Skip to main content

Chief Eunuch character in 'Women of All Nations' (1931)

The 1931 farce "Women of All Nations" has a Turkish harem scene with a eunuch character (the man in the turban) played by Sam Baker.

Today the film can be viewed on YouTube split into five parts. Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 The scenes with the eunuch are in Part 4 and Part 5. Two minutes into Part 4, the Marines travel to "a Mediterranean port." The music and costumes appear to be Turkish. A man in a turban, proudly identifying himself as "the chief eunuch," arrives to deliver a handwritten message from his "mistress."

He enters the room meowing like a cat, on instructions from his mistress who knew that her boyfriend would recognize the affectionate call and would turn around, allowing the eunuch to identify him. The actors in Women of All Nations speak in a variety of badly exaggerated accents; the eunuch character speaks in an African-American accent of the sort popular in minstrel shows, although a real Chief Eunuch would have been taken from the Sudan as a boy and then grown up in Turkey, so his accent is definitely inaccurate. The character of Prince Hassan, played by Bela Lugosi, "swears in Hungarian" (according to Michael J. Weldon in Psychotronic). Also, since the Ottoman sultanate fell after the end of World War I, the depiction of the court would have been a few years outdated by 1931.

Baker also appeared in the serial "Lost City." The screenshots below are from the opening credits of Lost City's Chapter 1.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Castration at the Battle of Adwa (1896)

On March 1, 1896, the Battle of Adwa "cast doubt upon an unshakable certainty of the age – that sooner or later Africans would fall under the rule of Europeans." In this battle, Ethiopians beat back the invading Italians and forced them to retreat permanently. It was not until 1922 that Benito Mussolini would again initiate designs against Ethiopia, leading to its defeat in 1936, but ultimately, Ethiopia retained its independence. "Adwa opened a breach that would lead, in the aftermath of world war fifty years later, to the rollback of European rule in Africa. It was," Jonas wrote, "an event that determined the color of Africa." (p. 1) It was also significant because it upheld the power of Ethiopia's Christian monarchy that controlled an ethnically diverse nation (p. 333), a nation in which, in the late 19th century, the Christian Emperor Yohannes had tried to force Muslims to convert to Christianity. (p. 36)The Victorian English spelling popular at t…

Review of Cliff Sims' 'Team of Vipers' (2019)

After he resigned his position, Cliff Sims spent two months in Fall 2018 writing Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House. Many stories are told, some already well known to the public, some not. One buys this book, most likely, to gape at the colossal flameout spectacle that is Donald Trump, as with most things with Trump's name. Sims exposes the thoughtlessness, the chaos, the lack of empathy among his fellow insiders in the campaign and later in the White House, but he does not at all acknowledge the real consequences for ordinary Americans — there might as well be no world outside the Trump insider bubble, for all this narrative concerns itself with — and therefore falls far short of fully grappling with the ethical implications of his complicity.Previously, Sims was a journalist. "I had written tough stories, including some that helped take down a once-popular Republican governor in my home state," he says. "I had done my best to be acc…

The most embarrassing 'Dr. Phil' episodes

Dog costumes, videotaped brawls: Embarrassing behavior aired on 'Dr. Phil'The "Dr. Phil" talk show addresses dynamics of dysfunctional relationships. Many of the problems people bring to the show can seem to embarrass them in the eyes of the viewers.This article was originally published to Helium Network on April 13, 2014. Dr. Phil McGraw, cover of Newsweek Magazine, 2001. Photo by Jerry Avenaim, WikiMedia Commons © Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic licenseDr. Phil is an American talk show host who brings together people in dysfunctional family relationships and makes them confront each other so that they can attempt to move their relationships through the impasse. The issues discussed on the show include rebellious teens, cheating spouses, drug use and violence, and when "talking it out" is not enough, Dr. Phil's team may offer a gift of inpatient rehabilitation or another appropriate psychological service…