Sarumba (September 15, 1952)

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Sarumba
 

Released on Sepbember 15, 1952: A runaway sailor helps a Brazilian dancer invent and perform a new Latin dance that blends a cock fight with the Rumba and Samba.

Produced by Marion Gering and Julian Roffman

Directed by Marion Gering

The Actors: Michael Whalen (Señor José Valdez), Doris Dowling (Hildita), Tommy Wonder (Joe Thomas-Moore), Dee Tatum (Maria), Rodriguez Molina (Rodriguez), Sheila Garret (Helen), Manuel Folgoso (the beggar pretending to be blind), Red Davis (manager of La Paloma), Ira Wolfer (sailor), John D. Bronin (sailor), Collins Hay (sailor), Laurette Campeau (Laurie)

 

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All That . . . And Rhythm Too!

Far into this story as the guy and girl are creating a new Latin dance called the Sarumba, the leading lady tells the leading man that he is a swell guy . . . He responds by telling her that he is 'just your dancing partner - just a stick of wood' . . . Let me tell you the back-story to the stick of wood dancing partner comment . . . In 1914 Tillie Wonder adopted a baby boy and his sister, Tommy and Betty. Tommy could not walk like the other boys and girls as he grew up, it seemed that his destiny was to be a cripple all his life. Instead of accepting the reality that her adopted boy would never walk, his mother did something very unusual. She imagined a way to get into Tommy's head and take his mind off of his disability and help him to learn to walk at the same time. Tillie took a broom stick that was just long enough for Tommy to use as a crutch, and she made it into a special imagination toy-tool for Tommy. She used rags of cloth and other materials from around the house and turned his homemade crutch into a playmate that she named Suzanne. Tommy played with Suzanne, and the stick of wood named Suzanne helped Tommy learn to walk . . . Wait . . . Did I say that Tommy learned to walk? . . . Hell's Bells . . . . Forgive me, I meant to say that Suzanne helped Tommy learn to Dance! The little crippled boy became one of the principal dancers in the 1943 Ziegfeld Follies - The highest honor any dancer could have in 1943. The broomstick doll that his mother created for him turned his terrible disability into his greatest achievement. Dancing on stage and in films like this one is what Tommy Wonder will always be remembered for . . . And that 'stick of wood' broomstick doll that taught a crippled boy to dance? . . . It now resides in a Smithsonian Institution Museum . . . Just a magical stick of wood. One of my mentors says something like this: "In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time." Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the dance.

Dee Tatum, Red Davis and Doris Dowling
Dee Tatum, Red Davis and Doris Dowling
Dee Tatum and Tommy Wonder
Dee Tatum and Tommy Wonder
Dee Tatum
Dee Tatum
Doris Dowling and Dee Tatum
Doris Dowling and Dee Tatum
Doris Dowling and Michael Whalen
Doris Dowling and Michael Whalen
Doris Dowling and Michael Whalen
Doris Dowling and Michael Whalen
Doris Dowling and Tommy Wonder
Doris Dowling and Tommy Wonder
DOris Dowling and Tommy Wonder
DOris Dowling and Tommy Wonder
Michael Whalen and Dee Tatum
Michael Whalen and Dee Tatum
Michael Whalen and Doris Dowling
Michael Whalen and Doris Dowling
Michael Whalen
Michael Whalen
Red Davis
Red Davis
Rodriguez Molina and Tommy Wonder
Rodriguez Molina and Tommy Wonder
Rodriguez Molina
Rodriguez Molina
Shelia Garret and Michael Whalen
Shelia Garret and Michael Whalen
Tommy Wonder and Doris Dowling
Tommy Wonder and Doris Dowling
Tommy Wonder and Manuel Folgoso
Tommy Wonder and Manuel Folgoso
Doris Dowling and Tommy Wonder
Doris Dowling and Tommy Wonder