7.0/10
477
23 user 6 critic

Wonder Bar (1934)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Musical | 31 March 1934 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(based on the play by), (based on the play by) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Al Wonder
...
Liane
...
Inez (as Dolores Del Rio)
...
Harry
...
Tommy
...
Simpson
...
Mrs. Simpson
...
Pratt
...
Mrs. Pratt
...
Dancer
...
Mitzi
Merna Kennedy ...
Claire
...
Richard - the Maitre'd
...
Captain Hugo Von Ferring
...
Mr. R.H. Renaud
Edit

Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros.' Wonder Show of the Century!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabaret trágico  »

Box Office

Budget:

$675,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Al Wonder: [rolls eyes as two men dance off together] Boys will be boys, woooo!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear as the respective actors enter the nightclub through a revolving door. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Newsreel (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Elizabeth (My Queen)
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Katscher
Used instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A cultural artifact...
17 April 2000 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

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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