Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Whoopee! (1930)

October 24th, 2008 by Anne Richardson · 1 Comment · 1930's, Oregon composer, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregon musician, Westerns

A movie made on the philosophy that “more is more”. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, the showgirls arrive wearing Indian blankets.

I cannot recommend this film highly enough. For anyone who has wondered how this country managed to make progress we have toward racial equality, this film provides support for the hypothesis that we have been using popular culture, all along, as a forum to continually needle the national conscience.

Whoopee!, obstensibly about a New York hypochondriac at an Arizona dude ranch, is actually all about race.

Watch it and see.

Samuel Goldwyn chose George Olsen to supply the jazz in this early sound film, which was also in early two strip technicolor. It is testimony to how popular George Olsen’s music was that his band was chosen to help guarantee ticket sales for what must have been a very expensive gamble.

Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, and George Olsen all reprise the work they had done onstage in the Broadway version. Busby Berkeley’s contribution, however, was unique to the movie. (See above.)

Because George Olsen was from Portland, I claim Whoopee! as an Oregon film.

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