HolyCoast: What You Didn't See If You Watched "Holiday Inn" On AMC

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What You Didn't See If You Watched "Holiday Inn" On AMC

Thursday night I recorded "Holiday Inn" (1942) for my wife and we watched it last night.  While we watched I posted this on Facebook:
Watching "Holiday Inn" (1942) in the original black-and-white. So much political incorrectness the movie could never have been made today. Everybody in blackface for Lincoln's birthday. If it wasn't for the fact the movie introduced "White Christmas" they probably wouldn't even show it.
What I didn't realize until it was pointed out by Facebook friend Ryan was they didn't show the entire movie. In fact, political correctness already chopped out the big blackface production number that was done for Lincoln's birthday. Ryan sent me the YouTube link for that number, and although I can't embed the video, you can see it here.

Politically incorrect by today's standards? You bet. But should AMC have cut it out of the movie? No. You have to understand the plotline to know why Bing insisted on doing the number in blackface, but there was a reason and racism had nothing to do with it (he was trying to hide the identity of his female partner).

Bad move, AMC.


Laura said...

As a classic film fan, I'm really horrified by this PC editing.

My daughter told me about a great lecture in a musicals class at USC where the highly respected professor Drew Casper took the students to task for their knee-jerk PC reactions to this "blackface" scene, informing them about American minstrel traditions and of Bing Crosby's deep friendships with black musicians, which included getting his close friend Louis Armstrong into the movies in PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (1936). Crosby would have been one of the last people in Hollywood to participate in something that would have been considered racist in the context of those times, even if that's how it's perceived today.

It's so much better to try to understand complete films in context rather than change history by pretending a scene never happened, because some viewer somewhere might be offended. But then I'm sure I'm "preaching to the choir" here!

Best wishes,

Rick Moore said...

I had a feeling you'd have a reaction to that, Laura. Being a lover of classic film as you are, it's a shame to see a great number stricken from a movie because they're judging it based on current politically correct standards.