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Dixiana

(1930 b 100')

En: 5 Ed: 4

In this musical comedy a singer is rejected by an aristocratic southern family but becomes queen of the Mardi Gras and finally wins her man.

Carl Van Horn (Everett Marshall) tells his father Cornelius Van Horn (Joseph Cawthorne) that he is going to New Orleans. Dixiana (Bebe Daniels) sings in a show. Montague (Ralf Harolde) complains about Dixiana throwing a rose; Carl defends her, but Dixiana prevents a duel. Carl kisses Dixiana, and they become engaged. Carl invites Dixiana, Ginger (Robert Woolsey) and Peewee (Bert Wheeler) to his father's plantation. Cornelius quarrels with his wife (Jobyna Howland), and she teaches him manners. Ginger and Peewee trick a servant out of his tip and play the same trick on Cornelius. They drink mint juleps. At his bachelor party Carl sings "Here's to the Old Days." Carl and Dixiana sing "A Tear, a Kiss, a Smile." Madame Van Horn learns that Dixiana is from a circus and tells her to leave. Carl plans to go too; but Dixiana leaves without him so as not to hurt him.

The circus won't take back Dixiana, Ginger, and Peewee; but Montague hires them for his gambling house. Ginger and Peewee both court Nanny (Dorothy Lee). Peewee and Nanny sing "My One Ambition is You." In the show Dixiana sings "Dixiana." Montague urges people to elect Dixiana queen of the Mardi Gras. Nanny wants Ginger and Peewee to fight a duel over her. Peewee slaps Ginger with a glove, but he is not insulted. They choose servants as seconds and fight with swords; they damage the room but don't hurt each other. Dixiana asks Montague to let her play cards against Carl, who loses 3,000 and says Dixiana cheated. Carl borrows 10,000 from Montague, loses again, and walks out, rejecting Dixiana; but she tears up his I.O.U.

The rest of the film is in color. Dixiana is queen of the Mardi Gras. Ginger in a uniform boasts of his medals. (Bill Robinson) tap dances on stairs. Montague and masked men kidnap queen Dixiana. Cornelius tells Carl that Dixiana tore up his I.O.U. and left because she loves him. Montague tries to make Dixiana his, but she resists. Carl comes in and arranges a duel. Dixiana tells Carl that Montague killed his uncle in a suspicious duel. She asks Carl to take her away. Montague tells his second to load the pistols "correctly" so he can kill Carl. Dixiana puts on Carl's costume and locks him in. She insists the pistols be weighed and accuses Montague of murdering Philip Van Horn. Montague shoots his second. At their wedding Carl and Dixiana sing "Guiding Star."

This musical portrays and satirizes the ante-bellum South with "gentlemen" served by black slaves and eager to fight duels as though they had nothing else to do but gamble and go to shows.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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