A documentary focusing on the tumultuous early days of this iconic vaudeville superstar who ruled the 1920's Flapper Era in the U.S. Before Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Madonna ...
See full summary »
A documentary focusing on the tumultuous early days of this iconic vaudeville superstar who ruled the 1920's Flapper Era in the U.S. Before Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Madonna and Lady Gaga, Tucker was the first woman to infatuate her audiences with a bold, bawdy and brassy style unlike any other previous performer. Using all of "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" 400+ recently rediscovered personal scrapbooks, authors Susan and Lloyd Ecker take you on their seven year journey retracing Tucker's 60 year show business career.Written by
Wow. How do you conflate the life of this remarkable woman down to a 90-minute presentation? All you can do is broad-brush that life with highlights and a few telling details spanning some 60 years, from her vaudeville days of the early 20th century through the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Hard to do, but this film documentary by authors Lloyd and Susan Ecker does a pretty good job.
Source material includes Tucker's autobiography, her enormous scrapbook, B&W home movies, and interviews with a variety of celebrities, close friends, and extended family. Throughout it all, Sophie Tucker comes across as determined, confident, innovative, unique, perfectionistic, and highly ethical. To her, a handshake was her word of honor not to be broken; no written contract was ever needed. How do you think that would work now in the 21st century?
With that booming voice, her business savvy, and her dominating personality, she overwhelmed everyone and everything; nothing and nobody could get in her way. She was personal friends with a veritable whose-who of the twentieth century, a checklist of the rich, famous, and powerful ... Rudolph Valentino, Irving Berlin, Helen Keller, Mickey Rooney, Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Joey Bishop, Al Jolson, Ronald Reagan. She mentored Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Jerry Lewis. She personally new 7 U.S. Presidents, plus the Queen of England, Isreal's Golda Meir, gangster Al Capone, and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, among many others.
I watched this documentary from start to finish, three times. I had a couple of minor complaints. I didn't care for the mechanical movements of her art pictures, which seemed a tad cartoonish. And some of the old audio sounded muffled and thus hard to understand. Minor stuff like that. Overall, this is a good documentary: interesting, insightful, and as comprehensive as ninety minutes will allow.
Although Sophie Tucker was before my time, those of us in a more modern era can still appreciate her talent, and her influence on jazz in particular and entertainment in general. She even had an impact on WWII. For those of us in the 21st century, the old cliché "they don't make them like they used to", really does apply.
A couple of the remarks by interviewees were funny. Carol Channing commented that Sophie Tucker was so old her social security number was 2. Someone else, also commenting on Sophie's age, remarked: "She goes back to the days when the Dead Sea was only sick". Marvelous.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this