|Directed by||Thornton Freeland|
|Written by||William M. Conselman|
E.J. Rath (story)
Robert Hobart Davis (story)
Owen Davis (play)
William Anthony McGuire (musical)
|Produced by||Samuel Goldwyn |
|Edited by||Stuart Heisler|
|Music by||Nacio Herb Brown|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Whoopee! is a 1930 American pre-Code comedy musical western film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, and Eleanor Hunt. It was photographed in two-color Technicolor. Its plot closely follows the 1928 stage show produced by Florenz Ziegfeld.
In this zany musical, Sally loves Wanenis, a Native American man, but her father has forbidden her to marry him. Instead, she has been convinced to marry Sheriff Bob Wells. At the last minute, however, Sally decides she loves Wanenis too much and tricks farmhand Henry Williams into helping her run away to the ranch of Jerome Underwood. When Wells comes looking for Sally, it proves trouble for the oblivious Henry.
The film was produced by Florenz Ziegfeld and Samuel Goldwyn, and directed by Thornton Freeland. Whoopee! made a movie star of Eddie Cantor, already one of the leading stars of Broadway revues and musical comedies, as well as being a popular recording artist in the United States. The song "My Baby Just Cares for Me" was written especially for Cantor to sing in the film and became a signature tune for him. George Olsen and his Music, already well-known Victor recording artists, repeated their work from the stage version. Other stars in the film were Eleanor Hunt, Ethel Shutta (George Olsen's wife), and Paul Gregory. Future stars Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, Ann Sothern, Virginia Bruce, and Claire Dodd appeared uncredited as "Goldwyn Girls".
The film also launched the Hollywood career of Busby Berkeley. It was Alfred Newman's first composing job in Hollywood. Richard Day did the set designs and behind the camera was Gregg Toland, who later found fame with Orson Welles. H. Bruce "Lucky" Humberstone served in an uncredited role as assistant director.
In 2012, the song "Makin' Whoopee" was featured in the Season 8 premiere of the American adult animated series American Dad!
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction by Richard Day.