Tuesday February 01, 2022
Will Rogers, Cantor
Watched “The Great Ziegfeld” for the first time a few days back (review up soon) and in the Ziegfeld Follies heyday we got a shot of this marquee.
My thoughts went:
- Will Rogers was a cantor?
- Will Rogers was Jewish?
- Ohhhhh, Eddie Cantor and Will Rogers.
Both men are played by actors, or impersonators, and both aren't bad: Buddy Doyle is Cantor, singing “If You Knew Susie” (unfortunately in blackface) while A.A. Trimble, a Midwest salesman, plays Rogers backstage, talkin' homespun and doing rope tricks. Fanny Brice, another Follies favorite, plays herself. Yet another Follies favorite, Bert Williams, is only namechecked. I guess they figured Cantor's black face was enough.
The movie is, at three hours, way too long, and too hokey, but it won an undeserved best picture.