Wonder Bar (1934)
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By 1930 the breadlines were longer than the ticket lines and people were slow to give up their hard earned money. They wanted to be entertained, they wanted to laugh and forget their troubles for just a while. Comedies, adventure, and musicals quickly became the most popular film genres of the time.
I. Pre-Code Action, Adventure, and Drama
Hollywood took their stories to the far corners of the earth as places like Africa, the South Pacific, and the Far East became exotic settings for movies. An island kingdom somewhere in the Pacific with strange creatures, even stranger natives,
Taylor Momsen, 17, is the latest name tossed in the ring of possible judges for the Us version of The X Factor. But her wild girl-on-girl antics at a recent Pretty Reckless concert make it seem unlikely that producers will be understanding of her behavior!
Decked out in her typical costume of red fishnet stockings and a pair of stripper heels, the risque rocker-chick went wild at New Jersey’s Wonder Bar on March 18. The starlet pranced around stage wearing heavy makeup and spent much of the show grinding with girls on stage!
If selected to host The X Factor, Taylor would certainly bring a sense of edginess to the show. With her dirty mouth, bad-ass rocker attitude and looks like Courtney Love, this sassy blond bombshell might bring in the ratings.
However though blackface was pretty much common in early Hollywood movies perhaps no film took it to the extreme as this extended scene from the 1934 Warner Bros film Wonder Bar with Al Jolson. Jolson (or Jolie as they used to all him), was back then one of the highest paid and most popular entertainers of the period (and before) and made blackface his trademark such as in the The Jazz Singer. But this scene from Wonder Bar might have even stunned the most hard core Confederate sympathizer for a loop. Not surprisingly the studio has kept the film under wraps for decades and pretended it didn’t exist though now it’s available on the DVD-On-Demand Warner Archive label of which I have a copy.
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