Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love ...
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Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »
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Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »
Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love with Inez. When Inez finds out, that Harry wants to leave Paris and is going to the USA with Liane she kills him. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Trade Paper articles in November 1933 announced that due to other commitments Kay Francis had been replaced in "Wonder Bar" by Genevieve Tobin. Kay Francis ultimately returned and completed her role in "Wonder Bar" as originally planned. See more »
[rolls eyes as two men dance off together]
Boys will be boys, woooo!
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The opening credits appear as the respective actors enter the nightclub through a revolving door. See more »
The storyline of this film is fairly ordinary: something of a "Grand Hotel" set in a Paris cabaret in the 20s. What makes it noteworthy -- besides the opportunity to watch Al Jolson in action -- is the jaw-droppingly insensitive closing number, "Goin' to Heaven on a Mule," staged by Busby Berkeley in characteristically over-the-top fashion. A blackface Jolson takes us through a version of heaven with Pork Chop Orchards and Possum Pie Groves, automatic fried chicken, dancing watermelons, and a streetcar going from the "Milky Way to Lenox Ave." And in the midst of it all, a winking Al grins over a copy of a Yiddish newspaper, just to let us all in on the joke.
The number makes the Lincoln's Birthday number in "Holiday Inn" look tame. Even Stepin Fetchit suddenly appears endowed with a singular dignity. Watching it helps one to understand the unhappy history of race relations in this country.
Which is why I think that the film should be seen, if only in order for younger Americans to understand just where all that racial anger comes from. This is our cultural history, and we shouldn't run from it. It ought to be screened in every cultural studies class in America!
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