6.8/10
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18 user 5 critic

Mississippi (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 22 March 1935 (USA)
Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »

Directors:

A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles (uncredited)

Writers:

Francis Martin (screen play), Jack Cunningham (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bing Crosby ... Tom Grayson
W.C. Fields ... Commodore Jackson
Joan Bennett ... Lucy
Queenie Smith ... Alabam
Gail Patrick ... Elvira
Claude Gillingwater ... General Rumford
John Miljan ... Major Patterson
Jan Duggan ... Thrilled Passenger in Pilot House
Fred Kohler ... Captain Blackie (as Captain Blackie Jr.)
Edward Pawley ... Joe Patterson
Paul Hurst ... Hefty
Theresa Maxwell Conover ... Miss Markham
The Cabin Kids The Cabin Kids
John Larkin ... Rumbo
Libby Taylor Libby Taylor ... Lavinia
Edit

Storyline

Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him as "Colonel Steel...the notorious Colonel Steel...the singing killer." The plot then follows a predictable course, but there are plenty of scenes featuring W.C. Fields. Written by Chris Wigert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cantor del río See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Evelyn Venable and Grace Bradley were replaced by Joan Bennett and Gail Patrick before filming began. See more »

Goofs

The bullet hole in Commodore Jackson's hat changes position between shots, first near the top, then further down, then off to the side. See more »

Quotes

Commodore Jackson: My last encounter with the redskins was over thirty-five years ago. I was a mere stripling.
Skeptical Passenger in pilot house: Is that so?
[skeptically]
Commodore Jackson: I whipped out my revolver...
Skeptical Passenger in pilot house: Revolvers weren't invented thirty-five years ago.
[sneering]
Commodore Jackson: Uh... uh... I know that, but the Indians didn't know it. It doesn't matter - I threw it away.
Female passenger: Oh, how exciting - please don't interrupt.
Commodore Jackson: I had just swum the rapids. I had my canoe under one arm and a Rocky Mountain goat under the other.
Skeptical Passenger in pilot house: How could you swim without the use of your arms?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hoi Polloi (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll, Mississippi
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Played on piano by Roy Bailey
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits, Queenie Smith and The Cabin Kids
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tricky aspect
21 May 2008 | by mgunningSee all my reviews

I loved this film when I saw it on TV as a child, and remember tape recording the sound track and listening to it over and over again. Crosby's voice is resonant and powerful, while still retaining the intimate crooner aspect that made him famous.

I love W. C. Fields, who does some of his best bits ("Women are like elephants. I like to look at them, but I wouldn't want to own one"), and isn't as boozy as he later became. Everything works here, but the underlying racism is disturbing. There is a sort of Steppin' Fetchit character who is slow and drawly, and the Cabin Kids are referred to as pickaninnies. Maybe this is why I only saw it once in about 1967, and never saw it again on TV.

I did just snag a DVD on EBay, but from the look of the primitive cover, and no label at all on the disc, I think it's bootlegged. It's watchable, but not really a good copy. I think there was a commercial disc many years ago, but it's out of print. I hope Turner Classics shows it, as in the past they've shown films with racist content in context, with commentary by a black sociologist. These references may be cringe-inducing, but they are also extremely revealing of a social climate that went uncriticized.


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