UC Berkeley Library

1940-1949

New Orleans (1947)

Directed by Arthur Lubin. Cast: Arturo de Cordova, Dorothy Patrick, Louis Armstrong and his band, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman and his orchestra, Original New Orleans Ragtime Band (Louis Armstrong, Zutty Singleton, Barney Bigard, Kid Ory, Bud Scott, Red Callendar, Charlie Beal and Meade Lux Lewis). Nick, the proprietor of a Bourbon Street gambling joint, an artistichaven for African-American musicans who gather and jam fromdusk til dawn, falls in love with an opera-singing socialite.

Our Children (Undzer kinder) (1948)

Directors, Natan Gross and Shaul Goskind. Suppressed by the Polish Communist government as too "pro-Zionist" and lost for over thirty years, the film features the comedy duo of Dzigan and Shumacher who had recently returned from the Soviet Union, and Jewish children who had survived the Holocaust. Directed on location in 1948 at the Helenowek Colony, an orphanage/school near Lodz, this film includes Dzigan and Shumacher's performance as all the characters in Sholem Aleichem's "Kasrilevke brent (Krasrilvke is burning)," and an exchange of roles where they become the children's audience.

Overture to Glory (Der Vilner Balebesl; Vilner shtot hazn; The Vilna Town Cantor) (USA, 1940)

Directed by Max Nosseck. Cast: Moishe Oysher, Helen Beverley, Florence Weiss, Lazar Freed, Jack Mylong Munz, and Leonard Elliot. The cantor of the Vilna Synagogue--played by the great, real-life cantor Moishe Oysher--leaves behind his prayers to perform in the Warsaw Opera. He struggles to balance the appeal of his newfound fame, fortune, and notoriety with his feelings of guilt and responsibility toward his family and community. While performing in the Opera, he loses his voice and is forced to return to his village. Based on the legend, The Vilna balabessel. 84 min.

Pinky (1949)

Directed by Elia Kazan. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore,Ethel Waters, William Lundigan. Pinky, a black woman who works as anurse in Boston, finds that she is able to pass for white. Afraidher true heritage will be discovered, she leaves her white fianceeand returns home to Mississippi where she helps her grandmothercare for her employer, an imperious plantation owner. When shenames Pinky heiress to her estate, the community rises inresentment triggering a-sensational court trial.

Pinky (1949)

Directed by Elia Kazan. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan. Pinky, a black woman who works as a nurse in Boston, finds that she is able to pass for white. Afraid her true heritage will be discovered, she leaves her white fiancee and returns home to Mississippi where she helps her grandmother care for her employer, an imperious plantation owner. When she names Pinky heiress to her estate, the community rises in resentment triggering a-sensational court trial.

Racist Little Rascals

Contents: Big ears / director, Robert McGowan (21 min.) -- Ladand a lamp / director, Robert McGowan (17 min.) -- Anniversary trouble / director, Gus Meins (18 min.) -- Little sinner /director, Gus Meins (18 min.) -- Three smart boys / director, Gordon Douglas (10 min.) -- Mush and milk / director, RobertMcGowan (18 min.) -- Spooky hooky / director, Gordon Douglas(11 min.) -- Kid from Borneo / director, Robert McGowan (18min.). Starring the Our Gang characters, including Spanky, Alfalfa, Stymie, Darla, Porky, Buckwheat, Butch, Wheezer, Chubby, Waldo, and Hattie McDaniel.

Romeo in Rhythm (1940)

Directed by Rudolf Ising. "...this is a subdued, onemight even say sweet, tribute to black music and culture. Asort of animated CARMEN JONES, if you like. While theprincipal players being caricatured as crows might bringhowls of "racism" now, one can easily forgive such apractice in this cartoon--indeed, it seems perfectlylogical. One would expect crows, if they could talk, singand dance, to put on a show such as this." [HomeFor Orphan Toons ] Included on

Rotation (East Germany, 1949)

Directed by Wolfgang Staudte. Cast: Paul Esser, Irene Korb, Karl-Heinz Deickert, Brigitte Krause, Reinhold Bernt, Reinhard Kolldehoff. Film portrays the petty bourgeois and their support for Hitler during the Nazi period. The main character wants to join the Nazi Party to secure a good living, but after his Jewish neighbors are taken away, he changes his views. Trying to remain "a non-political man," he becomes a Nazi laborer.

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