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Whoopee! (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byThornton Freeland
Written byWilliam M. Conselman
E.J. Rath (story)
Robert Hobart Davis (story)
Owen Davis (play)
William Anthony McGuire (musical)
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
Florenz Ziegfeld
StarringEddie Cantor
Ethel Shutta
Eleanor Hunt
CinematographyLee Garmes
Ray Rennahan
Gregg Toland
Edited byStuart Heisler
Music byNacio Herb Brown
Walter Donaldson
Edward Eliscu
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • September 30, 1930 (1930-09-30)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.3 million[1]
Box office$2,655,000[2]

Whoopee! is a 1930 American pre-Code comedy musical Western film photographed in two-color Technicolor. It was directed by Thornton Freeland and stars Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta and Eleanor Hunt. The film's plot closely follows that of the 1928 stage show produced by Florenz Ziegfeld.

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Sally Morgan loves an Indian named Wanenis, but her father forbids her to marry Wanenis, instead favoring sheriff Bob Wells. Just before marrying Wells, Sally decides that she loves Wanenis too much and tricks farmhand Henry Williams into helping her flee to the ranch of Jerome Underwood. Wells searches for Sally, causing trouble for the oblivious Henry.


Illustration of a scene from the film


Whoopee! made a film star of Eddie Cantor, already known for his work on the Broadway stage and as a singer.[3] The song "My Baby Just Cares for Me" was written especially for Cantor to sing in the film and became his signature song. Bandleader George Olsen, already a well-known Victor recording artist, repeated his work from the stage version.

The film launched the Hollywood career of Busby Berkeley and was Alfred Newman's first composing job in Hollywood. Richard Day designed the sets and the cinematographer was Gregg Toland, who later found fame through his work in the films of Orson Welles. H. Bruce "Lucky" Humberstone served in an uncredited role as assistant director.[4]

Future stars Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, Ann Sothern, Virginia Bruce and Claire Dodd appear uncredited as "Goldwyn Girls".


The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Richard Day.[5][6]


The film has been called a "a musical western extravaganza".[7] Cecil A. Smith and Glenn Litton recalled that "Director Frank Corsaro was criticized for exaggerating the show's dramatic style.".[8]

See also


  1. ^ Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3. p. 106
  2. ^ "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?". The Argus. Melbourne. March 4, 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Ciment, James (April 8, 2015). Encyclopedia of the Jazz Age: From the End of World War I to the Great Crash: From the End of World War I to the Great Crash. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-47164-6.
  4. ^ Whoopee! (1930) - IMDb, retrieved August 29, 2021
  5. ^ "NY Times: Whoopee!". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2009. Archived from the original on December 21, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  6. ^ "The 4th Academy Awards (1931) Nominees and Winners". (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Balio, Tino (1995). Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930-1939. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-20334-1.
  8. ^ Smith, Cecil A.; Litton, Glenn (October 28, 2013). Musical Comedy in America: From The Black Crook to South Pacific, From The King & I to Sweeney Todd. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-55675-3.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 June 2024, at 22:18
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