Myron Davis’ feature film, Hal King, may not the perfect movie musical, but it does embrace the true independent spirit that we celebrate at Film Threat. Compared to West Side Story, Chicago, and In The Heights, it falls far short, but Hal King reeks of pure ambition and is worthy of praise.
Set in the 1950s in a small Mid-Western town, Hal King (Tyrik Ballard) is the son of the beloved community leader, Henry King (Eric Roberson). Engaged in an intense city campaign, Henry’s platform supports the people of the town. At the same time, his opponent, Leroy French (Tony McLendon), believes that corporate investment in the community is the answer to the city’s problems and a boost in his financial status.
“Inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V…weaves a modern tale of the boy who would be ‘king.‘”
Leroy has a daughter, Kat (Sharae Moultrie), an activist and poet who also opposes her father’s efforts. Disappointed by her efforts to thwart his election, Leroy has one of his henchmen, James (Julius Hollingsworth), follow Kat around and keeps her out of trouble, especially from the likes of undesirables, like Hal King, a purveyor of jazz, drugs, and one night stands.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V, Hal King weaves a modern tale of the boy who would be “king.” Hal is a free spirit who runs with the wrong crowd and sings at a local speakeasy with songs of love and life. After a rousing night of song, Kat confronts Hal pleading with him to use his talent to support his people and his father’s efforts. But Hal would rather spend the night with one of the club’s “chanteuses.”
The night does end well as the club is raided. Hal’s late-night companion ODs on heroin, and tragically on the night before Hal is drafted into the Korean War. Speaking of war, it has a way of changing a man. After the death of his close comrade, Hal returns home with a new perspective and an opportunity to take over his father’s campaign. Kat is there for moral support, and their friendship blossoms into something more.
"…keeps her out of trouble, especially from the likes of undesirables, like Hal King..."