7.7/10
863
23 user 7 critic

Whoopee! (1930)

Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (based upon the play "The Nervous Wreck" by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ethel Shutta ...
...
Wanenis
...
Jack Rutherford ...
Sheriff Bob Wells (as John Rutherford)
Walter Law ...
Jud Morgan
...
Albert Hackett ...
Chester Underwood
Chief Caupolican ...
Lou-Scha-Enya ...
Matafay
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Storyline

Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks he's just giving her a ride; but she left a note saying they've eloped! Chasing them are jilted Bob, Henry's nurse Mary (who's been trying to seduce him) and others. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Henry the hypochondriac-so healthy he's sick trying to think of what ails him. You'll roar, rock, rave over this rip-snorting comedy. (Print ad- Republican-Journal, (ogdensburg, N.Y.,) 18 November 1930)


Certificate:

TV-G
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Whoopee  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eddie Cantor reprises his role from the original 1928 Broadway show. Many film cast members were also in the original show, including Eleanor Hunt, Ethel Shutta, Paul Gregory, Jack Rutherford, Spencer Charters, Albert Hackett and Chief Caupolican. Appearing in the original play, but not the film, was Buddy Ebsen, best known to today's audiences as a cast member of TV's The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) and Barnaby Jones (1973). See more »

Quotes

Mary Custer: Oh, poor Henry. Let me hold your hand.
Henry Williams: It's not heavy. I can manage. Hold your own hand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Palmy Days (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
A few bars played in the "Makin' Whoopee" number
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Square One For Screen Legends
4 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

An eccentric hypochondriac staying at an Arizona dude ranch finds the time - when not popping pills - to make a little WHOOPEE!

The emergence of two diverse talents make watching this film special. Banjo-eyed Eddie Cantor, already the darling of the Ziegfeld Follies, became a fully fledged movie star in this tale of utter lunacy, his own special brand of innocent insanity completely at home in these surroundings. Never still for long, legs & hands constantly flittering about, he punctuates every double entendre with eyes rolled up as if in mild shock at his own dialogue. His handful of songs, including his signature tune ‘Making Whoopee,' only further showcase his abundant talent.

This was also the first significant assignment for choreographer Busby Berkeley. He displays his genius in embryo with his precision movements (greatly influenced by his exposure to military drills) and initial examples of his trademark overhead shots. The film's production entirely in early Technicolor gave Berkeley a rich palette with which to work and he acquits himself well, even if his Indian maiden costumes near the end of the picture exhibit rather dubious taste.

Cantor dominates the cast, but Ethel Shutta has a few good moments as Eddie's stern nurse and elderly Spencer Charters, playing the ranch's owner, has a hilariously bizarre sequence in which he & Cantor examine each other's surgical scars. Movie mavens will recognize a young, uncredited Betty Grable as the chorus girl with the lasso in the first song.

A glance down the credits shows a couple of names of note: Nacio Herb Brown was among the foremost movie songwriters of the era; Greg Toland would later be hailed as one of Hollywood's finest cinematographers.

The film makes a point of dealing with bias against Native Americans. Cantor's blackface comedy sequence will then perhaps be a bit of a surprise to some, but it should be remembered that this sort of racial insensitivity was not unusual in the movie industry of 1930.


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