The Golden Dawn Page

The Great God Makeadoodoo
Yes, we're still constructing, but let's try this on for size.

If you don't like Golden Dawn, you'll be sure not to like The Madam Satan Page
... or just check out my Home Page

Quite possibly the world's most offensive film musical, Golden Dawn is the rarest of the rare - a Viennese styled operetta set in colonial Africa. Dawn tells the musical story of a young native princess who was so loved by the gods, they permitted her to be born without the indignity of being black. Of course, when she falls in love with a white colonial, thus breaking the ultimate tabu of miscengenation (mixed-racial coupling) all hell breaks loose.

Oh yes, and they're perfectly serious about it all, which of course makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??????????!!!!!!!

SERIOUS????? How could they have possibly been serious in a film where arias are applauded onscreen by the onlookers, where the villain Shep Keyes, impersonated by Noah Beery in badly applied, half sweated-off but "serious" {i.e., not minstrel style} blackface sings a love song to his whip, Vivienne "Dawn" Segal sings of her "Bwanna" and Alice Gentle sums up the whole sorry tale with her opening tirade, "Africa Smiles No More".

Indeed. This page is a celebration of one of the more singular motion picture events, Warner Bros.'s screen adaptation of the Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Emmerich Kalman & Herbert Stothart (moderate) stage success, The Golden Dawn. Embalmed onscreen at the tail end of the initial film musical blitz of 1929-30, Golden Dawn tells the story of ... well, to give away more of the plot would be to rob the uninitiated of ninety of the most jawdropping minutes in film history. But to give you a hint of the ineptness of director Ray Enright and screenwriter Walter Anthony, one of the film's title cards boldly announces:

"There was no joy among the natives; A draught was destroying them"

... and there's no hint of a breeze or a Budweiser within miles!

What follows are some links, quotes, images, and (hopefully - eventually) WAV files of some of the more priceless moments. If you like what you see, want more, or have other information/suggestions, e-mail me ... or check out my personal web page.

Happy browsing!

The Broadway Production

Golden Dawn - on film

Photo Gallery

Be sure to read Richard Barrios' history/critique in his acclaimed & EXHAUSTIVE analysis of the coming of music to film,
A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film
1995, Oxford University Press, New York, 493 p. $21.95.

... more to come ...

Rev. 10/24/2006

Created in 1997, © by Christopher S. Connelly.
All rights reserved.