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(1930 c 93')

En: 6 Ed: 5

This two-color musical satire of stereotype cowboys-and-Indians stories was based on Ziegfeld's Broadway production and contains two outstanding songs: "Making Whoopee" and "My Baby Just Cares for Me."

Hypochondriac Henry Williams (Eddie Cantor) declines his nurse's proposal of marriage, because he thinks he's too sick. Wanenis loves Sally, but she is going to marry Sheriff Bob Wells, because Wanenis is part Indian, this absurd racism driving the plot. In this case the sheriff is the insensitive bully, as he shoots Wanenis in the arm and Henry in the backside by mistake for climbing the ladder to see Sally. She runs away from him, leaving a note saying she is eloping with Henry. On a mountain road they run out of gas. Four people in another car who cannot get by them nonetheless refuse to share gas with them; so Henry uses a gun to take some, a ludicrous situation since the timid Henry hates guns.

At a hotel Henry is hired as a cook, and after an explosion he is disguised by a black face. He brags about his operations, saying, "The doctor said that if I have one more operation, he is going to put in a zipper." Wanenis comes to warn Henry that he is wanted by the sheriff, and Sally says she wants to marry him. In a psychological test Sheriff Bob reveals himself as a thief. Henry and Sally escape by car and are captured by Indians. Sheriff Bob threatens to punish the Indians if they do not turn them over; but Black Eagle explains that Wanenis is actually white; so everyone (except Sheriff Bob) can live happily ever after.

This musical comedy delightfully shows the travesty of anti-Indian prejudice and the absurdity of trying to solve problems with guns while the audience is able to enjoy the jokes and elaborate musical numbers with pretty chorus girls.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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