I am reading a delightful book about Fred and Adele Astaire, one that offers a little insight into a long-vanished world. Along the way, the book mentions Eddie Cantor. That reference reminded me of a song I always liked: We Can Build A Little Home, from 1933’s Roman Scandals. As was the case for all Eddie Cantor movies, it was a nice little bit of fluff, with silly songs, and pretty girls (including Lucille Ball, in her first film). The premise is that Cantor is a sweet, naive young man who lives in a corrupt town, run by rich plutocrats. The latter seek to evict the solid, working-class citizens, so as to profit from their properties. Homeless, a whole neighborhood ends up camped out on the streets.
In other words, it’s a complete “Occupy” scenario. But while Occupy quickly degenerated into a sleazy, disease-ridden, parasite-ridden, drunk-ridden, alcohol-ridden, violent street orgy, 1933 Hollywood envisioned a much sweeter way of protesting: