IMDb > Wonder Bar (1934)
Wonder Bar
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Wonder Bar (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   409 votes »
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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Geza Herczeg (based on the play by) &
Karl Farkas (based on the play by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Wonder Bar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 March 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Warner Bros.' Wonder Show of the Century!
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(10 articles)
User Reviews:
Parisian Decadence See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Al Jolson ... Al Wonder

Kay Francis ... Liane

Dolores del Rio ... Inez (as Dolores Del Rio)

Ricardo Cortez ... Harry

Dick Powell ... Tommy
Guy Kibbee ... Simpson
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Simpson

Hugh Herbert ... Pratt

Louise Fazenda ... Mrs. Pratt
Hal Le Roy ... Himself
Fifi D'Orsay ... Mitzi
Merna Kennedy ... Claire
Henry O'Neill ... Richard - the Maitre'd
Robert Barrat ... Captain Hugo Von Ferring
Henry Kolker ... Mr. R.H. Renaud
Spencer Charters ... Pete
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Grace Hayle ... Fat Dowager (scenes deleted)
Demetrius Alexis ... Young Man (uncredited)
William Anderson ... Call Boy (uncredited)
Loretta Andrews ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Louis Ardizoni ... Leon - the Cook (uncredited)
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Drunk (uncredited)
Emile Chautard ... Pierre - the Concierge (uncredited)
Clay Clement ... Businessman (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Second Waiter (uncredited)
Virginia Dabney ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Michael Dalmatoff ... Russian Count (uncredited)

Jane Darwell ... Baroness (uncredited)
Gordon De Main ... Second Detective (uncredited)
Mildred Dixon ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Shirley Dunstead ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Ruth Eddings ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Bill Elliott ... Norman - Man Flirting with Pansy (uncredited)
Pauline Garon ... Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Dick Good ... Page Boy (uncredited)
William Granger ... First Bartender (uncredited)
Robert Graves ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Mia Ichioka ... GeeGee (uncredited)
Amo Ingraham ... Hazel - a Chorus Girl (uncredited)

George Irving ... Broker (uncredited)
Alfred P. James ... Night Watchman (uncredited)
Bud Jamison ... Third Bartender (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Frank (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Captain (uncredited)
Joseph La Gue ... Boy (uncredited)
Miriam Marlin ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
John Marlowe ... Young Man (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Doorman (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Joe (uncredited)
Marie Moreau ... Marie - Liane's Maid (uncredited)
Mahlon Norvell ... Artist (uncredited)
Dave O'Brien ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Henry Otho ... Second Bartender (uncredited)
Gene Perry ... Gendarme (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Chester - Norman's Pal (uncredited)
Donna Mae Roberts ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Rosalie Roy ... Irma - a Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... First Waiter (uncredited)
Kathryn Sergava ... Ilka (uncredited)
William Stack ... Businessman (uncredited)
Victoria Vinton ... Chorus Girl / Cinderella in 'Don't Say Goodnight' (uncredited)
Renee Whitney ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Lottie Williams ... Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... First Detective (uncredited)
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Directed by
Lloyd Bacon 
 
Writing credits
Geza Herczeg (based on the play by) &
Karl Farkas (based on the play by) and
Robert Katscher (based on the play by)

Earl Baldwin (adaptation and screen play)

Cinematography by
Sol Polito (photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Amy (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
Willy Pogany 
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William H. Cannon .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
L. De Angelis .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Flanagan .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Mike Joyce .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Buddy Longworth .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Al Dubin .... music and lyrics by
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Harry Warren .... music and lyrics by
Ray Heindorf .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Busby Berkeley .... numbers created and directed by
Robert Lord .... supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
84 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2699-R) (22 September 1936 for re-release) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Al Jolson insisted on singing the opening number Vive la France live on set, as he claimed it would be impossible to do the song justice if was filmed miming to playback, in order to deliver it with the excitement and verve that only he could bring to it. Even though this presented considerable technical problems, Warner Brothers agreed (that's the real studio orchestra actually on set playing the house band of the Wonder Bar) and this is one of the very last musical numbers to be performed live on camera.See more »
Quotes:
Al Wonder:[rolls eyes as two men dance off together] Boys will be boys, woooo!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
All Washed UpSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Parisian Decadence, 29 September 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

In 1931 Al Jolson went back to Broadway to star in a new show Wonder Bar. It got good reviews, but as it was the middle of the Great Depression the costs proved too much and it closed after two months.

Not like any great hit songs came out of it for Jolson, but Warner Brothers decided to buy it for him as a film property. The plot line was changed somewhat and a whole new score was written for the film by Warner Brothers contract composers Harry Warren and Al Dubin.

Jolson got as one of his co-stars Dick Powell who was the screen partner of Mrs. Jolson, Ruby Keeler. Although Powell was fifth in the billing, he was number one in the song department. His songs included Don't Say Goodnight, Why Do I Dream Those Dreams and the title song. Powell plays the orchestra leader at the Wonder Bar and helps Jolson in the vocal department.

Between Jolson and Powell in the billing are Dolores Del Rio, Ricardo Cortez, and Kay Francis. Del Rio and Cortez are a pair of tango dancers and both Powell and Jolson are crushing on her. She is hopelessly infatuated with Cortez. And Kay Francis is a rich woman who Cortez has been seeing on the side.

Ricardo Cortez was one of a number Rudolph Valentino wannabes during the silent screen era and in Wonder Bar, he's as nasty a heel as ever been portrayed on the screen.

Wonder Bar was produced right before the Code took effect and there are lots of sexual innuendo in this film. Of course it's set in Paris and one expects decadence there. But apart from a few newsreel shots to establish Paris as the location, this was all done on the Warner back lot.

Jolson got three songs of his own, Vive La France, Otchichornya, and the infamous Heaven on a Mule. It's as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Al Jolson got his start at the turn of the 20th century in live minstrel shows which were still around then as a runaway kid. When he became a star on Broadway, he played black characters on stage in blackface. And for reasons that I still can't fathom, would not leave it behind. I'm sure that in his mind, Jolson felt this was what the audience expected from him.

It's worse because Heaven on a Mule adds zero to the plot. In a Parisian nightclub, I'm sure the audience was not expecting a blackface number. Remember this was the Paris that Josephine Baker was triumphing in at that point in time. It might have been nice had Ms. Baker or Ethel Waters had done a real number, Wonder Bar would have a better historic reputation today.

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