The New York Times has been running an end-of-year appreciation of classic holiday movies. Today, A. O. Scott actually appreciated the Bing Crosby movie “Holiday Inn.”
I have already expressed my view of this movie in this blog. Its (horribly) extended blackface song sequence, with whites singing in “Negro dialect” about “Fadder Abraham” is unconscionable, sickening, and impossible to excuse or rationalize. A. O. Scott does both.
The problem with this terrible racist scene, for Scott, is that it “dates” the film “somewhat”, and makes it “unpalatable” for “current sensibilities.” But “it’s important to remember that this movie is more than 65 years old.” Problem solved! My current sensibility is satisfied now.
Racism is never excusable because there was simply never a time in history when people did not know racism was used to hurt and oppress others. And frankly, to excuse a movie playing when people I know were alive for being from some ancient, distant time (65 years ago) is beyond lame. There is no place for accepting and softening crap like this in the United States of America at any time, but perhaps especially now.
So this “pure, confectionary diversion” may work for you if you’re not black and you don’t have a current sensibility; otherwise, skip it.
3 thoughts on “Holiday Inn–never okay!”
Problem: It’s a great movie, highly entertaining and you have a simplistic, knee-jerk, revisionist and myopic judgment of what is depicted in it.
I will watch it over and over and over and over again and so will millions of others. It is a classic.
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I grew up watching the film and the racial stereotypes are front and center in this film. Now on tv they omit then the blackface scene. But the actress eludes to the blackface making her ugly before the omitted scene. They did their best but there is only so much they can do. Still a classic but watch with a disclaimer.