Yesterday I posted the history of the lyric of Irving Berlin’s immortal ‘Putting On The Ritz’. Written in 1929, the original lyric had strong racist overtones which were removed when Berlin rewrote the song for the Fred Astaire vehicle ‘Blue Skies’ (1946). Before that, though, Clark Gable performed the song with the original lyric in the 1939 sort-of-dramatic-comedic ‘Idiots Delight’. In the above clip, though,  the verse of the song has been eliminated which largely tempers the insensitivity of the set-up of the song. (See yesterday’s post if you haven’t already so you’ll know what the hell I’m talking about). Still there are a couple of iffy lines in the chorus. I wonder if the elimination of the verse was specifically for that reason. Gable apparently had misgivings about doing this number but they seemed to be rooted in it not being consistent with his ‘masculine image’. What nonsense. A couple of weeks ago I posted a series of clips featuring the hyper-masculine George Raft dancing his ass off. I think Gable just didn’t think he’d be any good at it. Personally I think he’s great–in a decidedly two-bit vaudevillian kind of way…


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