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Wonder Bar (1934)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Musical | 31 March 1934 (USA)
Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love ... See full summary »

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Geza Herczeg (based on the play by), Karl Farkas (based on the play by) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Jolson ... Al Wonder
Kay Francis ... Liane
Dolores del Rio ... Inez (as Dolores Del Rio)
Ricardo Cortez ... Harry
Dick Powell ... Tommy
Guy Kibbee ... Simpson
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Simpson
Hugh Herbert ... Pratt
Louise Fazenda ... Mrs. Pratt
Hal Le Roy ... Dancer
Fifi D'Orsay ... Mitzi
Merna Kennedy ... Claire
Henry O'Neill ... Richard - the Maitre'd
Robert Barrat ... Captain Hugo Von Ferring
Henry Kolker ... Mr. R.H. Renaud
Edit

Storyline

Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love with Inez. When Inez finds out, that Harry wants to leave Paris and is going to the USA with Liane she kills him. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros.' Wonder Show of the Century!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabaret trágico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$675,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Jolson insisted on singing the opening number Vive la France live on set, as he claimed it would be impossible to do the song justice if was filmed miming to playback, in order to deliver it with the excitement and verve that only he could bring to it. Even though this presented considerable technical problems, Warner Brothers agreed (that's the real studio orchestra actually on set playing the house band of the Wonder Bar) and this is one of the very last musical numbers to be performed live on camera. See more »

Quotes

Al Wonder: [rolls eyes as two men dance off together] Boys will be boys, woooo!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear as the respective actors enter the nightclub through a revolving door. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dolores del Río - Princesa de México (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Say Good-Night
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Dick Powell and chorus
Danced by Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Cortez and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mega vulgar musical whopper
3 February 2006 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

Along with DANTE'S INFERNO and THE MERRY WIDOW also made in 1934, I think this film is the reason the censorship Hays code was rigidly enforced in Hollywood for the next 30 years. Deleriously vulgar and immoral in every scene, all set in a sensational nightclub for all ages and kinky tastes, each leering winking and squabbling, all set to foxtrots and waltzes re-imagined by Busby Berkeley and climaxing with the most hilariously offensive musical number of all time: Going To heaven On A Mule. There's no point explaining it or any other of the screwy dance numbers...including the leather clad S&M themed whipping (and murder) tango by "Inez and Harry"...complete with loud cracks of the whip across the gorgeous face of the awesomely beautiful Delores Del Rio. Someone at Warners must have decided to create a shopping list of production possibilities directly from the planned Hays code of banned themes. It just does not stop being deliberately immoral vulgar and hilariously rude for all of its 88 minutes. I loved all 189 minutes of it because I kept re winding so many bits over and over just to gasp between laughs at the blatant unstoppable cheerfulness of it's violations. All in the most glamorous setting and style imaginable. The orchestral score is excellent - and I have an LP from the 70s with GO INTO YOUR DANCE on the other side. It is created directly from the soundtrack so there is plenty of dialog as well. WONDERBAR is CABARET 1934 for real. Wait 'till you see the epic musical sequence called Don't Say Goodnight where a squadron of negligee clad showgirls dance around massive moving 'pillars' that have big veiny patterns weaving down from the top. That is in between floating past the camera, lit from behind so we can see how sheer their garments are. The scene where two turkey -like old dames ditch their husbands and together pick up the one gigolo (planning a threesome) is a screamer...he clinches the job with the incestuous note "You remind me of my mother" to which they very happily go for him.... and this is all just starters! On top of all this is Al Jolson leering and bellowing, all lustful and creepy... not too much a stretch for Joel Grey in 1972 singing Wilkommen and getting an Oscar! Find WONDERBAR and show it to everyone you know! Colossal and bent as all hell... to music. Read the other comments on this site for the story and viewer outrage. Haha!


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