Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon

¡Ha llegado el día!

1 Lupita

The celebration of Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage is upon us and I’m honored to be hosting a terrific array of posts for day one of this special event.  I’ll waste no time getting to the list, but first I want to thank Kay of Movie Star Makeover for co-hosting this blogathon with me.  She’s been, as always, a lady, a friend and a hoot!

Now…the entries for Day 1:

Bunny Bun’s Classic Movie Blog discusses Maria Montes as a Latina in ARABIAN NIGHTS (1942) and offers a terrific video on Hollywood Latinas before Rita Moreno.

At Joel’s Classic Film Passion we get a look at Anthony Quinn – Man of Many Faces.

Guest blogger on Once Upon a Screen, Wendy submits this entry on  “The Clark Gable of Mexico,” Pedro Armendariz.

“Hollywood was never my goal.”  The Vintage Cameo shines the light on Katy Jurado.

Moon in Gemini looks at the life and career of director, writer, and actor Emilio “El Indio” Fernandez.

The Vintage Cameo on Carmen Miranda who “played true to her heritage.”

From Once Upon a Screen, a revisit with Lupita Tovar in SANTA (1931), Mexico’s first talking picture.

Wide Screen World ama a Ricardo Montalban y lo demuestra en este bonito escrito.

Margaret Perry makes others happy with this look at Cantinflas: Mexico’s Answer to Charlie Chaplin.

Caftan Woman discusses the life and career of Mexico’s first big screen Mexican “singing cowboy,” Tito Guizar.

Silver Screenings looks at revenge Mexican style IN CALIENTE (1935).

Co-host Kay and her “South-of-the-Border Senorita Style” at Movie Star Makeover.

Entries for Day 2, hosted by Kay:

A Shroud of Thoughts studies the wonderful and wacky world of The MEXICAN SPITFIRE movies

Girls Do Film on Flying Down to Rio with Del Rio, Rogers and Astaire.

Phantom Empires on The Cisco Kid IN OLD ARIZONA (1929)

Critica Retro examines Douglas Fairbanks as Zorro.  And I mean EXAMINES.

Outspoken and Freckled offers a thoughtful look at VOLVER (2006).

The Nitrate Diva and the 6 reasons you should watch Spanish-language DRACULA.  I agree!

Theresa discusses the pulls-no-punches Anthony Mann 1949 entry, BORDER INCIDENT.

Movies, Silently gives us RAMONA (1910), a review and historical perspective.

Dolores Del Rio, All Beauty and Class by Fernando on Once Upon a Screen

Sister Celluloid on Thomas Gomez, the Soul Behind the Villain.

Christy’s Inkwells offers a touching tribute to Cesar Romero: more than just a Latin Lover…

From Backlots a discussion of Rita Hayworth and the Loss of Hispanic Identity.

Finally, by Once Upon a ScreenAntonio Moreno and The Story of Spanish-language Hollywood

Gracias todos!  Un grupo estupendo!

Before you go, if you’re so inclined – I offer a bit of entertainment by way of a short tribute to my native Cuba.  I’ll admit I’ve been feeling a little guilty for not posting anything that mentions the country of my birth, which has had some influence on film particularly by way of its music.  So, here I pay tribute to one of the most influential Cuban songs ever written, “The Peanut Vendor.”

Originally titled, “El Manicero,” “The Peanut Vendor” was written by Moïse Simons and is styled as if it were a street vendor’s cry.  The song has been recorded over 150 times and by some of the greatest musicians and bands the world over for decades and it has also been featured in various ways in movies through the years.  One of my favorites, not surprisingly, is George Cukor’s A STAR IS BORN (1954) where “The Peanut Vendor” is incorporated into Judy’s “Born in a Trunk” medley/sequence.  Following is “El Manicero” via a few links to popular recorded versions and movie clips.  I hope you enjoy these:

  • The first version of “El Manicero” that became a certified hit was recorded by Cuban singer/actress, Rita Montaner in 1928. Montaner later performed the song in the 1938 movie, IT HAPPENED IN HAVANA, originally titled EL ROMANCE DEL PALMAR.  Here is the Montaner performance of “El Manicero” from that movie.
  • The Havana Casino Orchestra recorded “El Manicero” in 1930.  Here it is.  It was this Orchestra’s performance of “El Manicero” at New York’s Palace Theater that resulted in “The Peanut Vendor” becoming a hit across the U.S.
  • That same year “The Peanut Vendor” was recorded by Louis Armstrong
  • Here’s a clip of Lupe Velez teaching Lawrence Tibbett “The Peanut Vendor” from THE CUBAN LOVE SONG (1931).
  • A Fleischer Studios cartoon from the animated series, “Screen Songs,” THE PEANUT VENDOR from 1933.
  • At about 1:54 in this clip Jean Arthur asks, “Does anyone know ‘The Peanut Vendor’?” – “Si, como no?”  And the crowd around the piano starts the call led by Cary Grant in this scene from ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939).
  • I’m not sure of the year of this recording, but I certainly can’t leave out a Desi Arnaz’ version of “The Peanut Vendor.”  Here it is performed by the Desi Arnaz Orchestra.
  • Superstar, Cantinflas dances to “El Manicero.”
  • During a live performance in 1946, Betty Hutton sings a version of “The Peanut Vendor.”
  • In LUXURY LINER (1948) Xavier Cugat accompanies Jane Powell for this version of “El Manicero.”. By the way, Cugat recorded several versions of the song through the years.
  • And here’s Dean Martin’s version of “The Peanut Vendor.”

There are many, many more clips and recordings to share, including Groucho whistling “The Peanut Vendor” in DUCK SOUP (1933), but I’ll stop with these examples.  As it is you may never have peanuts again.

Due to its its “cultural importance,” “The Peanut Vendor” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry by the National Recording Preservation Board, which noted:

“It is the first American recording of an authentic Latin dance style.  This recording launched a decade of ‘rumbamania’, introducing U.S. listeners to Cuban percussion instruments and Cuban rhythms.”
“The Peanut Vendor” was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

5 Cesar

10 thoughts

  1. Oh my there is so much reading to do. I’m learning so much on movies unfamiliar to me and a little more on actors I’ve heard of but unfamiliar with their careers and persona. Furthermore I love the pretty photos. Thank you for hosting and for all the contributors.

  2. My pleasure and thank YOU! I always learn so much from these events and this one is no different. Such interesting personalities and careers! Not to mention the many movies I add to my “must watch” list.

    Aurora

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