“Go ahead, Wade — smack me in the mouth with your fists so I can love you!”
A young schoolteacher (Star Calloway) falls in love with a secret service agent (Carl Mahon) who tries to prove that a singer (Eunice Brooks) has been falsely accused of murder.
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, “everyone should see at least one film by the notorious Oscar Micheaux — the most prolific black director of all time, and arguably the worst.” Peary’s seemingly random Micheaux selection for his book — 1932’s The Girl From Chicago — is indeed dreadful: heads and other body parts are routinely cut out of the frame; the musical interludes are boring; the storyline holds little interest; and, as Peary notes, “the acting by the light-skinned blacks is wretched.” Yet this and other Micheaux films are notable for having all-black casts at a time when Hollywood films were literally dominated by white actors. To that end, I recall going to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles as a teenager and sitting through a screening of one or two of Micheaux’s films. While I can’t remember anything about the insipid plots (or even which titles I saw), my primary memory is of being confused by the presence of “white” actors in what I knew was supposed to be an “all-black” cast. Only later did I realize that even the slightest hint of African heritage was enough to classify one as a “black” actor.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A representative film by the most prolific black director of all time
Yes — simply because, as Peary notes, every film fanatic should see at least one film by Micheaux (though it doesn’t necessarily need to be this one).