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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Princess Tam Tam (1935)

After a rift with his society climbing wife (Germaine Aussey), a writer (Albert Prejean, AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT) goes to Africa for inspiration. When he meets a native girl (Josephine Baker), he gets it in his mind to civilize her and present her to Parisian society as the Princess Tam-Tam to get revenge on his wife's snobbish companions. Yet another re-hash of George Bernard Shaw's PYGMALION, this vehicle serves as a setting for the wonderful Josephine Baker in one of her few film roles. She has two songs and two dance numbers but they only whet our appetite for more of her. There's a mild discomfort at unintended racism when the "civilized" Baker hears the sound of African drums and abandons all pretense of civility as she goes into a wild abandoned dance. The African sequences are more winning than the Paris settings. Directed by Edmond T. Greville. With Vivian Romance, Robert Arnoux, Georges Peclet and Jean Galland.

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