ALCF Leonard Wood Sizemore Home Movies Clip 9713 14
- home movies, amateur cinema, super 8 film, 8mm film, 1960s home movies, 1960s Americana, 1960s lifestyle, 1960s fashions, Schereville Indiana Lions Club, Homan School on Joliet St., Schereville Watch and Clock, minstrel shows, community theatre, racial stereotypes, comedy skits, female impersonators, race, harem, Leonard Wood Sizemore, Pro8mm, Al Larvick Fund, pantomime, performance, backstage, theatrical costumes, theatrical make-up, 1960s community theatre
This clip (#9713) is part of the Leonard Wood Sizemore Cold War Family Campfire Collection. Leonard Sizemore is the primary filmmaker though the films were selected specifically to include other family members perspectives who are behind the camera. It was a Sizemore family legacy of filmmaking and photography, each viewing the family’s lives together, and through their independent eye, with varied framing, panning, and topics chosen to record. His daughter, Lillian Sizemore is the current custodian of the family films.
This collection was conserved and digitally transferred through the 2017 National grant awarded to Lillian Sizemore by the Al Larvick Conservation Fund in partnership with its sponsor Pro8mm.
For more information about this collection, visit: https://www.allarvickfund.org/leonard-wood-sizemore
The mission of the Al Larvick Conservation Fund is to preserve historical and cultural heritage through conservation, education, and the public accessibility of American analog home & amateur audiovisual materials. For more information, visit allarvickfund.org.
*Please respect the creative commons licensing assigned to this collection.
The main family members captured in this collection are:
Father/Filmmaker: Leonard W. Sizemore, Feb. 4, 1920 - Nov. 17, 2000
Wife/Mother: Gisella C. Sizemore, March 14 1928 -
Son: Norman E. Sizemore, b.1952
Daughter: Lillian Sizemore b. 1957
Daughter: Melissa Sizemore (Hurley) b. 1959
Others captured in this footage include:
Tom Elliott, Dick and Delores Schelfo, Mrs. Birch
Collection title: Leonard Wood Sizemore Cold War Family Campfire
Original format: 8mm & Super 8 film, color, silent
Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048 x 1556
Collection size: Approx. 2300ft
Circa: 1955 - 1981
Label on original can:
LS Archive REEL 6 - 6" blue can - 150ft
Label in Leonard Sizemore's handwriting:
Schereville Lion's Club, Minstrel Show,
66? - written later by Lillian
Films of Leonard W. Sizemore, Descriptions by Lillian Sizemore
Filmmaker and commentary for CLIP 9713 : Leonard Sizemore, main filmmaker for this clip. He was an active member of the Schereville Indiana Lions Club (http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/who-we-are/mission-and-history/index.php). The Lions Club is an international volunteer service organization, with local community chapters around the world, aimed to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace, and promote international understanding. For Schererville's 100 -year centennial celebrations (1866-1966) the community organized elaborate activities and this performance, held at the local school gym stage, (Homan School on Joliet St.) was undertaken to commemorate the event. Leonard, being a downtown business owner (Schereville Watch and Clock), played a role in organizing and participating in many of the activities, including parades, Keystone Cops, and the Mutton-Chop competition, (in which he took first place). The Lions Clubs around the country promoted "black face minstrel shows" (LINK: http://black-face.com/minstrel-shows.htm) as regular fundraisers, taking adverts from local businesses to pay for the show production. The amateur performances included comedy skits, female impersonators, (in this clip: men dressed as Harem girls), barber shop quartets and acapella singing groups, a group finale included the Al Jolson style black-face characters. The programs for these theatrical events would carry statements of the Lion's Club mission: "to promote understanding and create a 'generous consideration' of the peoples of the world through the study of international relationship". However, the cliché stereotypes used to characterize blacks, women, and ethnic groups, viewed today in 2018, appear more offensive and uniformed, than humorous or generous.
Dad was a member of the Lion's Club. This show took place as part of the Schererville Centennial. Dad and Mom were actors in a few skits. It was a vaudeville-style review. The big finale was with all actors on stage in 'black face', ending with a choreographed sequence of white-gloved hand movements. This footage looks to be behind-the-scenes preparation, and a dress rehearsal, rather than the actual performance.
