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  • A couple of ol’ movie lists of A couple of ol’ movie lists of interest… What about the shorties? (Part 3)

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      ... and the rest, rounding this up with a minimum of pictures so I can squeeze it all in THREE blogs

       

      1952:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      3.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Woody Woodpecker (Walter Lantz/Universal International)

      6.)     Popeye (Famous Sudios/Paramont)

      7.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.: Daffy, Porky, Sylvester Tweety, Wile E. and everbody else)

      8.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      9.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      10.) Joe McDoakes (Warner Bros.)

      1953:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      3.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy, specials)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia, in 3-D now)

      7.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      8.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      9.)     Joe McDoakes (Warner Bros.)

      10.) True Life Adventures (Walt Disney/RKO)

      Prowlers Of The Everlades (1953 True Life Adventure)

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_14100003_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      1954:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons (Donald Duck, specials)

      3.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      6.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      7.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      8.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      9.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      10.)  Joe McDoakes (Warner Bros.)

      1955:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM, all in CinemaScope)

      3.)     Walt Disney cartoons (Donald Duck)

      4.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      5.)     Pete Smith Specialies (MGM)

      6.)     Sylvester & Tweety (Warner Bros.)

      7.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      9.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.)  Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      1956:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons

      3.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      4.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM, all in CinemaScope)

      5.)     MGM CinemaScope (mostly the Tom & Jerry cartoons, occasional specials)

      6.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      7.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      9.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      10.)  Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      1957:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons

      3.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_20856643_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      4.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      5.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      6.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      7.)     Popeye (Paramount)

      8.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      9.)     Gold Medal Reprint Cartoons (reissued Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes, Warner Bros.)

      10.)  Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      1958:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons (mostly reissues, but also Paul Bunyan)

      3.)     Mister Magoo (UPA/Columbia)

      4.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      5.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM)

      6.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      7.)     Popeye (Paramount, all reissues… ain’t making ‘em this year)

      8.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      9.)     Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      10.)  Terrytoons (20th Century Fox: Sidney Elephant)

      1959:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons (Donald Duck, including reissues)

      3.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      4.)     Three Stooges (Columbia, all reissues after the last “new” one)

      5.)     CinemaScope Cartoons (any studio still making them)

      6.)     Gold Metal Cartoons (reissues of Warner Bros.)

      7.)     CinemaScope Specials (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      9.)     Terrytoons (20th Century Fox, mostly CinemaScope)

      10.)  Popeye (Paramount, all reissues)

      1960:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney cartoons (Goliath II & reissues)

      3.)     Three Stooges (Columbia… making a mint after canning them)

      4.)     Gold Metal Cartoons (despite so many on TV on the Bugs Bunny Show)

      5.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      6.)     Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      7.)     Movietone Subjects (actually CinemaScope Movietone) (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Terrytoons (20th Century Fox… Mighty Mouse is back)

      9.)     Popeye (Paramount, made for TV initially)

      10.)  People & Places (Walt Disney)

      1961:

      1.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM, courtesy of Gene Deitch)

      2.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_8790852_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Not a bunny wabbit, Mr. Abominabbble

      3.)     Walt Disney cartoon (Donald Duck and Goofy are back)

      4.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      5.)     Three Stooges (Columbia is laughing all the way to the bank reissuing these)

      6.)     Walter Lantz cartoons (Universal International: Woody Woodpecker & Chilly Willy)

      7.)     Cartoon Specials… any kind imported from Zagreb or the National Flm Board of Canada or from any independent in the USA

      8.)     Terrytoons (20th Century Fox… Hashimoto, Sidney, Mighty Mouse, Deputy Dawg)

      9.)     Live Action Specials… anything

      10.)  Gold Medal Cartoons

      1962:

      1.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM, courtesy of Gene Deitch)

      2.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      3.)     Walt Disney cartoons (the few he was still making)

      4.)     Three Stooges (oh… Columbia. Did Larry & Moe get any revenue?)

      5.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      6.)     Live Action Specials… any kind

      7.)     Terrytoons (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Walter Lantz Cartoons (Universal International, got the Beary Family added)

      9.)     Cartoon specials… any kind

      10.)  Popeye (Paramount, made for TV initially)

      1963:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros…. the boy was retiring this year temporarily)

      2.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM, Chuck Jones is starting them now)

      3.)     Walt Disney cartoons (mostly reissues)

      4.)     Three Stooges (Columbia.. ditto)

      5.)     Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.)

      6.)     Featurettes… any kind

      7.)     Terrytoons (20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Walter Lantz Cartooms (Universal)

      9.)     Sports in Action (Leslie Winik/Paramount)

      10.)  Popeye Champions (reissues of old cartoons)

       

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  • A couple of ol’ movie lists of A couple of ol’ movie lists of interest… What about the shorties? (Part 2)

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Continuing where I left off… the top selling theatrical shorts according to Quigley Publications. This information can be found in the International Motion Picture Almanac, my copy is the 1965 edition.

       

      1944:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      2.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      4.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      5.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery cartoons)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_9425214_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Tom & Jerry were probably the top-earners, but since the polls didn't distingush between Metro stars, it is fun to give a nod here to The Screwy Truant, Scewy Squirrel

      6.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      7.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      8.)     Speaking of Aimals (Jery Fairbanks/Paramount)

      9.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.) Technicolor Specials (Warner Bros.)

      1945:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_8791000_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Top of the heap for the next decade and a half... fooling Mister Fudd in Hare Tonic

      2.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      4.)     MGM Cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery cartoons)

      5.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      6.)     Speaking of Animals (Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount)

      7.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      8.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      9.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      10.) Technicolor Specials (Warner Bros.)

      1946:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_12406620_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      The Petie reels pretty much dominated the "live-action" categories all decade long, thanks to the addition of funnyman Dave O' Brien (in Sure Cures here).

      4.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      5.)     MGM Cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery cartoons)

      6.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      7.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Speaking of Animals (Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount)

      9.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.) Little Lulu (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      1947:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      3.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_13367170_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      Who needs Jerry? Typical scene in Salt Water Tabby.

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      6.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      7.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      8.)     Speaking of Animals (Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount)

      9.)     Little Lulu (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.) MGM cartoons (Tex Avery)

      1948:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      3.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_15433070_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      Mummies Dummies

      7.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      8.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      9.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      10.) Speaking of Animals (Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount)

      1949:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     Tom & Jerry (MGM)

      3.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      7.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_8791129_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Fast and Furry-ous... nobody expected this one-shot gag cartoon to be a hit.

      8.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      9.)     Leon Errol (RKO)

      10.) MGM cartoons (Tex Avery)

      1950:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      3.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      6.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      7.)     MGM cartoons (Tex Avery)

      8.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

      9.)     Joe McDoakes (Warner Bros.)

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_15366068_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      So You Want To Hold Your Husband, a 1949 filmed/early '50 release

      10.) Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      1951:

      1.)     Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.)

      2.)     MGM cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      4.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto)

      5.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      7.)     Woody Woodpecker (Walter Lantz/Universal International)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_11618084_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Puny Express... the Lantz cartoons are always under-appreciated by the animation fans

      8.)     Joe McDoakes (Warner Bros.)

      9.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros,)

      10.) Little Rascals (Monogram reissues of the pre-1938 Hal Roach series)

       

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  • A couple of ol’ movie lists of A couple of ol’ movie lists of interest… What about the shorties? (Part 1)

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

       

      In another poll done in 1935, Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony Who Killed Cock Robin? made a secondary top ten list. This shows that film shorts were not being ignored, despite being the step-child of the business. However, it wasn’t until 1939 that Quigley Publications started polling the most popular short subject series each year. These statistics come from the 1965 International Motion Picture Almanac, shown with the most popular first:

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_9449175_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Donald was #1 in '39... with Greta in The Autograph Hound

      1939:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (as a whole, but Donald Duck as the main draw)

      2.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros. color cartoons)

      3.)     Broadway Brevities (Warner Bros.)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Our Gang (MGM)

      6.)     MGM cartoons (Barney Bear made his debut)

      7.)     Melody Masters (Warner Bros.)

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_8785183_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Artie Shaw in a  typical '39 Melody Master, Symphony in Swing


      8.)     Terrytoons (Paul Terry/20th Century Fox… Gandy Goose)

      9.)     MGM Miniatures

      10.) FitzPatrick Traveltalks (MGM)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_11002340_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Had these polls been done earlier, I would think the Traveltalks were frequent '30s entries, this being Night Descends On Treasure Island


      1940:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (i.e. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      2.)     March of Time (Time Inc./RKO)

      3.)     Crime Does Not Pay (MGM)

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_16915283_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      This '40 Crime Does Not Pay entry, Know Your Money, stars Dennis Moore with a face you can NOT trust.


      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros. color cartoons, Bugs Buny debuts in A Wild Hare)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_12751965_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Oh Moe... No Census, No Feeling.


      7.)     Popeye (Fleischer/Paramount)

      8.)     Information, Please (RKO)

      9.)     Our Gang (MGM)

      10.) Passing Parade (MGM)

      1941:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (i.e. Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      2.)     March of Time (Time Inc./RKO)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM),

      4.)     All Star Comedies (Columbia)

      5.)     Crime Does Not Pay (MGM)

      6.)     Merry Melodies (Warner Bros. color cartoons)

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_8886767_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Soon to be billed above the title... (see 1944)


      7.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_13722148_66470_18660554_ap.jpg

      Of Pups and Puzzles, one of John Nesbitt's documentaries profiling doggie intelligence


      8.)     Information, Please (RKO)

      9.)     Our Gang (MGM)

      10.) Popeye (Fleischer/Paramount)

      1942:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)



      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_9449409_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Surprisingly, the lists did not indicate which character was leading... Donald, Mickey, Pluto or Goofy (seen here in How To Play Baseball)

      2.)     March of Time (Time Inc./RKO)

      3.)     Bugs Bunny/Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      4.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      5.)     All Star Comedies (Columbia)

      6.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      7.)     Crime Does Not Pay (MGM)

      8.)     Popeye (Fleischer & Famous Studios/Paramount)


      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_11819872_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Only he wasn't alone by 1942...

