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Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:41 PM

 

Joan Crawford in blackface in Torch Song omg wtf?

Plays a musical star, shows up at the finale of her show singing Two Faced Woman. In blackface.

On tcm now. I am shocked. How pervasive was this sh!+?

29 replies, 3089 views

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Reply Joan Crawford in blackface in Torch Song omg wtf? (Original post)
elehhhhna Mar 2018 OP
oberliner Mar 2018 #1
elehhhhna Mar 2018 #2
oberliner Mar 2018 #4
irisblue Mar 2018 #21
Siwsan Mar 2018 #3
oberliner Mar 2018 #5
Siwsan Mar 2018 #7
sdfernando Mar 2018 #12
gratuitous Mar 2018 #13
Siwsan Mar 2018 #14
elehhhhna Mar 2018 #23
mr_lebowski Mar 2018 #26
elehhhhna Mar 2018 #29
a kennedy Mar 2018 #16
Siwsan Mar 2018 #19
mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2018 #6
elehhhhna Mar 2018 #8
kskiska Mar 2018 #9
oberliner Mar 2018 #10
trof Mar 2018 #11
Hekate Mar 2018 #15
Maeve Mar 2018 #17
Hekate Mar 2018 #18
Maeve Mar 2018 #20
Hekate Mar 2018 #22
wishstar Mar 2018 #24
Kirk Lover Mar 2018 #25
Wounded Bear Mar 2018 #27
edbermac Mar 2018 #28

Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:44 PM

1. Have you never watched any movies from that time period?

 

Every see Breakfast at Tiffany's?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:46 PM

2. Yeah but wtf did I block it out?

 

Wow. This one is from 1953. I wasn't born yet but geez.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:50 PM

4. There is some pretty ugly stuff out there

 

That's for sure.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:58 PM

21. Mickey Rooney playing a Japanese sterotype

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

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:46 PM

3. 1955? I would have thought the time had LONG passed!

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

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:50 PM

5. Ever see Soul Man?

 

That was 1986.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:57 PM

7. No - never saw that. But my brain/memory are starting to spring to life

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.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:23 PM

12. Yep that was Silver Streak. One of my favorite Gene Wilder movies

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!"

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:29 PM

13. "I can't pass for black!"

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

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:31 PM

14. I guess the difference is between plot related and gratuitous

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

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:44 AM

23. Kinda feel that if Pryor signed off on that, it's okay.

 

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.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:56 AM

26. Love his story from that era about how he burned himself, just dipping his cookies into his milk

... you know how that goes ...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 12:12 PM

29. His opening joke that night was about running down the street on f ire

 

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

so real. I miss him.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:42 PM

16. and whats scarier, those eyebrows are making a comeback.....

https://www.vogue.com/tag/misc/eyebrows Not quite as bold but getting close in my opinion.

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Response to a kennedy (Reply #16)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:56 PM

19. I've noticed that!

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

I am definitely on 'Team Bette'.

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:51 PM

6. This is Joan Crawford's birthday.

Are they binge-showing Joan Crawford movies?

Joan Crawford

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:58 PM

8. Seems so!

 

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 03:58 PM

9. Bing Crosby sang in blackface

in Holiday Inn, as did many stars in their era.

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Response to kskiska (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:04 PM

10. That was a decade prior

 

Interesting to track this phenomenon from 1920s - 1980s (and beyond).

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:22 PM

11. My guilty secret: I was in a minstrel show.

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.

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:33 PM

15. Wake up and smell the greasepaint. It was a "thing" in theater and movies for a very long time...

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.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:51 PM

17. Lincoln's Birthday in Holiday Inn, yes

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.

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Response to Maeve (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:54 PM

18. Thanks!

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Response to Hekate (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 04:56 PM

20. We watch it every year at Christmas

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!

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Response to Maeve (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 05:13 PM

22. Too funny about Bugs Bunny. Once my folks got a tv, we kids watched after school cartoons...

...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.)

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:48 AM

24. At schools in upstate integrated New York, there were minstrel shows with blackface in 1960's

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

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 11:51 AM

25. I'm shocked that you are shocked. nt

 

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 12:05 PM

27. Blazing Saddles-1974

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.

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Response to elehhhhna (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 12:08 PM

28. Favorite old Hitchcock movie had dance band in blackface.

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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