January 25, 1896 - November 1, 1927


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TTT

Black History month

My modest contribution to Black History Month is to reveal the existence of an unrecognised Hollywood movie portrayal of Florence Mills.
The movie is the 1952 Paramount Somebody Loves Me.
It's a somewhat fictionalized account of the lives of Broadway/vaudeville greats Blossom Seeley and her husband/partner Benny Fields.
 

Critical reaction  was that the film was mediocre but Betty Hutton’s performance as Seeley was sensational.
One of the many great old songs featured was Florence Mills' hit from Dixie to Broadway “Dixie Dreams”.
It's a languorous ballad featuring Florence as a lonely wanderer dressed in overalls, carrying a little bundle over her shoulder.
 

Betty Hutton performs it in a light blackface make-up.
While blackface is generally distasteful, here it is clearly a genuine tribute to Florence Mills.

What we have is Betty Hutton portraying Blossom Seeley portraying Florence Mills.
Why this makes sense is discussed in detail at:

 Somebody Loves Me
 

A quick look at pictures below of Florence and Betty Hutton performing the song will soon dispel any doubts about the intention in the movie.


TTT
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