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Joan Crawford in blackface in Torch Song omg wtf? (Original Post) elehhhhna Mar 2018 OP
Have you never watched any movies from that time period? oberliner Mar 2018 #1
Yeah but wtf did I block it out? elehhhhna Mar 2018 #2
There is some pretty ugly stuff out there oberliner Mar 2018 #4
Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese sterotype irisblue Mar 2018 #21
1955? I would have thought the time had LONG passed! Siwsan Mar 2018 #3
Ever see Soul Man? oberliner Mar 2018 #5
No - never saw that. But my brain/memory are starting to spring to life Siwsan Mar 2018 #7
Yep that was Silver Streak. One of my favorite Gene Wilder movies sdfernando Mar 2018 #12
"I can't pass for black!" gratuitous Mar 2018 #13
I guess the difference is between plot related and gratuitous Siwsan Mar 2018 #14
Kinda feel that if Pryor signed off on that, it's okay. elehhhhna Mar 2018 #23
Love his story from that era about how he burned himself, just dipping his cookies into his milk mr_lebowski Mar 2018 #26
His opening joke that night was about running down the street on f ire elehhhhna Mar 2018 #29
and whats scarier, those eyebrows are making a comeback..... a kennedy Mar 2018 #16
I've noticed that! Siwsan Mar 2018 #19
This is Joan Crawford's birthday. mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2018 #6
Seems so! elehhhhna Mar 2018 #8
Bing Crosby sang in blackface kskiska Mar 2018 #9
That was a decade prior oberliner Mar 2018 #10
My guilty secret: I was in a minstrel show. trof Mar 2018 #11
Wake up and smell the greasepaint. It was a "thing" in theater and movies for a very long time... Hekate Mar 2018 #15
Lincoln's Birthday in Holiday Inn, yes Maeve Mar 2018 #17
Thanks! Hekate Mar 2018 #18
We watch it every year at Christmas Maeve Mar 2018 #20
Too funny about Bugs Bunny. Once my folks got a tv, we kids watched after school cartoons... Hekate Mar 2018 #22
At schools in upstate integrated New York, there were minstrel shows with blackface in 1960's wishstar Mar 2018 #24
I'm shocked that you are shocked. nt Kirk Lover Mar 2018 #25
Blazing Saddles-1974 Wounded Bear Mar 2018 #27
Favorite old Hitchcock movie had dance band in blackface. edbermac Mar 2018 #28

irisblue

(32,765 posts)
21. Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese sterotype
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:58 PM
Mar 2018

Buck teeth, squinty eyed expression, very broken English. That character was horrible & did nothing to advance plot. Just directly racism.

Siwsan

(26,063 posts)
3. 1955? I would have thought the time had LONG passed!
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 02:46 PM
Mar 2018

I almost watched that, today, but I'm not overly fond of her later films. I think her eyebrows became very scary.

Siwsan

(26,063 posts)
7. No - never saw that. But my brain/memory are starting to spring to life
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 02:57 PM
Mar 2018

I do now remember a scene in 'Silver Streak', (I think) with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder where Gene went black face to escape something or someone.

I'll have to look 'Soul Man' up.

sdfernando

(4,877 posts)
12. Yep that was Silver Streak. One of my favorite Gene Wilder movies
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:23 PM
Mar 2018

Yeah, there was a scene where he smeared shoe polish on to trick the police and get back on the train...I think that was the 2nd or 3rd time he had to get back on after being thrown off. It was comedy and worked perfectly. Not anything like the blackface stuff from the 30s & 40s.

"So long Steve!"

gratuitous

(82,849 posts)
13. "I can't pass for black!"
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:29 PM
Mar 2018

"I didn't say I was gonna make you black; I said I was gonna get you on that train."

Siwsan

(26,063 posts)
14. I guess the difference is between plot related and gratuitous
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:31 PM
Mar 2018

I remember that movie came out right about the time I was developing my love of cross country train travel.

 

elehhhhna

(32,076 posts)
23. Kinda feel that if Pryor signed off on that, it's okay.
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 10:44 AM
Mar 2018

He wasn't an anything for a buck kind of guy, and he never pretended that racism wasn't a thing...he certainly didn't avoid the topic.

