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Silver Swing

10 must-watch jazz movies

Herbie Hancock, Pierre Michelot, Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Hutcherson in "Round Midnight"
Forest Whitaker in "Bird"
Sean Penn in "Sweet and Lowdown"

Blues in the Night (1941)
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has called Blues in the Night “the most delirious Hollywood movie I’ve ever seen,” and with its bebop-frenzy pace and Don Siegel’s hallucinatory montages it’s hard to argue. What starts out as a good-natured musical comedy about a quintet of palookas trying to make it in the jazz biz suddenly shifts into a feverish noir with gangsters, alcoholism and obsessive desire. The Arlen/Mercer title song was nominated for an Oscar, becoming a jazz (and Looney Tunes) standard.

Young Man With a Horn (1950)

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