      9.)     Supeman (Fleischer & Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.) Our Gang (MGM)

      1943:

      1.)     Walt Disney/RKO cartoons (Donald Duck, Goofy & Pluto)

      2.)     Bugs Bunny/Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.)

      3.)     Pete Smith Specialties (MGM)

      4.)     March of Time (Time Inc./20th Century Fox)

       

      http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/66470/photos/PHOTO_10443845_66470_18660554_main.jpg

      Louis Satchmo & Rochester doing a Jack Benny program in the MOT entry Show Business At War.


      5.)     MGM Cartoons (i.e. Tom & Jerry, Droopy)

      6.)     Three Stooges (Columbia)

      7.)     Passing Parade (MGM)

      8.)     Looney Tunes (Warner Bros., in color now)

      9.)     Popeye (Famous Studios/Paramount)

      10.) Speaking of Animals (Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount)

      Next up... 1944

       

       

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  • A couple of ol’ movie lists of A couple of ol’ movie lists of interest… Film Daily’s Top Tens: 1922-1935

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Posted these for one of obrienmundy’s blogs, with a poll on our favorite Academy Award Best Picture winners, and Thrift_Store_Junkie suggested I do the whole thing. Heck… it might make an interesting conversation piece.

      As we all know, the first Best Picture winners for the 1927-28 season (they went by “seasons” running from August to August until the 1934 ceremony fixed it to a calender year) were Wings (as best overall production) and Sunrise (as “artistic” choice). However, what if there were Oscar ceremonies held in earlier years? What would win? Obvously OUR favorites today may not be the same as the Academy’s and general public’s back then. So… for fun... coming from my dusty Film Daily Year Book of 1936... a poll among the critics, with the number of votes for each title indicating which years had close races and which were landslide number one choices. (Initially the critics wrote in their favorites until too many were including films like The Big Parade, which were still-in-release-but-released-last-year choices. Then, in 1928, it was fixed to this-year-only choices.)

      1922:

      31 - Orphans of the Storm (United Artists)

      29 - Grandma’s Boy (Pathé)

      28 - Blood and Sand (Paramount)

      25 - Prisoner of Zenda (Metro)

      22 - When Knighthood Was in Flower (Paramount)

      21 - Nanook of the North (Pathé)

      20 - Smilin’ Through (First National)

      19 - Tol’able David (First National)

      17 - Robin Hood (United Artists)

      13 - Oliver Twist (First National)

      1923:

      53 - Covered Wagon (Paramount)

      26 - Merry-Go-Round (Universal)

      25 - Hunchback of Notre Dame (Universal) & Robin Hood (repeat from ’22 list)

      22 - Green Goddess (Goldwyn)

      20 - Scaramouche (Metro)

      18 - Safety Last (Pathé) & Rosita (United Artists)

      17 - Down to the Sea in Ships (Hodkinson) & Little Old New York (Cosmopolitan/Goldwyn)

      1924:

      52 - Thief of Bagdad (United Artists)

      51 - Sea Hawk (First National)

      36 - Monsieur Beaucaire (Paramount)

      35 - Beau Brummel (Warner Bros.)

      33 - Secrets (First National)

      32 - Marriage Circle (Warner Bros.)

      30 - Abraham Lincoln (First National), Girl Shy (Pathé) & Ten Commandments (Paramount)

      23 - America (United Artists)

      1925:

      63 - Gold Rush (United Artists)

      60 - Unholy Three (MGM)

      57 - Don Q, Son of Zorro (United Artists) & Merry Widow (Metro-Goldwyn)

      55 - Last Laugh (UFA/Universal)

      52 - The Freshman (Unite Artists)

      38 - Phantom of the Opera (Universal)

      36 - Lost World (First National)

      30 - Big Parade (MGM)

      29 - Kiss Me Again (Warner Bros.)

      1926:

      169 - Variety (UFA/Paramount)

      114 - Ben Hur (MGM)

      108 - Black Pirate (United Artists) & Big Parade (repeated from ’25)

      100 - Beau Geste (Paramount)

      95 - Stella Dallas (Goldwyn/United Artists)

      94 - Volga Boatman (PDC)

      66 - What Price Glory (Fox)

      62 - Sea Beast (Warner Bros.)

      49 - La Boheme (MGM)

      1927:

      235 - Beau Geste (repeated from ’26)

      205 - Big Parade (repeated from ’25 & ’26)

      179 - What Price Glory? (repeated from ’26)

      167 - Way of All Flesh (Paramount)

      164 - Ben Hur (repeated from ’26)

      162 - Seventh Heaven (Fox)

      146 - Chang (Paramount)

      97 - Underworld (Paramount)

      91 - Resurrection (United Artists)

      77 – Flesh and the Devil (MGM)

      1928:

      210 - The Patriot (Paramount)

      180 - Sorrell and Son (United Artists)

      135 - Last Command (Paramount)

      125 - Four Sons (Fox)

      124 - Street Angel (Fox)

      122 - The Circus (United Artists)

      119 - Sunrise (Fox)

      105 - The Crowd (MGM)

      99 - King of Kings (Pathé)

      95 - Sadie Thompson (United Artists)

      1929:

      192 - Disraeli (Warner Bros.)

      161 - Broadway Melody (MGM) & Madame X (MGM)

      158 - Rio Rita (RKO)

      139 - Gold Diggers of Broadway (Warner Bros.)

      125 - Bulldog Drummond (Goldwyn/United Artists)

      121 - In Old Arizona (Fox)

      113 - Cock-eyed World (Fox)

      110 - Last of Mrs. Cheyney (MGM)

      101 - Hallelujah! (MGM)

      1930:

      271 - All Quiet on the Western Front (Universal)

      167 - Abraham Lincoln (United Artists)

      166 - Holiday (Pathé)

      151 - Journey’s End (Tiffany)

      141 - Anna Christie (MGM) & The Big House (MGM)

      121 - With Byrd at the South Pole (Paramount)

      94 - The Divorcee (MGM)

      91 - Hell’s Angels (United Artists)

      87 - Old English (Warner Bros.)

      1931:

      273 - Cimarron (RKO)

      200 - Street Scene (Goldwyn/United Artists)

      178 - Skippy (Paramount)

      172 - Bad Girl (Fox)

      164 - Min and Bill (MGM)

      162 - Front Page (United Artists)

      138 - Five Star Final (Warner Bros.)

      128 - City Lights (United Artists)

      114 - A Free Soul (MGM)

      99 - Sin of Madelon Claudot (MGM)

      1932:

      296 - Grand Hotel (MGM)

      214 - The Champ (MGM)

      192 - Arrowsmith (Goldwyn/United Artists)

      170 - The Guardsman (MGM)

      168 - Smilin’ Through (MGM)

      161 - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paramount)

      154 - Emma (MGM)

      141 - Bill of Divorcement (RKO)

      136 - Back Street (Universal)

      135 - Scarface (United Artists)

      1933:

      304 - Cavalcade (Fox)

      209 - 42nd Street (Warner Bros.)

      187 - Private Life of Henry VIII (London/United Artists)

      173 - Lady for a Day (Columbia)

      169 - State Fair (Fox)

      167 - A Farewell to Arms (Paramount)

      158 - She Done Him Wrong (Paramount)

      156 - I Am a Fugitive from the Chain Gang (Warner Bros.)

      137 - Maedchen in Uniform (Deutsche Film)

      128 - Rasputin and the Empress (MGM)

      1934:

      348 - The Barrets of Wimpole Street (MGM)

      338 - The House of Rothschild (20th Century/United Artists)

      281 - It Happened One Night (Columbia)

      265 - One Night of Love (Columbia)

      254 - Little Women (RKO)

      249 - The Thin Man (MGM)

      188 - Viva, Villa! (MGM)

      172 - Dinner at Eight (MGM)

      145 - The Count of Monte Cristo (United Artists)

      119 - Berkeley Square (Fox)

      1935:

      339 - David Copperfield (MGM)

      278 - The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (Paramount)

      256 - The Informer (RKO)

      250 - Naughty Marietta (MGM)

      235 - Les Miserables (20th Century/UnitedArtists)

      222 - Ruggles of Red Cap (Paramount)

      174 - Top Hat (RKO)

      166 - Broadway Melody of 1936 (MGM)

      135 - Roberta (RKO)

      129 - Anna Karenina (MGM)

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Apr TCM Short Subject Schedule April 19th-27th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Another holiday weekend… The Ten Commandments is shown pan & scan on ABC and both Ben Hur and The King Of Kings get the Letterbox treatment on TCM. Maybe TCM should negotiate to air DeMille too? Actually the VistaVision pics fair better on the small screen than the other super size formats and the newer TVs of today are “widescreen” anyway. Yet, if shown on TCM, Anne Baxter’s “Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!” wouldn’t get followed by another long set of commercials.

       

      Got more Charley Chase this week... and Andy Clyde too! You may also feel déjà vu seeing Cliff Edwards on your screen since he is all over the place this week. The Santa Anita racetrack also gets covered well. Best of all, Canada is truly blessed with a mini-Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy marathon instead of the usual boring religious epics that those of us south of the border are force-fed. Not ALL of theirs are shown, but more than usual.

