The Old Man of The Mountain (film) - Controversy

Controversy

According to film historian Christopher Lehman, the sexually suggestive nature of this film caused "some Americans at the time, especially Catholics," to complain to exhibitors who then pressured Paramount Studios (distributor of the Betty Boop series) to tone down the Betty Boop character, which subsequently pressured Fleischer Studios to do the same thing. This can be seen when an old man sees Betty and acts crazy, a fish starts to follow her before getting hit by his wife, and Betty's dress even is removed in one scene. According to Lehman, "In dispensing with the African-American entertainers and their music after limiting the 'Betty Boop' series' sexual references, Fleischer thus acknowledged the widely assumed connection between raciness and blackness." After 1934, African-American jazz music would no longer appear in Betty Boop cartoons, and she metamorphosized into a more conservative, mature, domestic character who often played only a supporting role.

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