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Surprise! (1935)

 -  Short | Comedy | Musical  -  27 July 1935 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 3 user

The Duncan Sisters (Rosie and Vivian) and their college dorm mates sing a song to their alma mater while packing up to leave college at the end of school... See full synopsis »

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Title: Surprise! (1935)

Surprise! (1935) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
The Duncan Sisters ...
Vivian / Eva / Rosie / Topsy (as Duncan Sisters)
Jay Seiler ...
Eccentric dancer
Dot Kay & Em
Clarence Nordstrom ...
Joe
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Storyline

The Duncan Sisters (Rosie and Vivian) and their college dorm mates sing a song to their alma mater while packing up to leave college at the end of school... See full synopsis »

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Plot Keywords:

broadway brevity

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

27 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities: Surprise!  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone release #1851-1852. See more »

Soundtracks

Goodbye, Alma Mater
(uncredited)
Written by Cliff Hess
Sung at the beginning of the picture
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User Reviews

 
A So-So Racially Insensitive Short
5 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on other comments, this Vitaphone short features the Duncan Sisters, who, apparently were fairly well known in vaudeville, not well known in film.

You are definitely required to ignore a few things - like women in their late 30's to early 40's are attending college - but live in the deep South without a trace of a Southern accent. Rosie looks closer to her age than the age of a college coed, Vivian looks younger than her years.

This old plantation that they are supposed to be from has to be reached by horse and carriage. The Duncans arrive home to a surprise costume party. The sisters want to surprise the party goers by changing into costumes that they conveniently brought home from school. Some of the humor involves an exploding cigar, so don't expect to see any writing credits by Robert Benchley or Dorothy Parker.

There are people in blackface, so be prepared to be offended. One song about the Volga River flowing through Dixie has the word "darkies" There is also someone dressed as Simon Legree, holding a bullwhip to add to the offensiveness.

For the most part, this is pretty forgettable - except for the racist stereotypes, those should be remembered to see what was "acceptable", how far we've come from that, and how far we still need to go.


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