Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mandingo: Boglerizing History and Logic

By Nicholas Stix

Any non-black who attempts to engage in dialogue with American blacks today, soon discovers that black race hoaxes are not merely the stuff of Big Lies, a la the Tawana Brawley Hoax, the 2000 Florida Disenfranchisement Hoax, etc., but central to the most mundane exchanges. Witness the following entry in an discussion of the tawdry 1975 exploitation movie Mandingo, set on an antebellum plantation, and which emphasized white racist savagery and interracial relationships, not only between the brutal old slaver’s son and a slave girl, but between the son's wife, played by blonde, professional sexpot Susan George, and the heavyweight boxing champion (and non-actor), Ken Norton Sr.

chesterrodney: “Susan George couldn't get another major role in Hollywood after ‘Mandingo’. She was reduced to ‘B’ type movies and made for TV movies after that. Hollywood didn't want to see her in any major films or major acting roles after her love scene with Ken Norton in ‘Mandingo’. Hollywood to this day is scared of showing black love. And they don't want to see a big muscular black man with a white woman!”

That is a racist black fantasy. Susan George had specialized in playing sluts before Mandingo, she played one in Mandingo, and she continued playing such roles thereafter. Since Mandingo was itself a trashy B-movie, the notion that her career went downhill thereafter, is ludicrous. Besides, you provide no evidence that she was blacklisted (or is it, whitelisted?). All you have are your racist fantasies.

Sidney Poitier had already crossed the particular color line "chesterrodney" speaks of in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1967, an A-movie if ever there was one, which was nominated for ten Oscars, and won two.

Jim Brown had his famous shower scene with Raquel Welch in 100 Rifles in 1969. And Raquel Welch is white, was considered white at the time (Hispanic whites are more obsessed with their whiteness than are non-Hispanic whites), and only very recently, for opportunistic reasons, decided to publicly become a “proud Latina.”

And important independent movies, such as One Potato, Two Potato in 1964, had already explored interracial love affairs between black men and white women. Chesterrodney has invented a non-existent issue, in order to vindicate his racist fantasies. If anything, Hollywood, like the mainstream media in general, has an allergy against showing black women in the arms of white men.

chesterrodney (later): “As for Susan George, I never said she was blacklisted from ‘A’ list status in Hollywood. I said she was blacklisted from getting roles in major Hollywood movies.”

Although he never used the word “blacklisted” in his first statement, Chesterrodney obviously meant just that. But he not only uses the term in his second statement, but goes beyond simply contradicting an earlier statement, to contradicting himself from one sentence to the next! Way to go, man! You not only boglerized movie history, you boglerized logic, as well!

To boglerize – my coinage – refers to the practice of film “historian” Donald Bogle of misrepresenting movie history by recounting pictures in which blacks played minor roles, as if the blacks were the stars and the actual white stars were invisible, of ignoring dominant performances by whites in movies in which they co-starred with black performers (e.g., Rod Steiger (or “Stieger,” as Bogle calls him) and Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night), while dishonestly celebrating the black performer, and most pathetically, of routinely misspelling the names of white actors, while never doing so with the names of black performers.


uptownseteve said...

What about white race hoaxes like Susan Smith and Charles Stuart where people actually were killed???

Don't want to discuss THOSE do you racist?

Your anti-black hysteria is eating you alive Stix.

Seek help.

Nicholas said...

What on earth does your statement have to do with my little essay ... you crazy, racist fool!

Professor said...

MANDINGO being "trashy" is a subjective call, but it was not, in fact, a "B film." It was produced by Paramount Pictures with a good sized budget and made by a veteran production team. It certainly does not evoke a B film in appearance as it is very well produced on all levels. If you think, for whatever reason, it is a B film in spirit, that's a judgment call not related to facts.

Susan George was not a particularly talented actress and like most actresses in the U.S. she came and went in about a five year period. Many actresses have suffered the same fate over the decades of Hollywood history. Her fading away had nothing to do with her part in MANDINGO.

il ragno said...

I highly recommend DRUM, the sequel. The franchise (such as it was) had been picked up by Dino di Laurentiis, and while the intent was the same - lurid antebellum trash liberally garnished with wanton titties - the execution was risibly ham-fisted. Instant high-camp played with a straight face that just makes the dialogue exponentially funnier. Said dialogue rivals even Harlan Ellison's "celebrated" atrocity of a screenplay for THE OSCAR ('66), only with more offensive racial content in it. Lots more.

Bad dialogue driven home by shamelessly bad and/or ham acting, may I add. From a gay French slave-trader eyeing house-nigra Ken Norton from afar and cooing to his brunser, "Mon Dieu - look at ze bod-DAY on zat neeg-AIR", to Norton's stone-faced line readings more suited to a hostage tape than a movie ("If Mista Maxwell catches Blaze he might kill him...or even worse, castrate him!"... delivered as though he were reading off an ingedient panel), to Warren Oates channelling every bender Sam Peckinpah ever went on as the cheerful slave-breeder who takes a liking to Norton and counsels him with a fatherly "Son, your problem is you just ain't actin' niggerish enough to suit me"; DRUM's a bomb for certain, but at least it leaves a twenty-megaton hole in the ground.

Oh; about that nudity. You know those major-studio, 19th-century period dramas where every single female character under the age of 60 gets naked? Yeah, neither do I. So that makes DRUM the first one then.

Seeing this film during its original run 30 years ago (!) represents the only time in my life that irate theater ushers threatened to bodily eject me from a theater, and for uncontrollable laughter yet. After years iof unavailability, it made a brief appearance on DVD a few years ago. Nab it if you can find it.

The Rush Blog said...

That is a racist black fantasy. Susan George had specialized in playing sluts before Mandingo, she played one in Mandingo, and she continued playing such roles thereafter.

Susan George did not play a slut in "MANDINGO". She played a woman who was sexually frustrated by her husband, due to his ludicrous whore/Madonna attitude about women and angry over his affair with a female slave. So she decided to get even by having sex with his prized male slave . . . only she ended up suffering the consequences of her actions via death.