Visionary Film #18

Wonder Bar
(Lloyd Bacon & Busby Berkeley; 1934)


Ryland Walker Knight said...

Holy hell that is amazing.

Tom Sutpen said...

'Don't Say Good-Night' is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking and one of the most baroque creations Busby Berkeley pulled out of his head.

It had the misfortune, however, of appearing in the film Wonder Bar approximately 30 minutes before a truly jaw-dropping 10 minutes of film entitled 'Goin' to Heaven on a Mule'; nothing less than the most artful deployment of baldly racist imagery ever conceived, ever wrought, ever seen. I defy anyone to watch Wonder Bar and have a clear recollection of the 75 minutes preceding that number.

swac said...

True...Goin' to Heaven on a Mule is kind of like the Triumph of the Will moment of Hollywood musicals. It's on YouTube if you're truly curious (gee, for some reason it got left off the recent compilation DVD in the Berkeley box set).

There's also an Isadore "Friz" Freleng Merrie Melodies short featuring the same tune, with equal effect.