Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oldie But Goodie: Frank Sinatra Fights Anti-Semitism With "The House I Live In"


The House I Live In is a ten-minute short film written by Albert Maltz, produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Frank Sinatra. 

Made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II, it received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.

In 2007, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Sinatra, apparently playing himself, takes a "smoke" break from a recording session. He sees more than 10 boys chasing a Jewish boy and intervenes, first with dialogue; then with a little speech). His main points are that we are "all" Americans and that just one American's blood is as good as another, all our religions are equally to be respected.

In the film, Sinatra sings the title song, and his recording became a national hit.

The song was memorably covered in later years by Paul Robeson, Mahalia Jackson, and Josh White. Sam Cooke also covered it. Sinatra continued to include it in his repertory, performing it in the Nixon White House and at the 1985 inaugural ceremonies of Ronald Reagan. Bill Cosby used a recording to open some of his shows in 2002.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 
  

2 comments:

  1. It is significant that this was made by RKO after the war. Before the war, Warner Brothers was one of the few studios who risked alienating the significant German foreign market by introducing anti-Nazi themes into their films. Of course, the greatest anti-Nazi film was financed, produced, and created by one man, Charlie Chaplin. "The Great Dictator" was made at a time when Hollywood was still tiptoeing around Nazism, before America's involvement in WWII. I highly recommend: "Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust", currently streaming on Netflix. from which this information comes.

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  2. What a pleasant surprise to find this and it is so meaningful!

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