Australian Screen

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Strike Me Lucky (1934)

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clip 'What a mug'

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Mo (Roy Rene) takes the young Miriam ('Baby’ Pamela Bevan) home, but doesn’t expect the great house, or the cool reception he gets from the Burnett family’s stuck-up friends. Mo retreats, feeling foolish and humiliated. Margot Burnett (Lorraine Smith) rescues him and tells him about the reward.

Curator’s notes

Pathos and sentimentality were a common tool for some silent-era comedians. Strike Me Lucky is partly a film about the effects of the Depression – and the way it ground people down, robbing them of their self-respect. Throughout the film, Mo shows that he’s one of those people, identifying himself with the vast majority of the audience. This scene is interesting for the way it manipulates audience sympathy towards the ‘dirty Jew’, making us feel what it is like to be instantly labelled because of the way the character looks. It’s a ‘Shylock’ kind of scene – ‘Am I not a man?’.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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