About the Film

From the Piney Woods School in the Mississippi Delta to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City, this toe-tapping music film tells the story of the swinging, multi-racial all-women jazz band of the 1940s.

A 16 piece band with a strong brass section, heavy percussion, and a deep rhythmic sense, the Sweethearts were not just a novelty but featured many of the best female musicians of the day.

Starring Anna Mae Winburn, Ernestine “Tiny” Davis, Vi Burnside, Roz Cron, Evelyn McGee Stone, Helen Jones, Helen Saine, and Pauline Brady, of whom drummer Panama Francis says, “She played drums like a man!”

Produced and directed by Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss.  Produced in association with Channel 4 (UK)

DVD includes all three titles: International Sweethearts of Rhythm”, Tiny & Ruby: Hell Divin’ Women” and Maxine Sullivan: Love To Be In Love”  and includes bonus interview with the filmmakers at Lincoln Center, New York, on the 20th Anniversary release of the newly restored master, hosted by New York Women in Film and TV.

This award-winning trilogy of films on one DVD makes a great gift for any occasion.

What the Critics Are Saying

“Makes you glad documentaries were invented!”— Atlanta Journal and Constitution

”Each film is excellent in its own way. They serve as powerful testaments to survival and affirmation.”— American Historical Review.

“Using cool classic photographs and vintage newsreel footage, these films are deep, informative, and highly entertaining.”— L.A. Weekly

“A delightful thirty minute trip down memory lane.” — The New York Times

For a full list of reviews, please see our Press Page.

Selected Festivals, Awards and TV Broadcasts
  • First Prize at Festival de Films de Femmes, Paris
  • Prize of International Jury, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Germany
  • Jury Prize, Leipzig International Documentary Festival, Germany
  • 1986 New York Film Festival, USA
  • Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, USA
  • Silver Award, Philadelphia Film Festival
  • Selected for “Highlights of British Television”, BBC
  • Broadcast in 13 countries including Britain, France, Holland, America (both PBS and Bravo), China, Denmark, Australia, Canada and Japan

Int’l Sweethearts of Rhythm

Pricing and Viewing Options

Home Use

*Home DVD: Includes all three films on Women in Jazz

Institutional/Educational Sales

kanopy users rating

*Institutional/Educational DVD: includes all three films on Women in Jazz