       

      Not sure if the TCM shop will be selling it, but Amazon and Barnes & Noble have it… Shout! Factory and Sony are releasing The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection 1949-1959 this week. This is the perfect companion piece to TCM and Sony’s joint UPA Jolly Frolics (apparently one of their biggest sellers and worth its $35 price tag simply because anybody interested in ol’ cartoons will be watching the various titles many times). It is very fortunate that the UPA cartoons are getting beautiful restoration treatment for our toony geeks’ home consumption… in a way other studios like Max Fleischer’s have not. (Speaking of which, Paramount’s Olive Films division has been releasing the full Betty Boops in four parts, looking pretty nice if not fixing their altered-in-the-fifties title cards as Warner took the time and effort to do with their licensed Popeyes.)

       

      Saturday the 19th

      1:46 AM: MGM Jubilee Overture (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10+m-(CinemaScope Musical Gem)-July 22, 1954

      Johnny Greene conducts a medley of popular MGM hits in gorgeous widescreen and stereophonic sound. This short was first released with Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

      5:47 AM: Behind The Scenes With Glenn H. Randall & Yakim Canutt is a vintage promotional on the chariot race in Ben Hur (1959).

      10:02 AM: The Sun… The Sand… And The Hill covers the late 1964 filming of The Hill, which Sean Connery starred in between his two most profitable Bonds, Goldfinger and Thunderball.

      1:49 PM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s World Famous Musical Hits promotes a reissue of several in 1960 that were favorites in the less cynical 1940s.

      7:42 PM: I Am An American (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) bw-20+m-(Special w/ Dennis Morgan)-December 23, 1944

      Nicely edited, if sentimental, docu-drama about of a Polish immigrant family, shown with some actors at the Burbank lot intermixed with newsreel footage of many famous sons-and-daughters of immigrants. This was a typical wartime piece promoting solidarity among your fellow countrymen in conflict.

       

      Sunday the 20th

      1:01 AM: The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story, a min-feature running an hour, is repeated from last week.

      3:32 AM: On Location: Where Eagles Dare shows Clint Estwood, Richard Burton & company on location in Austria in early 1968 filming one of MGM’s few moneymakers in the last years of the decade.

      12:23 PM (Canada): Double Talk (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-10m-(Vitaphone Novelty)-June 26, 1937 (filmed November ’36)

      Belly-laugh Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy vehicle has our all-time favorite “dummy” trying to get “adopted” at an orphanage by a southern dame. When a less glamorous matron shows interest in him, he pretends to be sick. Oh Charlie…

      Nut Guilty (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11+m-(Vitaphone Novelty)-June 12, 1936 (filmed January) 

      Charlie and Edgar preside over the courtroom, complete with a juvenile jury. Charlie is his usual naughty self, asking to play post office with the secretary. He later chirps to Miss O’Grady (Gerrie Worthing), “Young lady, I fine you 90 dollars.” Response: “Hah! That's a cinch. I got the 90 dollars right here in my stocking.” Charlie’s counter-attack: “Uh-huh. Well, now reach down in the other stocking and get the 90 days that goes with it.” George Anderson and Edith Brandall round out the cast.

      Bring On The Girls (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio) bw-11+m-(Big Time Vaudeville)-March 6, 1937

      Sitting in a theater box, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy are talking up a storm between vaudeville acts, which include Jerry Goff & Jack Kerr, Torelli's Circus animals and Alice Murphy's Quintuplets.

      The All American Drawback (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11m-(Pepper Pot)-October 5, 1935 (filmed June)

      It is hard to pinpoint which is the funniest Edgar Bergen shortie, since they all suffer from too short of a running time (i.e. the endings can be abrupt) and yet all provide the laughs. I guess I find Charlie most funny here as a rather oversexed wooden-head (er… I should watch how I phrase that), only the gals in the college campus setting are not taking his come-on requests. Coach Bergen, of course, wants this star quarterback (who? Charlie?) to focus more on his studies. Oh… Edgar.

      Free And Easy (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-8+m-(Pepper Pot)-November 8, 1931

      Charlie McCarthy and “Professor” Edgar Bergen sit around the fire with the hoboes and we get a story-within-a-story fantasy about a gypsy teller aiding them in finding loot in an old house. Christina Graver is featured here.

      A Neckin’ Party (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-September 4, 1937

      This was Warner’s last Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy comedy to be filmed (at Vitaphone in Brooklyn NYC) right about the time they joined Chase & Sanborn in May 1937 (although a travelogue short set in Sweden was later done for WB in 1950). It also marked an early appearance by Mortimer Snerd as this troupe heads south of the border and womanizer dummy Chuck almost gets lasso-ed for romancing the wrong dame.

      1:16 PM (US): Another MGM “must see” from ’68, The Shoes Of The Fisherman’s promotional gets shown more often than the feature itself.

      4:15 PM: The 20th Century Fox feature on Charlton Heston as Michelangelo, The Agony And The Excstacy (1965) gets spotlighted in Prologue: The Artist Who Did Not Want To Paint.

      9:48 PM: Let's Sing A Stephen Foster Song (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl; narrator: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Memories From Melody Lane)-May 8, 1948 (filmed September 1947)

      Part bio on the 19th century composer and part singalong, with parts of an earlier dramatic short Plantation Melodies (1945) edited in.

       

      Monday the 21st

      5:51 PM: The Big Sur covers the 1964 filming of Burton & Taylor in The Sandpiper.

      7:38 PM: In Walked Charley (Hal Roach/MGM- Warren Doane) bw-21+m-(Charley Chase)-April 23, 1932 (filmed December '31)

      Chuck is a nerdy travel agent here… and traveling to a wealthy estate to sell a Bermuda package. Julie Bishop is the pretty love interest with Gertrude Astor and looney tune Dell Anderson (dressing in drag) as her annoying parents. Billy Gilbert is Dell’s doctor. Of course, much of this is a family oriented gag.

      10:11 PM: A Day At Santa Anita (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) c-17m59s-(Technicolor Special)-May 22, 1937

      Sybil Jason, Warner’s answer to Shirley Temple, appears with Marcia Ralston, Matthew Beard (our beloved Stymie of Our Gang fame) and others in this slim tale of a horse pushed to win with the little girl’s aid. Much of the fun happens when Warner’s top stars make their Technicolor debuts as spectators: Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Hugh Herbert, Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson, Olivia de Haviland and Allen Jenkins are among those making cameos.

      11:34 PM: The Royal Rodeo (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- George Amy; s: Owen Crump) c-15m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-November 25, 1939

      Hollywood heart-throb John Payne in full color here as a cowboy along with Cliff Edwards (a.k.a. Jiminy Cricket) and Scotty Beckett (of Our Gang fame). Western genre meets King Arthur swashbuckler and songs committed to "That's the American Way." Don’t expect the Jane Austin treatment here; just enjoy it for what it is.

       

      Tuesday the 22nd

      5:09 AM: Use Your Imagination (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18+m-(Broadway Brevity)-©-September 2, 1933 (filmed April)

      Hal LeRoy is a bellhop dreaming up dance numbers on the job. Mitzi Mayfair is his love interest (and a regular with rubbery-legged Hal) with the Eton Boys providing comic support. Highlights include a barber shop number with some impressive eye-popping optical effects that will please aging Woodstockers tuning in (a groovy as LSD) and a wonderfully campy birdy costumed finish.

      6:25 AM: Star Night At The Cocoanut Grove (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Ray Rennahan & William Skall) c-19m30s-(Colortone Musical / Galaxy Of Stars)-December 1, 1934

      One of MGM’s early full Technicolor shorts, although not as pretty as the FitzPatrick Traveltalks or The Spectacle Maker. The 'galaxy of stars' on display here includes Mary Pickford (whom we don’t see much in the thirties, let alone in color), Victor Moore, Bing Crosby (not often in MGM flix), Gary Cooper, Leo Carillo (hosting) and Ted FioRito’s Orchestra.

      6:50 AM: Whisperin' Bill (MGM- Ben Holmes) bw-10+m-(MGM Oddity)-February 20, 1933

      A mini-vehicle for Charles 'Chic' Sale as an elderly farmer (although the actor is only in his forties here) dictating a popular poem to a visiting congressman.

      9:27 AM (US): Let's Sing A Song Of The West (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) bw-9+m-(Memories From Melody Lane)-September 27, 1947

      An amiable musical history lesson that gets us to sing at the end. Makes good use of stock clips of Cherokee Strip and other westerns.

      9:35 AM (Canada): March On America! (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Owen Crump; narrator: Richard Whorf) c-21+m-(Technicolor Special)-May 16, 1942

      Slightly ham-fisted, but highly entertaining and educational crash course in United States history (but shown north of the border). Footage from a cluster of 1936-40 historical Technicolor “historicals” (i.e. Song Of A Nation, Give Me Liberty, Declaration Of Independence, Sons Of Liberty, Teddy The Rough Rider, etc.) are stitched with new (staged) footage of Pearl Harbor to cover the years 1620 to 1941.

      10:40 AM: Speed In The Gay '90's (Speed In The Gay Nineties) (Sennett Comedies/Educational- Del Lord) bw-18+m-(Andy Clyde)-April 3, 1932

      Andy Clyde, playing his ol’ gruff character pre-Columbia, enters a tin-lizzy at the state fair. Supporting cast includes Helen Mann, Roger Moore, Bud Jamison, Anna Dodge and the great Barney Oldfield himself... and no stranger to Mack Sennett comedies.

      12:04 PM: The Mission Trail (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: John W. Boyle) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 13, 1946

      … stretching from San Diego to Sonoma, Californay-ey, with historical hot spots lke San Juan Capistrano (and the swallows) inbetween.

      1:24 PM: John Wayne gets the Hollywood Hist-O-Rama treatment (1961)… photos and more photos as we get a quickie wikipedia tale of his career.

