Veiled Aristocrats

2224. VEILED ARISTOCRATS (1932-U5A). With LORENZO TUCKER. Directed, produced and writÂten by OSCAR M1CHEAUX. This fascinating and important all-black-cast movie is the work Of a filmmaker who might be best described as a one-person motion picture studio. He is Oscar Micheaux, African- American independent director who between 1918 and 1948 produced and distributed over thirty feature films. Micheaux even developed a roster Of actors whose personalities were patterned after the reigning Hollywood stars. One Of them is featured here. He is dashing matinee idol Loerenzo Tucker, who came to be known as the “black Valentino.” The scenario deals with the serious and controversial issue Of class and color-awareness among African-Americans. Tucker plays John Warwick, a light-skinned black who has passed for white and become a successful lawyer. He returns lo his hometown after twenty years to be reunited with his mother Molly and sister Rena. A socially conscious dark-skinned man has proposed marÂriage to Rena. This results in Molly’s sending her daughter away with her son to also pass for white. Rena is distressed by this, “I only know that I am not a white girl but a Negress, and happy and sorry as only I know how to be,” she says. While the scenario Offers such provocative commentary on the issue at hand, it is not without some thoroughly smashing musical interludes. The singing and tap dancing routines near the finale are a high point. 45 minutes. ÒAll-BlackÓ Drama