The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Gorno's Italian Marionettes
Gorno's Italian Marionettes

Gorno's Italian Marionettes 1928

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Gorno's Italian Marionettes 1928

7 mins United Kingdom Director. Jack Harrison

This early sound film of a popular stage puppet show is a discomfiting watch, revealing the unpleasant racial stereotypes of its age and their widely accepted use in entertainment. The parodic references to 'Jal Olsen' and alarming lyrics of Sonny Boy are probably more attributable to the UK producers than the Gorno-Dall'Acqua puppet company. Sadly, the racist stereotypes continued in at least two other puppet films, The Limejuice Mystery or Who Spat in Grandfather's Porridge? and Paleface and Redskin or Handsome Men Are Slightly Sunburned.

The Gorno-Dall'Acqua marionette company was a well-established part of a rich tradition of Italian puppetry, with UK performances including a pantomime of Cinderella in 1928 and Ali Baba in 1930. This film is unfortunately incomplete and ends rather abruptly.

Directed by

Jack Harrison

Genres

Comedy Puppet (live-action) Musical

Tags

Jazz music (pre 1950)

Collection

Before Windrush

Released

1928

Country

United Kingdom

Read lessRead more

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later