Lion's Club Minstrel Show, 1966
Schererville, Indiana's Centential Year 1866-1966
Dad shooting opening scene using the bank of lights for indoor shooting with 8MM
group of people 'back stage' getting prepared for the dress rehearsal of the show.
Homan school, bags are on the tables, men in sport coats and bow ties
pan around the room
mom, smiles at camera, dressed in costume in blue head scarf, to play an "Italian waitress" in one of the scenes.
Men sitting at small school desks wave to Dad as he pans the room
Women apply make-up to men sitting at small school desks
00:28 cuts to stage, shot of man in trench coat background hand painted with sky and clouds.
woman puts on gloves, you can see ladders and poles in the shot.
cut to group of people on stage, woman in black dress is holding a rattan laundry basket, men wearing suit coats and ties. microphone in foreground
pans the stage and there is a cardboard cut out of the Eiffel tower, hand painted, next to another mic stand.
:42 cut to a guy singing at mic, in a white jacket black pants and red bowtie, he is in front of the blue sky back drop, and a cardboard wishing well.
:47 Cut to new scene the "Italian restaurant" a table with red-checked table cloth, a set up with a keg of wine and mugs at left of frame, a man in a white long apron, my mom plays the waitress, wearing, red shoes, white skirt, red apron and blue headscarf tied behind ears. She sits down, and a 'barber shop quartet in mulitcolor vests enter, a trailing each other with one arm on shoulder in front…
:58 cut people on stage milling about in the "restaurant scene', woman holds basket of fake roses, people taking their place in front of mics, people in the restaurant scene clap, as a barber shop singer points to a chart that appears to have diagram of trees and symbols, with words. (perhaps it's the words to the sings, for singalong?)
1:20 Harem scene, a young woman dressed in gauzy, sparkling green "harem costume" stands in front and people behind her are also dressed as harem girls, they do a wavy dance with their arms, so it gives the illusion as if the front girl has multiple arms. The harem girls from behind, break away from the single file, and it's revealed that they are men dressed as women, with hairy exposed bellies and hairy armpits , doing a kind of "belly dance"
1:31 cut to a chorus line of women dressed in black pencil skirts and white blouses with multi-color ribbon ties at the collar, kind of like stewardess costume. they are singing and swaying back and forth, motioning in unison.
1::38 men dressed in dark slacks white shirts and multi-colored bow ties enter from both sides and join in front of the original line of singers. sway in motion in unison, as the stage is filled with many people, you see people coming and going in the back during the song.
It appears Dad is in the front lie of chorus, wearing a red tie and gray slacks, and is the tallest in the group, third from the left. Someone else is running the camera, and it was likely on a tripod. Perhaps mom was making the film at this point, while Dad was on stage.
in lower left of frame you see a woman director in orange floral top giving direction, with arm signals to the people on stage, just before an orange satin curtain clumsily drops down on the scene, hitting Dad on the head and covering his face.
1:57 an "interlocutor" (Tom Elliot) joins on stage, in black tails, white gloves, and white top hat, He stands tall and makes an announcement.
2:04 A "black face" character (BF character, hereafter) runs on stage from right, wearing a green checkered satin jacket, pink bow tie, and black pants. Costume references a "jockey". More men dressed in the same costume enter from both sides of the stage, jogging, running, miming various antics and shaking hands.
2:12 some kind of dialogue take place between black face and interlocutor, and he "faints" back, a "doctor" character enters, dressed in scrubs and wearing a surgical mask covering nose and mouth, the faint character is carried off stage by doctor and other BF characters.
2:19 a single BF character is singing, while behind him are 3 rows of seated chorus singers swaying, and doing synchronized pantomime with their hands, patting their knees and laps. Again, you see the director in the lower left of screen directing with grand hand gestures.
2:33 - four men from the chorus are up front now, singing
2:36 - BF character up front now, singing using a mic on stand other BF characters are seated behind him to stage right. The white shirted chorus is still on stage as well.
dancing and more seated pantomime and dancing.