      2:23 PM: Starlit Days At The Lido (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Alexander Van Dorn) c-20m-(Galaxy Of Stars)-September 28, 1935

      Nobody made better “Meet the Stars” extravaganzas in the thirties than producer Louis Lewyn. Everybody who is anyone makes a Technicolor debut: Clark Gable (yup… his color debut outside of animated cartoon spoofs), Robert Montgomery, Francis Lederer, Constance Bennett, Reginald Denny, Buster Crabbe, Richard Barthelmess, etc. Of course, Cliff Edwards was a regular in several of these.

      4:51 PM: Historic Mexico City (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick & Louis Lewyn; camera: Wilfred Cline) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-September 7, 1935

      This marked FitzPatrick’s second Technicolor visit south of the border, for those keeping track of his chronological filmography. Wilfred Cline previously handled Colorful Guatemala.

      7:50 PM: Natural Wonders Of Washington State (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-October 2, 1939

      Focusing on Mount Rainier and other national parks… much of it looking the same today. The winter recreation scene involving tourists wood-skiing down the slopes has oddball interest.

       

      Wednesday the 23rd

      6:27 AM (Canada): A Dream Of Love (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) bw-37 (edited to 17) m-(Special)-January 1938

      Directed by our favorite travel guide and starring Ian Colin, Sylvia Marriott, Cathleen Nesbitt and Julie Suedo, this is a romanticized biopic on composer Franz Liszt, shown in flashbacks as he spends his waning years in an abbey. The featured item of interest here is a flower representing a lost love. Initially planned as feature, but cut back in length.

      10:39 AM: In case you missed it yesterday, a repeat four minutes of John Wayne in a collage of film stills.

      7:30 PM (Canada): Hollywood Handicap (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Buster Keaton) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-May 28, 1938

      That’s right… Keaton directed it. Yet there isn’t much comedy here, mostly music.  A group of stable hands, the Original Sing Band, raise money for a horse at the Santa Anita.

      10:23 PM: The Friendship Train (Warner Bros.) bw-14+m-(UN aid to Europe Special)-December 1947

      Interesting newsreel-ish promotional for supporting a post-war Europe with supplies, with Drew Pearson drumming up support from Hollywood.

       

      Thursday the 24th

      12:41 AM: Pacific Paradise (MGM- George Sidney) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-September 22, 1937

      Cliff Edwards, a year or so before he began recording for Disney’s Pinocchio, along with bandleader Harry Owens headline this musical fluff. Also the Royal Hawaiian Hulu Girls and Harger & Maye.

      2:48 AM: A Lady Fights Back (MGM) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-November 11, 1944 

      The "lady" here is the French luxury liner Normandie, made good use by the US military at wartime (and renamed USS Lafayette) despite a 1942 fire. A nice newsreel style documentary of the period.

      11:04 AM: The United States Service Bands (Warner Bros.) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-July 24, 1943

      Title says it all. This is basically a compilation of previous Melody Masters such as United States Army Air Force Band, United States Marine Band and United States Navy Band.

      12:58 PM: Fishing Feats (MGM- Charles Treggo) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-December 22, 1951

      Average Smithie sports reel spotlighting the ferocious marlin and the hammerhead shark along the Pacific coastlines.

      5:44 PM: Sentinels In The Air (RKO- Howard Winner) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-©-February 10, 1956

      Robert Preston, pre-Music Man, narrates this US Air Force documentary, one of many cranked out in the Eisenhower Era. (Waner Bros. used Jack Webb and CinemaScope on one of theirs.)

      10:24 PM: The Tanks Are Coming (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Easton) c-20m-(Technicolor Special)-October 4, 1941

      Familiar character star (later in Bewitched) George Tobias plays a taxi driver who makes the fatal error of bringing his “baby” to a tank training center at Fort Knox. William Justice, Frank Wilcock and Byron Barr all play soldiers in training but the real star is the gorgeous Technicolor here, better than most features of the period.

       

      Friday the 25th

      12:34 AM: United States Marine Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-November 14, 1942

      William Santelmann conducts in Washington DC as Negulesco shoots some of his trademark low angle shots.

      3:05 AM: West Point On The Hudson (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-January 10, 1942

      Shot just before Pearl Harbor at the US Military Academy with our easy chair guru as our guide.

      9:27 AM: So You Think You're a Nervous Wreck (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-10m58s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-December 28, 1946

      How did we get so lucky this week? Joe is the typical underpaid and underappreciated employee who learns from his buddy Homer (ex-Our Gang-er Clifton Young) how to be assertive… even if it employs a bit of cowboyesque fantasy. Some good stuff here.

      7:38 PM: Gdy Spadaja Anioly (When Angels Fall) (Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Filmowa/PWSFTviT- Roman Polanski) c-21m-(drama w/ Barbara Lass, Henryk Kluba, Andrzej Kondratiuk)-February 1959

      Early Polanski in Poland, when he was doin’ the shorties. An elderly cleaning lady (Polanski himself!) remembers her youth in a series of flashbacks, many with a wartime backdrop, while tending the men’s lavatory. Interesting artsy stuff here.

       

      Saturday the 26th

      12:33 AM: On Location With Westworld covers MGM’s intriguing 1973 mix of sci fi with westerns.

      5:36 PM: Ancient India (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-June 7, 1952 (filmed '51)

      Visiting the Raj in Bundi and later the pink city of Jaipur.

      9:42 PM: A Modern Cinderella (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-17+m-(Broadway Brevity)-November 5, 1932 (filmed August 1932) 

      Ruth Etting, top lady crooner of the twenties and thirties, made a cluster of musical shorts for Vitaphone-Warner and RKO. This one is an extra on Doris Day’s Love Me Or Leave Me biopic DVD with “Anita” delivers a dress from daddy’s shop to a costume ball and winds up modeling it for a skeptical customer… and singing such tunes as “Little Cinderella” and “It Was So Beautiful”. Brian Donlevy, Adrian Rosley and Barbara Child support.

      11:50 PM: Delightful Denmark (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jun 27, 1953

      Focusing on the rural areas, in particular the flower business. (Copenhagen- City Of Towers already covered the urban sprawl.)

       

      Sunday the 27th

      5:45 AM: Don’t Get Angry (Encyclopedia Britannica [Milan Herzog]- Rose H. Alschuler) bw-11m24s-(docu-drama)-March 16, 1953

      Susan and her buddy are jumping rope one sunny afternoon (late in 1952, I guess) and get into a fight. Uh oh. Paul is also frustrated with his model plane, as is Carol… who rips up her magazine. Poor Eddie. Everybody is “bursting with unhappiness”. Kids should know better. Our happy narrator shows us how.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for April 6th-18th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      I will go off on a tangent here. Although I have gradually been adding shortie titles to the IMDb.com site (but not in a while, with the usual distractions), I figured I would start an account with Wikipedia and maybe-maybe-maybe-possibly add “series” of film shorties as articles. Already did one for “E.M. Newman Travelogues” and a few others (since my goal is to post all of the Warner Brothers series at least).

       

      Gee… those things are tough to write. Too easy to make spelling errors and post “multiple” links. Need more pwactisse.

       

      Funny thing about it… my articles are topics that “fewer than 30 are watching” (or so it says on one of the menu pages you can read). I don’t think a huge crowd of hot-blooded Americans are that eager to learn about antique “foreign adventures” of the thirties. Even TCM only shows two of them: Little Journeys To Great Masters and Hots Spots of the Far East. Do I pick ‘em or do I pick ‘em?

       

      Sunday the 6th

      1:32 AM: Lionpower At MGM is a full 27 minutes of Metro promotion spotlighting the 1967-68 season, some features completed and ready for release like Far From The Maddening Crowd and others still in production (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fixer and others are mostly storyboard pictures).

      5:25 AM: Booked For Safe Keeping (US Dept. Of Health Education- George C. Stoney; narr: James Daly) bw-31m15s-(documentary)-December 1960

      A training film that makes for interesting “cinéma vérité” of cops attending troubled (often psychologically) residents in New Orleans.

      7:40 AM: Sucker List (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-September 27, 1941

      Don’t trust anybody at the race track. Yesterday’s winners may be given to the naïve. Lynne Carver, John Archer, Noel Madison, George Cleveland and Norman Willis all play bit roles in what was more of a major panic pre-Pearl Harbor than today.

      9:39 AM: Seventh Column (MGM- Will Jason) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-July 31, 1943

      One of the more modest wartime intructionals, demonstrating how carelessness and accidents at work and home can harm the war effort. Followed by that repeating promotional Action On The Beach (a.k.a. The Americanization Of Emily, 1964)

      3:47 PM: More MGM promotionals: The Big Sur covers The Sandpiper’s filming in 1964, while Milton Fox Esq., shown at 5:43, a least involves a more unlikely star… a penguin… in the same year’s Quick Before It Melts.

      11:27 PM: Now We’ll Tell One (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrott) bw-19+m-(Charley Chase)-November 19, 1932 (filmed July)

      Charley goes sci fi. Actually, this has a vague… very vague… resemblance to a 1955 Bugs Bunny cartoon Bugs Bonnets, in which multiple hats change the wabbit and Elmer Fudd’s personalities. This time, the intriguing idea has Charley beng manipulated by a scientist’s “power belt” and, of course, our star becomes quite the personality “chameleon”. With Muriel Evans, Lillian Elliott and Frank Darien in support.

       

      Monday the 7th

      1:33 AM: Angora Love (Hal Roach/MGM- Lewis Foster) bw-21+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-December 14, 1929 (filmed March)

      Stan and Ollie… and a smelly goat, hardly beloved by their landlord.

      5:50 PM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s World Famous Musical Hits promotes a reissue of several in 1960 that were favorites in the less cynical 1940s.

       

      Tuesday the 8th

      4:43 AM: Science Friction (Stanley Vanderbeek) c-9m51s-(animated)-1959

      Pop Art (a.k.a. early Andy Warhol) becomes animated. Later in the sixties, Sesame Street and Monty Python showed many “like” cut-out photos pixilated across the screen. Rocket ships, new technology, physicists at work, television, Moscow and even the Statue of Liberty (and Empire State, Big Ben, etc.) are all lampooned here… and you can’t beat the humor of seeing a fried egg a-sizzlin’ as its climax.

