The Film Source Collection

USA / 2003 / 56 mins






Duke House
A film by Till Terror


Principal cast

LARS RUDOLPH - Fritz the sailor [Run Lola Run]

ABDULLAH MOHAMMAD - Slim the lost trumpet player

BARBARA HANNAHAM - Ladybug the lost dancer

ARNOLD PHIPPS - Arnold the doorman


Also performing

HARVEY VINSON - Harvey the superintendent

KEITH “THE CAPTAIN” GAMBLE - Harmonica player

EVELYN HORNE - Trash bag tenant


HILDE EVANS - Audrey’s neighbor



An improvised docu-drama about jazz, love and a house -
Shot around legendary Duke Ellington’s former home in Harlem.



Where do you go when you lose your mojo? If you’re Fritz, a German sailor docked in NYC for a weekend, you take Lola – your beloved horn – hop on the A train to Sugar Hill in Harlem and pray at the altar – or in this case, fire escape – of the late, great Duke Ellington.

Disillusioned and lonely and drowning in the drink, Fritz and Lola come across Slim, a former sideman leftover from Duke’s days at the Cotton Club. Slim clues him into his own sad story and lights the match that sparks the flame in Fritz. He sets off on a journey to Duke’s apartment to find Ladybug – Slim’s former mouthpiece from his days as a trumpet player in Duke’s band.

Along the way, he soaks up the vibes from Duke’s old haunts and is caught up in a cacophony of stories by eccentric old-timers and characters from Duke’s day who reveal fragments of the Man. By the time he finally finds Ladybug, our sad-eyed sailor has been inspired by the cigar-stenched ghost of the Duke, his hood and the locals, and as he jams on Duke’s fire escape, joined by a wild syncopation of neighborhood sounds, he discovers the mojo is within him.


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