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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


by Jim McAllister

McDaniel, Beavers, and Horne; it sounds like a law firm but nothing could be further from the reality of those three names. They are Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers, and Lena Horne; three fine actresses whose careers were held back simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. These ladies were black and during their prime years of the 1930's and 1940's it didn’t matter how much ability a black entertainer had in Hollywood, they were usually going to be subjected to minor or subservient parts, sometimes called the "Stepin Fetchit syndrome" named after the black actor of that era.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!

I think that Lena Horne was and is still beautiful! She definitely aged gracefully. It's hard to believe now that people back then could be so ignorant and cruel! "Stormy Weather" is still a song I hum to myself occasionally. I can still remember Redd Foxx calling her, "The Horn"!

"If you ain't eatin' Wham, you ain't eatin' ham"! This movie (Mr. Blandings' Builds His Dreamhouse") was the first movie I ever saw Louise Beavers in, and I loved her. My husband and I are always amazed watching old movies and seeing how many families depicted in these movies had maids! I never got in on that action at my house! (Insert laughter here!)

For years when gals my age (our early child-bearing years) would laugh when we heard that one of our girlfriends was pregnant because the rest of us were so inexperienced with anything that had to do with childbirth. When faced with what we would do to help each other at such an event we would always laugh and imitate Hattie McDaniel's most famous line in GWTW, "I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies"! (Again, insert laughter here!)

I would just like to add that I think the jitterbug dancers featured in the Marx Brothers' movie, "A Day At The Races" are some of the best dancers I've ever seen in my life!

Once again, I enjoyed your article very much, Jim!


ken honeyman said...

If you write down the prices of material, and labor in the movie, "Mr. Blandings....", you will notice if you factor 1000% everything is in line with prices, and labor of today. For instance- Blandings'salary-- 15,000 bucks--- today some one of his position would make 150,000 bucks. One part i didnot appreciate was the fact that after Ms. Beavers saves his job[and house], Blandings gives her only a 15 buck raise!!!
NOW the part that is OUT of "Whack", is the price of ground in Connecticut[and here in Florida].in the movie, it was 200 bucks/acre---[Mr. "B" was charged 300 bucks/acre, if you remember