       

      Wednesday the 9th

      4:22 AM (Canada): Glass Bottom Boat At Nasa covers the filming of the 1965 Doris Day film.

      9:05 AM: Around The World In California (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-May 17, 1947

      A post-war tour of the deserts and vineyards, Leo Carrillo's ranch, Chinatown and LA’s Olvera Street, all interesting for historical nostalgia if not ground breaking documentary cinema.

      7:44 PM: From The Four Corners (D& P Studios/Ministry of Information- Anthony Havelock-Allan) bw-15+m-(Special: Corporal W. Atkinson, Private R. Gilbert & Leslie Howard)-December 1941

      Vintage Leslie Howard in shortie form. This curious wartime propaganda piece unites soldiers from different parts of the Empire.

       

      Thursday the 10th

      5:30 AM (Canada): Ups And Downs (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-21m37s-(Broadway Headliners)-October 18, 1937

      Harmless and enjoyable musical fluff has a very blonde (pre-MGM) June Allyson being wooed by elevator operator Hal LeRoy, who impresses her pop (and hotel owner) with his financial stock "insight". Phil Silvers plays a tailor involved in Hal’s suit mixup. Fred Hillebrand, Alexander Campbell, Reed Brown, Jr., Toni Lane and the Deauville Boys round out the cast. (see blog photo)

       

      Friday the 11th

      3:39 PM: Hollywood Wonderland (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) c-16m-(Special)-August 9, 1947 (Filmed April ’46)

      A movie tour guide takes a troop to see musicals in production… well, actually already produced. At least half of this film consists of stock scenes of late thirties stuff like Swingtime At The Movies and Royal Rodeo.

       

      Saturday the 12th

      2:02 AM (Canada): Weekend In Hollywood is a 1947 Hollywood Film Enterprises promotional with appearances by Guy Kibbee, Freddie Fisher and Don Ameche.

      9:58 AM: The Moviemakers is a promotional for The Wild Rovers (shot 1970)

       

      Sunday the 13th

      12:02 AM: So Your Wife Wants To Work (Warner Bros.- Richard L. Bare) bw-8m58s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-July 14, 1956 

      This is the last and one of the funniest of all McDoakes comedies: Alice (Phyllis Coates) goes to work at Joe's office (with boss Emory Parnell) and, surprisingly, winds up vice-president (this being before women’s lib and ahead of its time). Up-to-date jokes spotlighting the Davy Crockett craze are an added plus.

      5:30 AM: Tear Gas In Law Enforcement (Golden Gate State Film Productions/Lake Erie Chemical Company) c-26m35s-(police training film)-1962

      … and the stuff got used a lot in the sixties. The chemical company back this “proper use” instructional.

      6:00 AM (Canada): Heavenly Music (MGM [Jerry Bresler & Sam Coslow]- Josef Berne) bw-22+m-(Special)-May 1, 1943

      This Oscar winner made the cut on Volume 2 of Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory: Frederick Brady plays a deceased bandleader Ted Barry, trying to prove to the classical bigwigs up in heaven that his swing music is equally worthy to play beyond The Pearly Gates. Eric Bore, a regular in many thirties features, also appears here.

      Daily Beauty Rituals (Educational- Constance Bennett) Cinecolor-5+m-(documentary)-1937

      Nice vintage make-up Hollywood style informercial in color. The actress and her husband director previously shot some much more interesting and provocative 2-color features like Legong: Dance Of The Virgins, with its topless Bali dancing, and Kilou The Killer Tiger.

       

      Monday the 14th

      The sneaky TCM Elves snuck this goodie at the last minute…

      An Optical Poem (MGM- Oskar Fischinger) c-6+m- (animated)-March 8, 1938 (produced ’37)

      A cartoon not made by the in-house facilities (doing Captain & the Kids at this time, pre-Tom & Jerry era), but the music will sound familiar (particularly with its repeated use in Looney Tunes with Bugs & company): Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody”. The top abstract animator brings a variety of shapes to “dance” to the music, some cut outs moved about the animation stand.

      10:43 AM: Cavalcade Of Archery (Warner Bros.- Howard Hill) c-9m23s-(Sports Parade)-January 12, 1946 (Filmed ’45)

      Macho Howard Hill demonstrates some of his precise bow prowess with a William Tell victim, mirrors, itty bitty fruit and buxom giggling beauties all admiring his… um… skills. Includes a brief outtake scene from The Adventures of Robin Hood at the beginning of the reel that you won’t see in the feature. Followed by a Hollywood Hist-O-Rama on Fred MacMurray (1961)

      6:43 PM: Breakdowns Of 1941 is just a series of bloopers shown exclusively for Warner employees in December. Now we see these as extras on DVDs and on TCM.

      7:37 PM: Cairo Theater Opening is a vintage 1940 newsreel spotlighting some MGM releases.

       

      Tuesday the 15th

      1:20 AM: This Theatre And You (Warner Bros.- Felix Jacoves; narrator: Brandon Beach) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts)-June 1949

      All about Going To The Movies… part of a series all the studios distributed for the Academy.

      3:20 AM: Goofy Movies No. 3 (MGM- narrator: Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(comedy)-March 24, 1934

      Not sure what vintage silent films will be ridiculed here, but FitzPatrick Fanatics will chuckle over this one since the vintage travelogues get some trademark Smithie commentary.

      5:49 PM: The Beach Of Nazaré (RKO- Van Campen Heilner) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-January 8, 1957 (edited ’56)

      Touring a fishing village in Portugal, from a director of many US-shot fishing and camping reels for Warners, RKO and other studios.

      7:44 PM: Speed Week (RKO- Howard Winner) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-1957 

      This not often shown sport-reel (that barely got released when the studio collapsed) profiles the automobile races held annually in Nassau, Bahamas.

      11:41 PM: Polar Outpost (RKO- Jerome Brondfield) bw-15+m-(Special)-January 1957

      Above average Cold War artifact traipsing up to Alaska and arctic Canada where US air bases and one captain Richard Crane are patrolling for Soviet threat, the so called Distant Early Warning Line.

       

      Wednesday the 16th

      Missed this one that the TCM Elves sprung at 6:39 AM: Putting Pants On Philip (Hal Roach/MGM- Clyde Bruckman) bw/silent-20m-(Laurel & Hardy)-December 3, 1927

      7:30 PM (Canada): Know Your Money (MGM- Joe Newman) sepiatone-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-January 27, 1940 (filmed ’39)

      Here our MGM crime reporter exposes The Counterfeiting Racket. Kind of reminds me of the hilarious Jack Benny “I Stand Condemned” radio sketches with Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff respectively… hilarious stuff you can listen to after this serious take on the crime. Noel Madison, Dennis Moore, Adrian Morriss, John Wray, William Edmunds & Charles D. Brown are credited here in the cast.

      2:31 PM: Thrills Of Yesterday: Serious Moments From Serial Days (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- script: Burt Hershey; editor: Bert Frank) bw-9m32s-(Pepper Pot)-October 17, 1931

      Vitagraph and other vintage film clips from the silent era are stitched together here: Norma Talmidge in A Daughter’s Strange Inheritance (1915), William Duncan in 1914 western serial (not sure which one), two clips from Perils Of Pauline (Eclectic 1914) including a delightful alligator-attack-villian scene, Harry Houdini in The Master Mystery (Rolphe Photplays 1920) and Larry Semon in No Wedding Bells (1922)

      11:46 PM: Penny Wisdom (MGM- David Miller) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-April 10, 1937

      A humorous Oscar winner in the color shortie category: Gertrude Short plays Mrs. Smudge, who desperately needs to prepare a big dinner for hubbie and boss. The poor cocker spaniel getting stuck where he shouldn’t in the kitchen doesn’t help. Enter Prudence Penny, newspaper columnist decked in her expensive furs, to the rescue… with a high calorie din-din complete with sausage overkill and baked ice-cream (the only really appetizing part for me).

       

      Thursday the 17th

      5:00 AM: The Metro-Goldwyn-Story is not a short, but a 57 feature celebrating the silver jubilee of 1949.

      10:13 AM (Canada): Kiddie Revue (MGM- Robert E. Hopkins) sepia-15+m-(Colortone Revue)-November 20, 1930

      An assortment of juvenile talent put on a musical show in sepia-toned black and white, the highlinght being the “Poop-a-Doop” foursome.

      12:04 PM: The Rainbow Pass (MGM- Jacques Tourneur & Richard Goldstone; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-September 11, 1937

      No doubt some stock footage from The Good Earth with vintage travelogue footage was blended in here with a more locally shot (i.e. California) theater performance. The title relates to a harvest oriented play about a Chinese widow challenging the killer of her husband in combat. As usual, these novelty docu-reels with Carey gung-ho narrating are interesting to see, but it is fair to say that this is a bit less enthralling than its plot suggests.

      4:19 PM: City Of Children (MGM) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-August 27, 1949

      A short profile of the Mooseheart, Illinois orphanage, narrated by MGM’s best storyteller.

       

      Friday the 18th

      7:36 PM: Pasternak profiles the author of Dr. Zhivago as a promotional for the feature.

      Visiting St. Louis (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-February 19, 1944

      With no arch to spotlight in 1943, we head off to the zoo where Happy and Pao Pei make their Technicolor cameos: http://www.giantpandazoo.com/SaintLouisZoo.html

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for March 27th-April 5th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      We’re finishing up this mad mad month of March with Sunday’s zany return to those oddball abstract shorties that were shown a few months back. For those who need to understand what they’ve stumbled out of bed for, there is a documentary that “explains” them at 2AM: Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film. Less experimental are the weekly Hal Roach shorts… Stan and Ollie… and Charley. Let’s hope TCM keep bringin’ ‘em on through April as well.

