Girl From Chicago, The (1932)

Girl From Chicago, The (1932)

“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

Must See?
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).



One thought on “Girl From Chicago, The (1932)

  1. First viewing. Thank God *that’s* over!!!

    “Everyone should see at least one film by the notorious Oscar Micheaux”?! If this is representative…no no no no NO!!!


    Forget the cinematography. Rotten script. Acting that isn’t just bad – it’s non-existent! This is just one complete mess.

    OK…so he consistently cast all-black actors when that wasn’t done. SO WHAT?! Bad is bad!

    This isn’t even Ed Wood bad. With Wood, you always get the feeling that he has a love of film and is always *trying* to make a good film…even if they always end up bad.

    With Micheaux…who the f**k knows what he’s doing!

    There is no excuse for this. Period.

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