10 user 6 critic

Golden Dawn (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 14 June 1930 (USA)



(from the operetta by) (as Otto Harbach), (from the operetta by) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Walter Woolf King ...
Tom Allen (as Walter Woolf)
Vivienne Segal ...
Shep Keyes
Alice Gentle ...
Dick Henderson ...
Lupino Lane ...
Marion Byron ...
Edward Martindel ...
Col. Judson
Nina Quartero ...
Sôjin Kamiyama ...
Piper (as Sojin)
Otto Matieson ...
Captain Eric
Julanne Johnston ...
Sister Hedwig


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Comedy | Drama | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aurora dorada  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (Turner Library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Apparatus)


(TV prints)| (2-strip Technicolor) (original print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Color lost - film survives in black and white only. See more »


Composer Herbert Stothart is billed as "Hubert" in the opening credits. See more »


Mulungu Thabu
Music by Emmerich Kálmán and Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by chorus with spoken interjections by Nigel de Brulier
See more »

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User Reviews

A real jaw-dropper
25 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

and one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.

Not intentionally, though.

It's an operetta set at a camp for English prisoners being held by the Germans somewhere in the African jungle. There are dozens of native extras, all of them black actors, whose main function in the story is to prostrate themselves toward whichever white lead happens to be singing in the vicinity.

And yes, all of the lead actors are white, a little awkward since many of them are playing natives of the same tribe as the actually black extras. Their skin tones range from burnt cork (Noah Beery) to snow white (the golden Dawn herself). The plot revolves around whether the obviously white Dawn is really black. I can't tell you how it comes out -- that would be a spoiler.

Dawn's mother, a slightly darker shade of makeup, wears earrings and pearls and sort of resembles Margaret Dumont.

Speaking of whom, the male lead is played by Walter Woolf, who, as Walter Woolf King, plays the villain tenor Rodolfo Lassparri in "A Night At The Opera." When this, uh, dawned on me, I actually shouted out, just like Groucho as Otis B. Driftwood, "Lassparri?!?!?!"

This is racism too ridiculous to be objectionable. Instead, like the (intentional) loony racial stereotypes in "Blazing Saddles," it's hysterical.

Noah Beery (brother of Wallace, father of Jr.) plays Shep Keyes, who speaks and sings in an exaggerated stereotypical southern black dialect, full of "gwines" and so on. Is he supposed to be American? African? No idea. Then there's the native second female lead character, apparently (made up to be) African, but doing the same shufflin' accent as Beery. Is it just me, or does she bear a startling resemblance to Andrea Martin?

There are so many little delights, other absurd characters and "comic" subplots, moments to cherish. The Whip song! My Bwana! A Tigah! The final, shocking, revelations! Why are you reading this? Go forth, do whatever it takes to find a copy of this movie, and watch it!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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