       

      Thursday the 27th

      12:12 AM: Visiting St. Louis (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-February 19, 1944

      With no arch to spotlight in 1943, we head off to the zoo where Happy and Pao Pei make their Technicolor cameos: http://www.giantpandazoo.com/SaintLouisZoo.html

      7:09 AM: Gems Of MGM (MGM) bw-16+m-(Colortone Revue)-May 19, 1930

      A collection of musical and comedy acts, some recycled from 1928-29: Marion Harris, the Brox Sisters & Benny Rubin featured.

      8:36 AM: Salt Water Daffy (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Ray McCarey) bw-21m-(Big V Comedy)-©-September 16, 1933 (filmed June)

      Before he played the Tin Man in a certain Judy Garland flick, Jack Haley enjoyed modest success in both short and feature comedies like this delight with Shemp Howard (of stooge fame) escaping the cops by joining the navy… and causing constant havoc on Sgt. Lionel Stander (one of my all-time favorite picked-upon gravel-voiced comedians). Charles Judels also appears as a fake “Count” visiting the military facilities for ominous reasons… (see blog photo)

      11:30 AM: The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrot) bw-20+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-September 6, 1930 (filmed May)

      Stan and Ollie make one of their spook mansion comedies: initially hoping to inherit a family fortune, they are forced to spend the night as suspects of Stan’s uncle’s murder. The usual bumps in the night keep them awake and spooky butler Frank Austin is no help. Others in the cast include familiars like Dorothy Granger, Fred Kelsey (as detective) and Bobby Burns.

      9:39 PM: Basque Sports (RKO- Van Campen Heilner) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-January 1957

      Too bad TCM doesn’t show older Sportscopes stretching back to 1938… we seem to just get the mid-fifties post-Howard Hughes entries. Nonetheless, this is an adequate typical entry shot in the Pyrenees (between France and Spain) and spotlighting jai alai and, oddly, wood chopping competitions. Director Heilner made many color shorts for Warner Bros. in the forties (seldom seen today), usually about fishing and outdoors recreation.

       

      Friday the 28th

      3:46 AM: The Car That Became A Star is repeated from just over a week ago, profiling the filming of The Yellow Rolls Royce ’64.

      5:42 AM: Another popular repeat: Action On The Beach covers the same year’s The Americanization Of Emily. My guess is that we will see it again before the feature is unspooled on April 6th. More interesting is the following MGM’s 40th Anniversay featurette covering the studio’s history pre-Julie Andrews.

      4:20 PM: The Eyes Have It (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Alfred J. Goulding) bw-9m54s-(Pepper Pot)-©-October 3, 1931

      Those sneaky TCM Elves! They slapped in a very good goodie within 24 hours of its airing and I almost missed it. I w-u-v Charlie McCarthy and his wooden sense of humor… and frazzled Edgar Bergan trying to get the little hoodlum’s eyes checked at his clinic. Of course, Christina Graver is there to be the sexy nurse since, regardless of how juvenile and “under age” our favorite “dummy” is, his vision always improves when there is female visual stimulation around. He eventually tries out some new specs when he and the doc decide to go… fishing.

       

      Saturday the 29th

      6:00 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In #3 (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-11+m-(Special)-January 1951

      Canadian-British “human interest” newsreel covering (per our main site) “Magnetic Hill” and radio broadcaster Foster Hewitt.

      Spotlight On The World We Live In #2 (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-11+m-(Special)-January 1951

      Canadian gold mining and a special group for tall people gets covered here.

      Spotlight On The World We Live In (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-December 1950

      The first of the series focuses on monks and their canine companions, helping as FBI agents for missing people.

      The Story Of A Dress promotes MGM and Debbie Reynolds’ The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)

      11:43 AM: Rhumba Rhythm (MGM- Louis Lewyn) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-September 2, 1939

      Full title “Rhumba Rhythm at the Hollywood La Conga”. Various movie stars like Lana Turner make cameos here, but Eduardo Chavez is showcased the most with his band. The “plot” involves a pair of tourists (played by Sally Payne and Mary Treen) trying to get autographs.

      2:04 PM (Canada): Heart To Heart (MGM/Fact Film- Herbert Morgan & Gunther Von Fritsch) bw-21+m-(Theater Of Life)-December 25, 1948

      Still relevant today, this mini-March Of Time 2-reeler (nominated for an Oscar) covers heart disease and the ways of preventing it. Yes, even in the forties, the fast food and fast living lifestyle was catching up with America.

      4:45 PM: On The Trail Of The Iguana covers Night Of The Iguana, shot for MGM in ’63 with Richard Burton and the women who luv him.

      7:49 PM: Vendetta (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Jul 18, 1942

      Intriguing strange-but-true tale, as only our gentle narrator can tell it, about Carlo Pozzo di Borgo (played by Joe Kirk) as a boyhood friend… turned enemy… of the real Napoleon Bonaparte.

      9:49 PM: H.M.S. Bounty Sails Again!... and sinks. This 1961-62 reboot of Mutiny on the Bounty only convinced MGM of one thing: don’t sign Marlon Brando again for a long… long while.

      11:50 PM: Four-Minute Fever (RKO- Harry Wismer) bw-9+m-(Sportscope)-June 9, 1956

      Above average newsreel compilation of track greats: Finland's Paavo Nurmi in the ‘20s through the more recent Roger Bannister and Joe Bailey.

       

      Sunday the 30th

      1:44 AM: Emergency Doctor (RKO [Jay Bonafield]- Harry W. Smith) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-©-June 24, 1956

      Mini behind-the-scenes with paramedics, interesting from a NYC Eisenhower Era perspective.

      Now for all of the fun… some of these are mini-masterpieces and others simply mind-pieces.

      3:30 AM: Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling) bw/silent-7m29s-(animated)-November 5, 1924 (completed ’23)

      One of the most famous of all abstract cartoons, although it has been imitated so much over the decades (think “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” in Disney’s Fantasia) that many modern viewers may not understand what all the fuss was. Much of the animation here involves the un-covering and covering of comb like designs against another black screen.

      3:36 AM: Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren) bw-13m30s-(experimental)-filmed around May 1943

      Trippy stuff… and a favorite of the National Film Registry and, more recently, Sight & Sound’s top lists. The war years saw an increase in home movie projectors, allowing many artists to shoot stuff that went beyond the typical vacation to the family beach. Willard Maas and Marie Menken took on The Geography of the Body this same year, not that you could see too much of it with all of that magnification. This dream film has no peekaboo nudity though… and little “plot” either, but we see the curly haired star (a forerunner to Carole King) roaming around in her sexy slacks with knife in hand in scenes that may or may not have happened. A groovy soundtrack was added a almost a decade later.

      3:50 AM: Orchard Street (Ken Jacobs) bw-12+m-(experimental)-1955

      Standardized home movie shot in New Jersey… included because the filmmaker went onto wilder stuff.

      4:03 AM: Little Stabs Of Happiness (Ken Jacobs) c-15+m-(experimental)-completed February 1963

      Shot between 1959 and 1963 (the imb.com site dates it to 1960). We open with a zany pair in the bedroom smoking away and putting out their butts in doll eyes. Yeah… and things get even odder after the first minute or so. Some of you will promptly change channels. It does soon become more “standardized”, home-movie style, though. There is a bit role here with Jack Smith, troublemaker creator of Flaming Creatures (that late-night “indie”, showing gents in drag and exposing their wee-wees… which shocked Kennedy Era prudes to no end). By the way, who is singing (with Charlie Parker?) “Happy Bird” in the last scene?

      4:18 AM: Cassis (Jonas Mekas) c-5m-(experimental)-1966

      This is a simple hand-held travelogue of the port of Bouches-du-Rhône (France), nothing too out of the ordinary.

      4:24 AM: Notes On The Circus (Jonas Mekas) c-12m28s-(documentary)-1966

      Yup… a trip under the Big Top… and some slightly psycheledic double-exposuring to boot. This Lithuanian-born filmmaker probably needs more exposure on TCM since he is still making occasional avant-garde films now in his nineties.

      4:37 AM: Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter) tints/silent (music added)-3m22s-(animated)-July 3, 1923 (supposedly completed 1921)

      From Germany (and the Dada-ism movement of the period), we get some more abstract animation… all rectangles growing and shrinking. A couple of these are featured in Kino’s three DVDs on Avant garde: Experimental Films, a must-buy if your interest is coaxed here.

      4:41 AM: Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts Before Breakfast) (Hans Richter) bw/silent-9m1s-(part animated comedy)-July 14, 1928 (filmed ’27)

      Richter, the animator of the bizarre, has a cluster of his buddies (and himself) dealing with everyday objects (clocks, guns, hats, etc.) gone “rebellious” via stop-motion and other tricks for the screen. Apparently Hitler and Goebbels were not fans of this flick years later and had the sound version destroyed, since the theme “suggests” rebellion against authority figures who “obviously” know what is best for all of those underlings under their power.

      4:48 AM: Science Friction (Stanley Vanderbeek) c-9m51s-(animated)-1959

      Pop Art (a.k.a. early Andy Warhol) becomes animated. Later in the sixties, Sesame Street and Monty Python showed many “like” cut-out photos pixilated across the screen. Rocket ships, new technology, physicists at work, television, Moscow and even the Statue of Liberty (and Empire State, Big Ben, etc.) are all lampooned here… and you can’t beat the humor of seeing a fried egg a-sizzlin’ as its climax.

      4:58 AM: Symmetrics (Stanley Vanderbeek) bw-6m18s-(animated)-1972

      A bit like Rhythmus 21 above but with lots of vibrating circles and countless “squigglies”, mostly white against a black screen and set to an Indian sitar, the most popular instrument post-Beatles. In many ways, this resembles a lot of National Film Board stuff imported from north-of-the border. Ishu Patel’s Bead Game resembles it, as do the earlier Norman McLaren scratch-ups.

