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


Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   418 votes »
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Down 24% 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:
Lighten up! This is a great movie and Jolson's great in it See more (20 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)
Shep Houghton ... Chorus Boy (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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributors

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:
As an example of the confusion between the corporate identities of Warner Bros. and First National (the studio created by theatre owners which Warners had taken over in 1928 to acquire its theatre chains), the credits of "Wonder Bar" identify the film as a First National production, but the original trailer (included as a bonus item on the Warner Archive DVD) identifies it as a Warner Bros. production.See more »
Quotes:
Al Wonder:[rolls eyes as two men dance off together] Boys will be boys, woooo!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hooray for Hollywood (1975)See more »
Soundtrack:
Why Do I Dream Those Dreams?See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Lighten up! This is a great movie and Jolson's great in it, 29 September 2011
Author: mgconlan-1 from United States

I love "Wonder Bar." I love it in all its vulgarity and I even love the "Goin' to Heaven on a Mule" number despite Busby Berkeley's seeming determination to include virtually every ridiculous racist stereotype of Blacks. "Wonder Bar" seems to me to be one of the few Berkeley movies (like "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "Footlight Parade") whose plot is genuinely interesting and entertaining in itself and not just an excuse to set up the spectacular numbers. The alternation between drama and comedy which bothers some of the other reviewers is one of the best things about this film; it gives it a contemporary quality even if some of the numbers badly date it. Lloyd Bacon's direction is unusually stylish for this generally hacky filmmaker, the Harry Warren/Al Dubin songs are at least serviceable and sometimes better than that, and though Warners was dubious enough about Al Jolson's continued popularity that they surrounded him with an all-star cast (Dick Powell, Kay Francis, Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Cortez), he triumphs.

One thing I've always loved about Jolson is that -- unlike Eddie Cantor and other contemporaries, who sang in blackface exactly the way they sang in whiteface (viz. the Cantor/Berkeley "Whoopee!") -- Jolson didn't. In his whiteface number in "Wonder Bar," "Vive la France," Jolson's voice is a shrill high tenor with an annoyingly fast vibrato. His singing on "Mule" is in an almost different style: he drops his register, slows down his vibrato, sings from deeper in his chest and genuinely tries for -- and, I think, achieves -- the simple, direct eloquence of the Black singers of the time. Whatever you think of Jolson's blackface act (and I'll admit it dates VERY badly), blackface liberated Jolson and freed him to sing in a deeper, more soulful style. One could make the case that Jolson did for Black music what Benny Goodman and Elvis Presley did later -- as a white performer he could reach audiences Blacks themselves couldn't -- and Jolson actually did it twice, in the 1910's when he got his start on Broadway and the 1940's when the success of "The Jolson Story" launched his comeback. White audiences tired of the bland "crooners" of the early 1940's seized on Jolson's direct, ballsy style, and his comeback paved the way for other Black-influenced white singers like Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray and Elvis.

Also, if you'll dig out your copy of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack CD and listen to the 1928 recording of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" by Harry McClintock and you'll find that the fantasy of heaven in the "Mule" number isn't all that different from the one in this song ("where the hens lay soft-boiled eggs ... and they hung the jerk who invented work") by a whiteface performer aimed at a white audience. O.K., so no one would dare do a number like this today, but "Mule" is still astonishing and, despite the patronization, worthy to stand as the one Jolson/Berkeley collaboration.

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