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Marx Brothers set censored?

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Marx Brothers set censored?

Old 11-01-04, 06:17 PM
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Here is where I found the song reference:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023969/board/nest/12420519

First, take Groucho's line that ends with "...and that's why darkies were born." The line gets a gasp now, but in 1933 viewers would have recognized the reference to a song of the day, a deeply racist song with that title. (I've heard a recording of it, and it's horrendous.) It's not clear what the screenwriters' attitude was toward the sentiments expressed in the song, but the reference itself is something of a non sequitur within the scene-- it doesn't really have anything to do with anything. Audiences would've laughed at the familiar reference whether they approved of the song or not. And today, thankfully, the song is forgotten, but Groucho's line stands out like a sore thumb.
Old 11-01-04, 10:12 PM
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For the curious here are the lyrics to the song Groucho is apparently referring to. This also proves he was making more of a pop culture reference than a racist remark. It was definitely a reference 30's audiences would have gotten as Kate Smith was very popular at the time. The Marx movies are full of references like that and they poke fun and parody everyone and everything, that is why I still don't think the remark by Groucho in context is racist. My opinion though.

300lb Kate Smith apparently sang this thing. For those that don't know she was a very successful radio star famous for singing songs like God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner. An all american girl.

Someone had to pick the cotton,
Someone had to pick the corn,
Someone had to slave and be able to sing,
That's why darkies were born;

Someone had to laugh at trouble,
Though he was tired and worn,
Had to be contented with any old thing,
That's why darkies were born;

Sing, sing, sing when you're weary and
Sing when you're blue,
Sing, sing, that's what you taught
All the white folks to do;

Someone had to fight the Devil,
Shout about Gabriel's Horn,
Someone had to stoke the train
That would bring God's children to green pastures,
That's why darkies were born.

Last edited by darkside; 11-01-04 at 10:17 PM.
Old 11-02-04, 06:36 PM
  #28  
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Where's Margaret Gray when you need her?

.... and the D! A! R! K! I! E! S! are gay....

Hopefully there's one Phil Hendrie fan on the forum who remembers that one...

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