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Glenn, Tyree (Trombone)
Bailey, Buster (Clarinet)
Kyle, Billy (Piano)
Catlett, Buddy (Bass)
Barcelona, Danny (Drums)

More info at imdb.com

A Man Called Adam (film)
November, 1965, Boston, MA

Someday, Sweetheart
Back O' Town Blues
Muskrat Ramble
Ole Miss

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Glenn, Tyree (Trombone, Vocal)
Bailey, Buster (Clarinet)
Kyle, Billy (Piano)
Catlett, Buddy (Bass)
Barcelona, Danny (Drums)

Supporting role as Willie Ferguson in this Sammy Davis Jr. vehicle.

More info at imdb.com

Hello, Dolly (film)
May, 1968, Hollywood, CA

Hello, Dolly! (Herman, Jerry)

Armstrong, Louis (Vocal)
Streisand, Barbara (Vocal)
Newman, Lionel (Conductor)
Unknown personnel (Studio orchestra)

A big-budget film marred by the unfortunate casting of a much-too-young Barbara Streisand. Pops had the hit single so he got a four minute cameo to sing the title cut and steal the show.

More info at imdb.com

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (film)
October 28, 1969, London, England

We Have All The Time In The World -- United Artists 50617
Pretty Little Missy (Armstrong, L.; Kyle, B.) -- United Artists 50617

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Barry, John (Conductor)
Unknown personnel (Orchestra)

Armstrong's first recording since suffering major health problems in late '68 and early '69.

Anatomy of a Performance (film)
July 4 - 9, 1970, Newport, RI

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Blueberry Hill
Hello, Dolly
Mack the Knife
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
What a Wonderful World
Hello, Dolly
Blueberry Hill
Pennies from Heaven
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

Film of rehearsals prior to the opening of the Newport Jazz Festival. Film includes narration by Armstrong taped later at his home.

Trumpet Player's Tribute (film)
July 10, 1970, Newport, RI

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Pennies from Heaven
Bluberry Hill

Soundtrack to a filmed performance of an all-star gathering of trumpet players at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival. The set includes a number of other songs with features for the individual players. Armstrong appeared, unannounced, at the end of the set, under a single spotlight, to a thunderous ovation. Armstrong's cuts are accompanied by the Bobby Hackett Quintet except for the Sleepy Time Down South finale.

Finale (film)
July 10, 1970, Newport, RI

Just a Closer Walk With Thee
When the Saints Go Marchin' In
Mack the Knife

The Boy From New Orleans -- A Tribute to Louis Armstrong (film)
October 29, 1970, London, England

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
When the Saints Go Marchin' In
Hello, Dolly
Blueberry Hill
Mack the Knife
Pretty Little Missy
     Unknown personnel (Orchestra)
What a Wonderful World
     Unknown personnel (Orchestra)

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Glenn, Tyree (Trombone)
Watts, Arthur (Bass)
Delaunay, Eric (Drums)

Soundtrack recorded while Armstrong was in London for a benefit. Not a concert film.