I loved that man. Saw him on his rebound tour after he burnt himself up. Literally burst into tears when he walked onto the stage. And he killed it that night. KILLED.

 

mr_lebowski

(33,643 posts)
26. Love his story from that era about how he burned himself, just dipping his cookies into his milk
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 10:56 AM
Mar 2018

... you know how that goes ...

 

elehhhhna

(32,076 posts)
29. His opening joke that night was about running down the street on f ire
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:12 AM
Mar 2018

"Stop clapping i know what y'all been saying about me..." pulls out a lighter...

so real. I miss him.

Siwsan

(26,063 posts)
19. I've noticed that!
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:56 PM
Mar 2018

I've never been a big Joan Crawford fan, but some of her films are fun to watch.

I am definitely on 'Team Bette'.

trof

(54,254 posts)
11. My guilty secret: I was in a minstrel show.
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:22 PM
Mar 2018

It was circa 1951 and I was 10.
4th grade.
It was a fundraiser for my school.
Oh, and it was in Birmingham, Alabama.
Yeah, I know...

I was made up in blackface and a woolly black wig.
I wore a BIG red bow tie, a red vest, white gloves, and red and white striped pants.

I sang the Hokie Pokey while a chorus line of little girls, all in blackface, did the dance routine behind me.
It was a different time, that's for sure.

Hekate

(89,700 posts)
15. Wake up and smell the greasepaint. It was a "thing" in theater and movies for a very long time...
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:33 PM
Mar 2018

I'm pretty sure the movie that had the song "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" in it had a blackface scene as well -- I may have the movie wrong, but I do remember that a singer-actress was trying to ditch her boyfriend, who showed up just before a big choral number. She nipped off to disguise herself as the one and only actress in the all-white chorus who was wearing blackface. And golly gee, the ruse worked.

Times change, sometimes very much for the better, and it can be a shock to revisit old classics of literature and film without preparation. The movie was good -- a classic of its kind -- but boy, was that scene jarring when I saw it on TCM.

Maeve

(42,170 posts)
17. Lincoln's Birthday in Holiday Inn, yes
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:51 PM
Mar 2018

But it was Bing trying to hide her from Astaire so the dancer wouldn't steal her from the singer. When they partially remade Holiday Inn as White Christmas, they still did a minstrel show, but without blackface.

In the 70's All in the Family had a minstrel show at Archie's lodge (IIRC), but by then everyone but Archie knew it was offensive.

Maeve

(42,170 posts)
20. We watch it every year at Christmas
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:56 PM
Mar 2018

Had to explain that part to the kids a few times, but...we raised them on old movies so they could get the jokes in Bugs Bunny cartoons!

Hekate

(89,700 posts)
22. Too funny about Bugs Bunny. Once my folks got a tv, we kids watched after school cartoons...
Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:13 PM
Mar 2018

...which in the 1950s were things like Bugs and Porky Pig and so on. Looking back you can see that they recycled a lot of material from WW II and the Great Depression, with cultural references going back at least to vaudeville. (In fact, there were a whole host of actual old vaudevillians on tv at that time.)

wishstar

(5,261 posts)
24. At schools in upstate integrated New York, there were minstrel shows with blackface in 1960's
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 10:48 AM
Mar 2018

I remember the shows as a kid, before civil rights movement fully took hold in late 1960's.

Wounded Bear

(58,236 posts)
27. Blazing Saddles-1974
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:05 AM
Mar 2018

It wouldn't have worked as satire/parody if the stereotypes you are talking about were not fresh in people's lives. Nowadays, many people don't get the jokes. That's the real reason why "they couldn't make it now," not "political correctness."

I recently got a link to a collection of cartoons from many years ago. I have to admit I was shocked at how many of those kinds of racial and societal slurs were included back then.

edbermac

(15,898 posts)
28. Favorite old Hitchcock movie had dance band in blackface.
Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:08 AM
Mar 2018

Young and Innocent. Bad guy with eye twitch was hiding and disguised as a drummer. I take it as a product of its time. But I also recall not long ago Dan Aykroyd's blackface in Trading Places.

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