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Clean Pastures (1937)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 124 users  
Reviews: 9 user

The Lord sees that the stock value of "Pair-o-dice" is dropping on the exchange so he dispatches a slow-witted and slow-talking angel to sinful Harlem to recruit new customers. When this ... See full summary »

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(as I. Freleng)
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Title: Clean Pastures (1937)

Clean Pastures (1937) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
The Four Blackbirds ...
Vocal Group (voice) (uncredited)
Danny Webb ...
Various (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The Lord sees that the stock value of "Pair-o-dice" is dropping on the exchange so he dispatches a slow-witted and slow-talking angel to sinful Harlem to recruit new customers. When this fails, God finds success sending a group of musical angels with a little more swing in their style, so much so that even the Devil wants to join up! Written by P. Silvestro

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Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 May 1937 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The slow angel is a caricature of Stepin Fetchit and the musical angels are based on Cab Calloway as the band leader, Fats Waller on piano, and Louis Armstrong on trumpet. The tap-dancing Harlemite is Bill Robinson and the guy singing "I Love to Singa" is an African-American version of Al Jolson. The vocal group parody The Mills Brothers See more »

Connections

Edited from Wonder Bar (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Half of Me (Wants to Be Good)
Music by Peter De Rose
Lyrics by Sam Lewis
Sung by Chorus
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Despite what most reviews say, it is offensive...though I will agree it is not an altogether evil cartoon
30 December 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

CLEAN PASTURES is a play on words, as the year before this film debuted, a film with an all-Black cast, GREEN PASTURES, was released in theaters to White and Black audiences alike.

This is one of the so-called "Censored 11"--Looney Toons cartoons that were pulled from the market in the 1960s because of racist stereotypes of Blacks. While the general feeling of the reviewers is that this isn't offensive or that offensive, I can see how calling Heaven "Pair O Dice" could easily offend, as showing Black men as shiftless gamblers was a common stereotype of the age. As for the people who are parodied (mostly Black jazz musicians), I don't think this was intended as offensive and I bet most of them (such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong) were probably flattered by the attention. Throwing in a Steppin Fetchit-inspired character, though, is inflammatory as he is practically the poster child for the "I hate my race and will whore myself out for money" club. The bottom line is that there are elements of this film that can't help but offend. This is sad, as because with a few minor changes, this could be a more acceptable and widely enjoyed cartoon.

My advice is that this and all the Censored 11 cartoons should not be shown on broadcast television unless they are shown with some sort of prologue that could explain the context and reasons they offend. Having them continue to be available on the internet (when you can find them) isn't a bad thing, however, as I am loathe to ban any sort of speech and it is an unfortunate but important part of our history. And if we eliminate EVERYTHING that might offend from our history, then we are left with,...well,...nothing!


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Clean Pastures? My idea of Heaven! Jazz with Louis? Yeah! drasaid
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