      The next pair is hardly “experimental” but odd enough for Sunday morning…

      5:15 AM: Gang Boy (Sid Davis- Arthur Swerdloff) c-27m-(instructional)-1954

      Curly Riviera plays Danny, a young hood who just might be persuaded by the local police not to get violent. Don’t expect stellar cinematography here, but at least it’s in color.

      Good Eating Habits (Coronet Instructional – credited to “David A. Smart”; collaborators: Clifford J. Barborka & James R. Wilson, both MDs) bw-9m46s-(instructional)-©-May 22, 1951

      Title says it all… Too bad we don’t get this shown with Joe McDoakes’ So You’re Going To Have An Operation. But wait! You have to see Bill the Woodchuck in his own version of this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpbBqxtSeck

      After a very zany Sunday morning, you will be quite eager to spend the remaining part of your Weekend at the Waldolf… followed by some less introspective and less personal offerings featuring Elvis Presley Kissing Cousins.

      8:11 AM: ‘Taint Legal (RKO- Harry D'Arcy) bw-16+m-(Edgar Kennedy)-May 25, 1940

      Hey! An RKO comedy! And with our favorite slow-burn face, Edgar. His father-in-law (Billy Franey) informs Edgar that he and Vivien (Vivien Oakland) are not legally married due to a legal technicality... AND just as he wins a radio show contest for the "happily married". The usual domestic complications erupt. Arthur O'Connell plays the reporter.

      11:47 PM: Yellowstone Park: Nature’s Playground (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: James Smith & Winton Hoch) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Oct 24, 1936

      Gorgeous Technicolor and one of America’s biggest national parks (bears and Old Faithful included).

       

      Monday the 31st

      1:21 AM: High C's (Hal Roach/MGM- James W. Horne) bw-25+m-(Charley Chase)-December 27, 1930 (filmed September)

      Chuck gets musical in this World War I doughboy comedy… along with many humorous supporting performances here by Thelma Todd, Carlton Griffin, Harry Schulz, Oscar Smith and Lucien Prival.  It is a shame that TCM is showing this in the wee hours of the night instead of reaching the larger audience that it deserves. (At least it shares company with Victorio de Sica’s The Bicycle Thief.)

      7:35 AM: My Country 'Tis Of Thee (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Owen Crump; narr: Marvin Miller) c-20+m-(Special)-December 23, 1950

      Oscar nominee not much different than an earlier Technicolor two-reeler, 1942’s March On America!, showcasing our US history from Plymouth Rock to the United Nations. Stock shots galore from earlier Warner shorts including Song Of A Nation (1936), Give Me Liberty!, Under Southern Stars (’37), Romance Of Louisiana, Sons Of The Plains (’38), Declaration Of Independence, Lincoln In The White House (’39), Sons Of Liberty, The Bill Of Rights, The Monroe Doctrine, Old Hickory, Teddy The Rough Rider (’40), Pony Express Days, Flag Of Humanity, tidbits of Young America Flies and other ’40-43 soldiers-in training docu-dramas, A Ship Is Born (’42), At The Front (’43), Task Force, Devil Boats (’44), Beachhead To Berlin (featuring the D-day footage), Orders From Tokyo (’45), Gem Of The Ocean and Power Behind The Nation (’47)… quite a few of these still need dusted off by the TCM elves so we can enjoy the originals.

      11:40 AM: The Mild West (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-21m-(Broadway Brevity)-November 18, 1933 (filmed August)

      Delightful western spoof with two tough chicks (Janet Reade and Olive Borden) battling over a card shark (Paul Keast). Later, they age (with the times) but get facelifts (!?!) and crash Broadway society. Odd, but lots of fun… and definitely a unique comedy.

      1:36 PM: The Tabasco Kid (Hal Roach/MGM- James W. Horne) bw-21+m-(Charley Chase)-January 30, 1932 (filmed October-November 1931)

      Two Charleys for the price of one... his twin is a Mexican bandit wooing Frances Lee and cattle ownng daddy Billy Gilbert. Supporting the cast are "the boys" Jimmie Adams, Frank Gage and Marvin Hatley as fellow ranchers.

      7:48 PM: On Location With Westworld covers MGM’s intriguing 1973 mix of sci fi with westerns.

      10:52 PM: One Who Came Back (Disabled American Veterans- Owen Crump) bw-21+m-(Special)-September 1951

      This Academy Award Nominee profiles disabled veterans of World War II and Korea. Co-produced independently and distributed by Warner Bros.

       

      Tuesday April Fools Day

      7:16 AM: Peg O' The Mounted (Century Film/Universal- Alfred J. Goulding) bw/silent-20+m-(Baby Peggy with Bert Sterling & Jack Earle)-February 27, 1924

      Jack Earle played many giant roles (being over eight feet). As the title suggests, this is a juvenile adventure up Yukon way with top 20s child star Baby Peggy.

       

      Wednesday the 2nd

      7:40 AM: Salute To The Theaters (1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration) (MGM- Ira Heymann) part c/CinemaScope-18+m-(CinemaScope Special)-August 1955

      Highlights of the year starting with earlier releases like Jupiter’s Darling and Love Me Or Leave Me along with those in production like The Cobweb.

      2:52 PM (Canada): Action On The Beach (see Friday) gets repeated. Followed by…maybe… it looks like the TCM Elves may have clipped it from the schedule…

      Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Le Roy Prinz) bw-11+m-(Melody Master)-September 2, 1944

      A nice compact musical biopic on one of the best swing country bands of the forties, although fans of Spade Colley can argue a case there… and his shortie made in 1945 is even more entertaining. Not sure if this gets repeated at 5:36 or not… schedule may change.)

      5:36 PM (Canada): Believe It Or Not #2-10 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Alfred J. Goulding; s: Leo Donnelly) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-©-Apr 23, 1932

      Two of Robert’s curios here: the origin of some golf bunkers dating back to Civil War trenches and an Indian who paints landscapes upside down.

      7:46 PM (Canada): The Music Makers (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Bryan Foy) bw-11+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-April 7, 1929 (Film Daily review)

      Popular (for that time) comedy duo Willie & Eugene Howard work at a music shop where records are literally broken… and Willie mimics the big crooners (like Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor) to attract customers.

       

      Thursday the 3rd

      7:39 PM: Stopover In Hollywood (Will Williams [Paramount]; narrator: Walter Kray) bw-16m-(travelogue)-1963

      Modestly budgeted tour of Tinsel Town, interesting mostly for nostalgia…

       

      Friday the 4th

      1:43 AM: Every Girl’s Dream is a “soft-sell” promotional for The Glass Bottom Boat (MGM, filmed 1965). Speaking of which, another promotional appears at 3:38, The Glass Bottom Boat At Catalina.

      5:35 AM: This Doris Day heavy Friday also shows a promotional Fashion Featurette for Universal-International’s Midnight Lace (1960), interesting in that most of our “informercials” tend to be for MGM or Warner.

      7:27 PM: More promotionals starting with The Wild Rovers (1971) and the 20th Century Fox feature on Charlton Heston as Michelangelo, The Agony And The Excstacy (1965) or… Prologue: The Artist Who Did Not Want To Paint.

      9:22 PM (Canada): The “She” Story (1965) covers that half-forgotten Hammerfilm-MGM oddity with Ursula Andress.

       

      Saturday the 5th

      2:46 AM: Soylent Green is a 1972 sci-fi that is more interesting in its promotional than actual feature

      6:45 AM (Canada): Bon Voyage (Ministry of Information- Alfred Hitchcock; script: Angus MacPhail & J.O.C. Orton) bw-26m-(docu-drama)-March 1944

      This is one of Hitch’s educational contributions to the war effort, produced by the top British company of such stuff. Adapted from a story by Arthur Calder-Marshall, John Blythe plays a Scotch air gunner who escapes with the French resistence along wth another escapee who is not what he seems…

      3:46 PM: Mister Gardenia Jones (Office Of War Information- George B. Seitz; narrator: Carey Wilson) bw-13+m-(documentary)-May 29, 1942

      Vintage wartime shorties depicting the work of the United Service Organizations (USO) in providing recreational and morale-boosting services for American troops.  Ronald Reagan stars. Produced at MGM but distributed by United Artists.

      5:45 PM: The Magic Alphabet (MGM- Jacques Tourneur) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-October 10, 1942

      Mini-bio that provides an interesting history lesson, followed by some helping instruction to better our nutricional habits. Dutch physician Christiaan Eijkman, with Horace (Stephen) McNally mostly in a non-speaking role, stubbles upon the modern day vitamin table system when seeking various cures in tropical Java in the ladst decade of the 19th century.

      7:43 PM: King Of The Duplicators (MGM- narr: Wayne Thomas) c-13+m-(promotional)-December 1968

      Brief look at the work of make-up artist William Tuttle with a bit of MGM feature promoting.

      11:49 PM: Pest Control (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-January 14, 1950 (Filmed March 1948) 

      The “pests” are human in this Dave O’Brien comedy, including the child with sticky fingers in a store and the annoying parking attendant.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for March 17-26, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      St. Patty’s week gets us more FitzPatrick goodies, although I wish we also were treated to Porky Pig in Wearing Of The Grin or Droopy Leprechaun. The TCM Elves could have also dusted off Dublin In Brass (1934) again… and might still.

       

      Monday the 17th

      1:20 AM: Smith’s Pony (Sennett Comedies/Pathé- Alfred J. Goulding) bw/silent-20+m-(The Smiths)-September 18, 1927

      The all-American family the Smiths (future Our Gang star Mary Ann Jackson included) take a trip on a ship... with a smuggled horse. Cast features Raymond McKee and Ruth Hiatt in the lead. Also check out rising blonde bombshell Carole Lombard in a supporting role as a professional breeder.

