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

Shooting Stars
Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars 1937

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Shooting Stars 1937

69 mins United Kingdom

Popular music hall stars Harry Scott and Eddie Whaley perform formulaic, stereotypical blackface routines in this 1930s touring revue. They had gained national popularity in the long-running radio show Kentucky Minstrels, and their 1934 appearance in a film of the same name made them two of the earliest black performers in British cinema. Although the blackface tradition is now considered racist, this form of entertainment remained popular with British audiences well into the 1970s.

Blackface minstrelsy was a popular form of entertainment based on demeaning caricatures of African-Americans. Both white and black artists would apply burnt cork to their faces and perform exaggerated and racist notions of 'plantation life'. Commonly, black entertainers could not appear before white American audiences unless they were in blackface. Minstrelsy arrived in Britain in 1848 when Master Juba and the Ethiopian Serenaders performed at a host of venues including Buckingham Palace. Scott and Whaley first appeared on the British stage in 1909; neither of them returned to the USA and both would assume British citizenship.

S.I. Martin

Featuring

Phyllis Robins

Fred Duprez

Scott and Whaley

Genres

Comedy Variety show Musical

Tags

Vaudeville

Collection

Before Windrush

Released

1937

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