UC Berkeley Library

1930-1939

Big Fella (1937)

Directed by J. Elder Wills. Featuring Paul Robeson, Elisabeth Welch, Eldon Grant, Roy Emerton, Marcelle Rogez. A classic musical celebrating the legendary actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson. Joe, a dockworker in Marseilles, finds a missing boy and takes him to stay with a local cafe singer, Miranda where they both become surrogate parents to the child. 73 min.
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:

Black Anthology Cartoons. Vol. 1 (1937-1947)

Contents: Uncle Tom's cabana (1947, 9 min.) -- UncleTom's bungalow (1937, 8 min.) -- Eliza on ice (1944, 6min.) -- It happened to Caruso (1938, 7 min.) -- Vodoo inHarlem (1938, 7 min.) -- Popeye ala mode (1945, 7 min.) --Swing wedding (1937, 8 min.) A collection of sevenstereotypical cartoons of Afro-Americans produced in the'30's and '40's. Includes parodies of Harriet BeecherStowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and of Jack Benny withappearances by cartoon characters Mighty Mouse, Popeye andBosko.Uncle Tom's Cabana: Uncle Tom went from cabin tocabana to ward off the mortage.

Black Anthology Cartoons. Vol. 2 (1930's)

Contents: The old house (1936, 10 min.) -- Bosko'sEaster eggs (1937, 8 min.) -- Bosko and the pirates(1937, 8 min.) -- Bosko and the cannibals (1937, 10min.) -- Bosko in Bagdad (1938, 10 min.) -- Bosko thedoughboy (1931, 7 min.) -- Old anything (1931, 6 min.).A collection of seven stereotypical cartoons ofAfro-Americans produced in the 1930s starring WarnerBros.' first cartoon star, Bosko. Created by HughHarman and Rudolf Ising he was featured from 1929-1933.

Black Anthology Cartoons. Vol. 3 (1934-1946)

Contents: Scrub me Mama with a boogie beat (1941, 7min.) -- John Henry and the Inky Poo (1945, 8 min.) --Jasper in a jam (1946, 7 min.) -- Rasslin' match (1934, 11min.) -- The lion tamer (1934, 9 min.) -- The early wormgets the bird (1940, 8 min.) -- The little broadcast (1943,8 min.). Includes puppetoons by George Pal, two featuresstaring Amos n' Andy, Charlie Barnet and his orchestra andvocals by Peggy Lee. Scrub me Mama with a boogiebeat: Lazy Town is the sexiest, most racist andfoot-stompinist laundry mat in the country. John Henryand the Inky Poo: Puppetoon by George Pal.

Black Legion (1936)

Directed by Archie L. Mayo. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Dick Foran, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Ann Sheridan. In this first leading role in a major movie for Humphrey Bogart, he plays a factory worker,disappointed at not being promoted, who joins a Ku Klux Klan-like group.

Black Toons

Vol. 1: A warning to vandals and hoodlums[theater announcement] -- Trailers for Blackboard jungle,Go, Johnny, go, Rock, rock rock -- Uncle Tom's caba?na(1947) -- Uncle Tom's bungalow (1937) -- Mighty Mouse inEliza on the Ice (1944) -- Coal Black and de sebben dwarfs(1943) -- It happened to Crusoe (1941) -- Pop-Pie ala mode(1945) -- Swing wedding (1937). Bonus selections: Weirdcartoons: Bambi meets Godzilla, Betty Boop in Crazy town;You auto lay an egg ; [excerpt from It's a bird withCharles Bowers] ; Small fry ; Frogland ; Cobweb hotel) ;Munster's TV episode Mar.

Blonde Venus (1932)

Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Cast: Marlene Dietrich,Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Hattie McDaniel. Features a musicalnumber, "Hot Voodoo", in which Dietrich appears onstage as acabaret singer, wearing a gorilla suit to the sound of drums,attended by a chorus of women in blackface decked out as "natives."In the number, Dietrich removes the gorilla suit to reveal herselfas a blonde Venus, white sexualized femininity itself... 94 min.; Online Access through LFLFC .

Blue Melodies (Hollywood rhythm: Paramount Musical Shorts; 3)

Various, Paramount (1929-34). Eight minimusicals featuring landmark performances by thelegends of jazz and blues from the early years ofsound film production. Bessie Smith stars in heronly film, the once-notorious musical St. LouisBlues. Teenaged Billie Holiday performs with DukeEllington's orchestra while another piece, Bundleof Blues, spotlights Ellington's favorite bandsinger, Ivie Anderson. And, months before herBroadway debut, a girlish Ethel Merman defends herlife before a judge in Her Future.

Borderline (UK, 1930)

Directed by Kenneth MacPherson. Cast: Paul Robeson, Eslanda Robeson, Helga Doorn, Gavin Arthur, Charlotte Arthur, Blanche Lewin. This experimental silent film, made in Switzerland by an independent British film company, is chiefly remembered as Paul Robeson's first film. Boldly blending Eisensteinian montage and domestic melodrama, the film features Robeson and his wife, Eslanda, as lovers caught up in a tangled web of interracial affairs. 63 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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