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A Question for Noir heads, any one recall any Film Noirs that featured gangsters in Zoot Suits. This style of clothing was popularized by Mexican-Americans, African Americans, and Italian Americans during the late 1930s and 1940s.


I can't think of a single period film that displayed that style of clothing. I CAN remember "The Zoot Cat" a 1944 one-reel animated cartoon, and possibly Tex Avery's "Wolfie" character in "Red Hot Riding Hood" may have worn a Zoot Suit. There may have been musicals that featured them but I don't watch many musicals.


More recent depictions:


Who Framed Rodger Rabbit had the Toon patrol in zoot suits & Jim Carey in The Mask wears one. Also a 1981 musical Zoot Suit.


A Question for Noir heads, any one recall any Film Noirs that featured gangsters in Zoot Suits. This style of clothing was popularized by Mexican-Americans, African Americans, and Italian Americans during the late 1930s and 1940s.



I can't think of a single period film that displayed that style of clothing. I CAN remember "The Zoot Cat" a 1944 one-reel animated cartoon, and possibly Tex Avery's "Wolfie" character in "Red Hot Riding Hood" may have worn a Zoot Suit. There may have been a musical that featured them but I don't watch many musicals.

More recent depictions:

Who Framed Rodger Rabbit had the Toon patrol in zoot suits & Jim Carey in The Mask wears one. a Musical Zoot suit (1981)
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Not much responce I see, I'm wondering if Hollywood deliberately refrained from depicting it in fear of popularizing it?

 

I've read that the amount of cloth used in the suits was frowned upon at the time of WW2 as wasteful to the war effort and that they were considered luxury items.

 

 

 

 

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I think it might be that because the origin of the Zoot Suit, (and many of the people wearing them,) was Mexican, and there was a negative view of them by many, and there was at least one riot blamed on Zoot Suiters, studios stayed away from such films. Warner Bros. social protest films were no longer a genre by then, so no Hollywood takers for such films.

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Brian de Palma's film (from the James Ellroy book) devotes a scene to the "zoot suit riots" in 1940's downtown LA, wherein the city police allegedly allowed servicemen (mostly Navy) to beat the daylights out of Mexican "zooters."

 

I have a stubborn memory of a couple other films that covered this strange moment in Los Angeles history, but can't dredge those titles up at this time.

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> {quote:title=Ascotrudgeracer wrote:}{quote}

> I have a stubborn memory of a couple other films that covered this strange moment in Los Angeles history, but can't dredge those titles up at this time.

 

The 1981 film *Zoot Suit* is one. It's all about than incident.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083365/

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