Mesmerizing Eloquence

October 11, 2007

Scar of Shame

Mark and I watched a truly extraordinary film tonight called SCAR OF SHAME. It was made in 1927 by the Color Players Film Corporation.The story behind the filmmakers deserves to be a film itself. A white theater owner in Philadelphia noticed his audience slowly change from white to black over the years. And instead of getting out of the business, he decided to embrace it. He searched for films that would appeal to his growing audience, and when he found that the films that portrayed African Americans weren’t showing their lives as they were living day-to-day, he decided to make them himself. And SCAR OF SHAME was one of them.This film talks about the class system inside the African American community that any of us will totally relate to — though I hope that those days are coming to an end, I know they haven’t yet. A well-to-do, educated concert pianist falls marries a lower class woman, but he feels like he can’t tell his Mother about her because of her own prejudice against others of a different “caste.” And that is just the beginning….. where all it leads to after that is amazing.The filmmaking, cast, and costuming is all truly amazing. I found myself at one moment praising the dissolves and another moment praising the beautiful flapper dresses. And to think about: “While appearing in this film, Lucia Lynn Moses (who plays the lead female actor, Louise, the poor girl who gets married) was commuting back and forth between the studio in Philadelphia and a chorus-line spot at the Cotton Club in New York City.” She doesn’t miss a beat.Definitely seek this one out! You will fall in love — I promise!Something fun to play with (Thanks Robin for forwarding it to me!):Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

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3 Responses to “Mesmerizing Eloquence”

  1. maralorelei said

    This is the third time that the WordPress Tagsurfer has brought me to an entry that was just fated for me to read it! I am so happy I could dance like the skeleton in the picture above!

    Why I am so excited is that you wrote not just about film-making, one of my first loves and why I was brought to your site, but because of SCAR OF SHAME–which I studied in my History of African-Americans in Film a few years ago and will be doing again in my Literature as Genre class where we are studying modernism and how women were portrayed in film during the twenties. Because of my prior experience with the film, I decided that I want to do my research paper on that film, looking at how the main character is viewed through both the racial and gender lenses. Thank you for telling me about how the film came about! I’m sure I read that before, but hearing that again will help me with my paper.

    I added you to my BlogRoll, for I certainly will have to check out your site to see what else you have to say about film and the arts . . .

  2. Oh my dear!! You TOTALLY made my day!! I would LOVE to talk to you more about what you are working on for your research paper. And I have a couple of others — well, one in particular that I want to you to seek out: BABY FACE (1933) with Barbara Stanwyck and her buddy Chico played with such fantastic flare by Theresa Harris.

    If you can, get the version where they found the extra 5-7 minutes and restored it to its fabulous raciness — as it should be!!

    It is a wonderful example of a Pre-Code film — and while you have to watch it with the 1930s in mind (and not of a 2007 mindset), the role of Chico and her relationship to Barbara Stanwyck’s character (Lily) is so juicy in its subtleties. It is almost as if they were lovers or at the very least the closest of friends. You will be wowed by their intimacies — even though Chico is Lily’s maid (yeah, I said 1933….).

    Since I just started this blog, I am hoping to have more of my friends who are MAJOR (silent and Pre-Code and other old genres) movie buffs to visit and contribute as well. So thanks for being my first comment, maralorelei! (Is that after the Cocteau Twins song?)

  3. Karen W said

    Kelly: Where’d you see Scar of Shame?

    I have a wonderful precode film with Loretta Young called Employees’ Entrance dealing with sexual harrassment in the workplace. It’s on VHS, I don’t know if you still have a player but we could watch it at our place some night. It was part of the early Forbidden Hollywood series (the first one I’d seen).

    Congratulations on the blog.

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