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: another mood to suppress


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More On the Movie Magic
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Charles Butterworth was the bugler in This Is The Army, a great movie. But, a coupl'a facts:

Richard Farnsworth was in it, unbeknowst to me, and also committed suicide in 2000.

Every African-American (black, dUH) in the movie were uncredited. EVEN Joe Louis. Producers were following the norm, and also very scared. When it first played on television, and for many years after, the major dance number featuring them was cut. Yet, the 'Black-Face' number was always kept in.

Here's a snippet:
In his youth (Irving Berlin), he had seen the Great War reduce barriers separating Jewish, German, Irish, and Italian ethnic groups in the United States. Yet blacks had been excluded from this quiet revolution; even in Yip! Yip! Yaphank, the black numbers had been performed by whites in blackface in the manner of a minstrel show.

Eventually, black and white members of This Is the Army lived and worked together. His advanced ideas on how his men should live notwithstanding, Berlin clung to outdated conventions concerning the material he wanted the black actors to perform. Initially, he expected the first half hour of This Is the Army to recreate a minstrel show, which was the way he had kicked off Yip! Yip! Yaphank--110 men sitting on bleachers, and everyone in blackface. Ezra Stone, the director, was indignant. "Mr. Berlin," he said, "I know the heritage of the minstrel show. Those days are gone. People don't do that anymore."

"No, no, that's nonsense," the songwriter replied.

After considerable discussion, Stone adopted another approach to convince Berlin to skip the minstrel segment: "How can we have 110 guys in blackface and then get them out of blackface for the rest of the show?" Berlin hesitated. Stone's argument gave him a way of backing down while saving face.


Graciously taken from:
[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/summer_1996_irving_berlin_1.html]

The actors in the stage show, and in the film, slept ni close quarter, ate together, and played together, yet during the play and the movies (as the times were), never appeared together during the same scenes.

And, directing by Michael Curtiz, fresh from Casablanca.

{I've been searching the Net over for a pair of performers that were very popular at the time. Since they were black, I can't seem to find any info on them. Interesting thing, a daughter of one had made a documentary of the two. She was brought up by her mother and step-father, a whacky guy that was on a whacky tv show set after the civil was, about a fort...maybe it was Fort Something, haha. Anyway, she was always welcomed to the set, and one day, during a publicity shoot, she was there with her extended siblings. All the families were going to be in the shot, but the photographer wanted her out. Her stepfather insisted that she stay.

When the pictures were developed and sent out, she was described as the guy's neice (or something like that).}

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