7.7/10
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24 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:

Thornton Freeland

Writers:

William Anthony McGuire (story), Owen Davis (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:
Eddie Cantor ... Henry Williams
Ethel Shutta Ethel Shutta ... Mary Custer
Paul Gregory ... Wanenis
Eleanor Hunt ... Sally Morgan
Jack Rutherford ... Sheriff Bob Wells (as John Rutherford)
Walter Law Walter Law ... Jud Morgan
Spencer Charters ... Jerome Underwood
Albert Hackett Albert Hackett ... Chester Underwood
Chief Caupolican Chief Caupolican ... Black Eagle
Lou-Scha-Enya 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Whoopee See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Springs, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unfortunately absent from this film version of the 1928 Broadway musical is Ruth Etting. In that show, she sang her signature torch song "Love Me or Leave Me" (music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Gus Kahn). No film is known to exist of Etting performing the song. Doris Day portrays Ruth Etting in Love Me or Leave Me (1955). See more »

Quotes

Sally Morgan: I wish I were dead.
Henry Williams: Don't say that!
Sally Morgan: I wish I'd never been born.
Henry Williams: You could have said that first and save yourself a wish, you know that, don't you?
See more »


Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
A few bars played in the "Today's the Day" number
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Square One For Screen Legends
4 July 2003 | by Ron OliverSee 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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