The first review I wrote for Bright Lights was of Eddie Cantor’s Whoopee! (I left off the exclamation point) in the early days of the web (May 1998). This 1930 Sam Goldwyn/Flo Ziegfeld/Busby Berkeley 2-strip Technicolor, omni-racist, quasi-classic is now available on DVD at last, looking good and sounding great — better, surely, than it ever did before.
Also available, equally as racist but not nearly as good, is Kid Millions (1934), which makes shockingly little use of Ethel Merman. If you’ve got the stomach for blackface, you’ve got to see the big production number, Irving Berlin’s “Mandy,” featuring the fabulous and very young Nicholas Brothers. Yiddish theater fans might want to stick around for the second half, when Yiddish stage star Eva Sully makes her only film appearance as, of course, a sultan’s daughter. Watch for her in the clip below, around the 2:39 mark.