BF character does a kind of kick with legs, push with the hands dance move, across the stage…2:57
3:08 a woman in black dress, long white gloves to the elbow, and long pink beads, comes to center stage to sing, (possibly Inez Hartle?) and the BF characters gather on one knee around her. She touches the hair/head of the one closest to her and he reaches out to her.
she starts to sing, then the BF characters get up and leave. She continues singing with the chorus join in from behind her. The BF characters dance across the stage. More synchronized seated pantomime goes on behind, they shift to the left ,to put hands on the shoulders next to them during the song. Clearly choreographed and blocked numbers.
3:53 Enter 3 young girls wearing sequined bodysuits, in red, black and white, bare legs, black keds. They do a little dance, film flares and fades.
3:57 - seated chorus now all hold green face masks and begin to sway them in unison. Enter a woman dressed as a fat "Black Mammy", (possibly Mrs. Birch) white dress, black apron, red bandana tied on top of hair, and black face make-up with large white lips and white circles painted around the eyes. She sings solo, then dances and sings with the other BF characters in what looks to be a lively upbeat number. Seated Chorus is swaying behind them.
4:36 - Film is a little jumpy here, BF character solo singing or talking in front of stage
The chorus and BF characters all light a match and hold up a flame in front of themselves. BF character continues to sing, takes a bow.
5:00 BF characters stand around the interlocutor and one holds up a bag of money, opens and coins spill to the ground, BF character goes to retrieve them.
BF character puts arms in the air, and run off.
5:20 cut to 4 men singing as a group., quick pan to the seated group with arms in the air.
5:23 cut to 'backstage" still shooting with bright light bar, exposure is good.
woman "vamps" for the camera, pushes a door open to reveal more people laughing and gathering around in the hallway in various forms of costume, BF character make-up, harem girls, a guys pulls a cigarette from jacket and lights it while talking with a woman in a blue dress with "flapper beads".
shot of backside of harem girl walking past a woman in blue skirt and white blue and a man in dresses as a policeman. (could be a Scherereville cop, not an actor)
cut to harem girl opening a door, and three women smoking in the school hallway. two wear "summer white' sun dresses with bright colored beads, the third, in bright satin purple dress with green long gloves, appears to be a costume) . they smoke and flick ashes into a large ashtray that one of the women holds.
Cut to 5:44 a man dresses as a "swami" holds a basket and waves. Goes into the classroom
A group including my mom still in Italian costume, a man in a suit, and a "harem girl" laugh in the hallway, pan down the hall to a woman in a beige swing dress, comes up the hallway, vamps and kicks her leg up, as she joins the group. she then takes a Theatrical curtsey and gestures, while holding a cig in one hand.
more people entering the hallway, coming and going in and out of the classroom where the make up and costumes are done.
6:09 A BF character comes out of the classroom, not in costume, wearing white shirt, but still in make up, makes a grand open-armed gesture for the camera, followed by a 'harem girl'.
Group of women talking in the hall way, a woman who was the soloist on stage, (wearing black dress and pink beads) waves to the camera. BF character reaches over to kiss her on the lips, leaving white greasepaint on her face, laughing ensues.
cut to: 6:22 a "harem girl" female impersonator, shot from behind, lumbers down the hall, in costume, turns and waves to camera, swivels hips for camera.
CUT to two "harem boys" together in the hallway, do a little "Egyptian arm dance", while swiveling hips, faces are covered with a chiffon drape and hat, they wear 'bras' with hairy chests and bellies exposed. They dance, laugh and vamp for the camera. The cop stands at right of frame watching the antics. The harem men in drag have incorporated the 'Egyptian arm dance' along with French 'Follie Berger can-can girl' kicks, in ac theatrical "ethnic mash-up". As in shot earlier, they did the dance with multiple-arms a gesture associated with the female Hindu deity, Durga or Kali, the concept of a "harem girl" here, becomes a multi-ethnic catch-all for feminine seduction.
final second 6:40 a flash of a couple, who appear to be Dad's friends Dick and Dolores Schelfo.
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- 2018-02-14 02:18:39
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