The old man of the mountain

The Old Man of the Mountain is a 1933 animated short in the Betty Boop series, produced by Fleischer Studios. Featuring special guests Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, the short was originally released to theaters on August 4, 1933 by Paramount Productions. Calloway voices all of the characters in the cartoon save for Betty herself along with his orchestra, also perform all of the music in the cartoon, including two songs Calloway co-wrote.

Controversy: According to film historian Christopher Lehman, the sexually suggestive nature of this film caused “some Americans at the time, especially Catholics,” to complain to exhibitors who then pressured Paramount Studios to tone down the Betty Boop character, which subsequently pressured Fleischer Studios to do the same thing. This can be seen when an old man sees Betty and acts crazy, a fish starts to follow her before getting hit by his wife, and Betty’s dress even is removed in one scene. According to Lehman, “In dispensing with the African-American entertainers and their music after limiting the ‘Betty Boop’ series’ sexual references, [Max] Fleischer thus acknowledged the widely assumed connection between raciness and blackness.” After 1934, African-American jazz music would no longer appear in Betty Boop cartoons, and she metamorphosized into a more conservative, mature, domestic character who often played only a supporting role.

[Via: GoonCartoons]

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