At the Museum Of Tolerance in Los Angeles, I attended the premier of a new and wonderful docufilm named “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker”.
The entertainment icon Sophie Tucker, was born Sonya Kalish, to a Jewish family from the Ukraine. Her family ran away from Russian Pogroms and immigrated to the United States in 1886; she was born during the passage and died in 1966, at the age of 80.
Tucker, who was known for her stentorian delivery of comical and risque songs, despite having a heavy body frame, was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century, widely known by the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas.”
After Susan and Lloyd Ecker, Innovative Films’ Founders, attended a performance of Bette Midler, who uses paraphrases of Tucker in her performance, they embarked on a journey to understand who was Sophie Tucker.
As Co-Writers, the Eckers used 400+ of Sophie’s recently rediscovered personal scrapbooks to produce the film, which took six years to complete. Having the opportunity to dig deep into Tucker’s life, the Eckers simply fell in love with Sophie and now aim to bring her legacy to life through the theater, a movie and a book.
The docufilm tells the story of the superstar who, before Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Madonna and Lady Gaga, was the first woman to infuriate her audience with bold, bawdy and brassy style, unlike other previous performers. The film that takes the audience on a personal tour of Tucker’s sixty year showbiz career is nostalgic and most entertaining.