Blu-ray Release: Josephine Baker in Princess Tam Tam / Zou Zou

Blu-ray Release Date: Feb. 8, 2022
Price: Blu-ray $19.99
Studio: Kino Lorber

In the 1930s, black performers were forbidden to steal the spotlight from white actors on the American screen. To circumvent this unwritten law, singer/dancer/comedian Josephine Baker accepted the invitation to work in France.

The resulting 1935 films—Princess Tam Tam and Zou Zou—reveal what segregationist producers in the U.S. were afraid of: a confident, sexy, scene-stealing African American woman who spewed exuberance, expressiveness and raw charisma like an uncorked bottle of champagne.

Princess Tam Tam is a Pygmalion-like comedy in which Josephine Baker stars as a mischievous shepherd girl who rises through society to become a pretend princess and the toast of Paris nightlife. Conceived as a vehicle for Baker, then among Europe’s most popular entertainers, Zou Zou was her debut talking film. In the tradition of 42nd Street, it tells the story of a talented Cinderella (Baker) who saves a show and becomes an overnight sensation. Features Josephine’s poignant rendition of “Haiti,” sung while clad in feathers and swinging in a birdcage.

Special Features:
-Three 2005 documentary shorts focus on Josephine Baker: “The Woman,” “The Performer, ”and “The Films.” Includes interviews with  actress Lynn Whitfield, theater  critic Margo Jefferson, dance historian Elizabeth Kendall and Baker’s adopted son Jean-Claude.
-Video tour of Chez Josephine, Jean-Claude Baker’s culinary exhibition of rare Josephine Baker paintings and posters.
-The Fireman of the Folies-Bergère, a 1928 short featuring Baker
-And more!

Buy or Rent Josephine Baker in Princess Tam Tam / Zou Zou

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.