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?

Pause.

Pause.

  • 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.

Posted at 03:12 PM on Tuesday February 01, 2022 in category Movies  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard

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