      So You Want To Keep Your Hair (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-December 7, 1946 (Filmed April)

      Early McDoakes is not quite as funny as some of the later stuff, but you get essentially the same great gags in a Pete Smith or Disney Goofy cartoon. In the days before Rogaine, you had the Mo-Hair Institute where even the Wooden Indian gets added toupee treatment.

      5:49 AM: Decathlon Champion (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-November 20, 1937

      Well-made sport-reel, with Smithie’s usual snarky commentary, showing how Glenn Morris trained for and won in the 1936 Olympics.

      7:12 AM: Ireland: The Emerald Isle (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick & Ruth Fitzpatrick) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-December 11, 1934 

      Oooooh goody goody gumdrop! The FitzPatrick Fanatics will all be ready to DVR here. This was the fourth Traveltalk showcasing the rainbow hues of three-color Technicolor and Ireland looks mighty green here with visits to Hope Castle in Castleblayney and Galway. Intriguingly, the Traveltalks toured the same terrain rather thoroughly in glorious monochrome only a short time before (in 1931 for Ireland, The Melody Isle and Come Back To Erin, followed by Glimpses Of Erin in ‘33). Ray Fernstrom in Europe and Wilfred Cline in the US took turns carrying bulky camera equipment to capture in movie imagery what National Geographic was still covering in gawdier Autochrome and Finlay Color supplements (before Kodachrome soon changed everything). Another tidbit of trivia: Robert Bruce (who made many docu-shorties for Educational and Paramount) simultaneously covered Ireland in Technicolor for an Audio Cinema “Musical Mood” titled Irish Melody… and released just one month after this one. The UCLA archives have a cluster of these independently produced color reels sitting on shelves completely ignored by movie buffs. (see blog photo)

      3:07 PM: Roaming Through Northern Ireland (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller & S.D. Onions) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-July 9, 1949

      The Fanatics will now be chirping…Why is TCM so good to us? A post-war revisit to the Emerald Isle includes Carrick-a-Rede Island, Downpatrick Cathedral, Castle Dunluce, Bangor and Cushendun

      7:41 PM: Sean O’Casey: The Spirit Of Ireland focuses on the 1964 filming of Young Cassidy.

       

      Tuesday the 18th

      1:45 AM: San Sebastian 1746 In 1968 covers Guns For San Sebastian, filmed in ’67.

      5:42 AM: Salute To The Theaters (1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration) (MGM- Ira Heymann) part c/CinemaScope-18+m-(CinemaScope Special)-August 1955

      Highlights of the year starting with earlier releases like Jupiter’s Darling and Love Me Or Leave Me along with those in production like The Cobweb.

      12:20 PM: Ice Aces (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-November 6, 1948

      Behind the scenes at the Ice Capades as only Smithie can present it.

      2:24 PM: Marlene Dietrich gets the “Hollywood Hist-O-Rama” treatment as part of Raymond Stuart’s three minute TV-spot series for Jayark Productions, first aired in 1961-62. These are nice Wikipedia “crash courses” not aimed to be great cinema (practically every shot is a still) but provided enough educational fodder to the TV wasteland of the Kennedy years.

      4:06 PM: Screen Actors (MGM- Hal Elias) bw-9+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)-May 13, 1950

      Did you know that movie stars like Reginald Denny, Gail Patrick, and Dan Duryea (among others) are no different than we common folk who watch them on our big screen?

       

      Wednesay the 19th

      5:07 AM: Crashing The Movies (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-January 28, 1950 (edited '49)

      Done in much the same style of the Robert Youngson newsreel compilations for Warner Bros., this Smithie culls footage of stunt devils like a motor-cyclist driving through glass and a human cannonball.

      10:06 AM: The Matinee Idle (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Arthur Hurley) bw-7+m-(Vitaphone Varieties)-September 14, 1930 (Film Daily review; filmed May)

      Henry Hull and James Dale star in this comic-dramatic sketch involving a playwriter battling a conceited actor.

      2:37 PM: Hot News Margie (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Alfred J. Goulding) bw-6m50s-(Pepper Pot)-November 29, 1931 (Film Daily review)

      Marjorie Beebe, the great Sennett star of the late twenties, made a pair of Vitaphone shorts, this being the better of the two. She’s a roaming tabloid reporter infiltrating a football team (and leaving her lady undies in the locker room… prompting the hilarious line “Oh Coach, tisk tisk tisk”) just to get the scoop on Babe Booth’s secret marriage. The ending is a bit abrupt and pointless, but this is much like a typical Sennett or Roach of the period, if cut down to just one reel.

      7:34 PM: Projection Room (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18+m-(Broadway Brevity)-March 4, 1939 (filmed ’38)

      A popular radio team is kept united romantically by the movie studio head who hired them. This is essentually an excuse to spotlight Gower Champion and Jeanne Tyler on the dance floor, with support by Jack Arthur, Evelyn Case and Eddie Foy Jr.

       

      Thursday the 20th

      1:10 PM: Traffic With The Devil (MGM/Fact Films- Herbert Morgan & Gunther Von Fritsch) bw-19+m-(Theater Of Life)-August 31, 1946

      In this Oscar nominated knock-off of The March Of Time, we learn all about the glories of California roadways. Predating the wave of Drivers Ed scare-flicks that infiltrated high schools in the sixties and seventies, we get a surprising quota of newsreel crash scenes and bodies on the ground… either on account of alcohol, bad judgment or just speeding in haste… in addition to a vintage display of forties chrome.

      3:30 PM (US): Some Of The Greatest (Warner Bros./Pathé- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist) bw-10m-(Warner Novelty)-June 18, 1955

      This nostalgic Youngson trip to yesteryear profiles the impact of proto-talkie Don Juan (1926) on movie history. If the Warner Archive puts out a DVD series of Robert Youngson reels (which rival Bugs Bunny, Andre de la Varre and Joe McDoakes as the crème de la crème of ‘50s WB shorties), I may pass out in total shock.

      We Never Sleep (RKO [Burton Benjamin]- Larry O'Reilly) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-©-March 2, 1956

      “We” being the Pinkerton National Detective Agency investigating every crime, the subject of this mini-documentary.

      3:30 PM (Canada): Money To Loan (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-March 11, 1939

      Alan Dinehart, Paul Guilfoyle, Truman Bradley, Tom Collins, Tom Neal and Warren McCollum are featured in this tale of the evil “loan sharks”.

      Action On The Beach spotlights James Garner and fresh-from Mary Poppins Julie Andrews in The Americanization Of Emily (1964).

       

      Friday the 21st

      1:44 AM: The United States Service Bands (Warner Bros.) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-July 24, 1943

      Title says it all. This is basically a compilation of previous Melody Masters such as United States Army Air Force Band, United States Marine Band and United States Navy Band.

       

      Saturday the 22nd

      8:12 AM: Echo Mountain (Warner Bros.- Ralph Staub) c-20+m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-October 30, 1936 

      Romance, music and dance in the Swiss Alps, with Fred Laurence and Rosalind Marquis heading the cast… in addition to a cute Saint Bernard and all in scrumptious Technicolor.

      11:34 AM: Somewhat Secret (MGM- Sammy Lee) bw-21+m-(Special)-March 29, 1939

      Another fluffy goodie featured in the recent Warner Archive set Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory Vol. 2. Stuffy Mary Howard and swingy Tom Collins are the lovebirds in this musical with Benny Rubin and Mary Bovard providing more comic supporting roles. The setting is Dimsdale Hall Finishing School where the pretty (but uptight) assistant dean Emily does not approve of this new ‘30s dance music… only her love-interest (a chemistry teacher) has got that groove…

      4:03 PM: Lest We Forget (MGM- Henry Hathaway & Frank Whitbeck) bw-10+m-(promotional)-May 1937

      Harry Carey, Gary Cooper, Allan Jones and Robert Taylor all salute the late Will Rogers.

       

      Sunday the 23rd

      1:08 AM: Lawrence Weingarten Promotional (1970) is a 41 minute documentary on the producer’s feature work at MGM (going back to Broadway Melody).

      5:15 AM: Perversion For Profit (Citizens for Decent Literature- Charles Keating; narrator: George Putnam) c-31m-(documentary)-1965

      Along with Duck and Cover, THE most popular oldtime "scare" doc of recent years, boasting its own lengthy Wikipedia entry. George Putnam claimed to be a bit embarrassed by this film later in life, since this is quite homophobic and anti-sex in tone. “Porn” in 1964-65 was hardly the same as today’s online stuff (back then even nudist documentaries with endless shots of volleyball were “perverted”), but producer Charles Keating had an axe to grind (and later directed his obsessions in more business oriented “sins” rather than “sins of the flesh”). For those eager for laughs, watch this re-edit version: http://www.archive.org/details/come_join_the_fun2004

      Who ever decided to telecast this after the feature The Green Slime deserves a raise.

      9:30 AM: Oliver The Eighth (Hal Roach/MGM- Lloyd French) bw-20+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-January 13, 1934 (filmed December 1933)

      Ollie is engaged to a widow (Mae Busch) with both wealth and… well… maybe a few screws loose. That is putting it mildly since a number of past husbands have died not too coincidentially. What we get here is Stan and Ollie in a bit of “gothic” humor.

      3:07 PM: Decade For Decision (RKO- Ardis Smith) bw-15+m-(Special)-March 1957

      Released early in the year that the Soviets launched Sputnik, this docu-special emphasizes the need for increasing education in the sciences. Great artifact of the Eisenhower Era.

      5:44 PM: Amalfi Way (MGM [Hamilton Wright]- Richard Wright) c-10+m-(Special)-December 31, 1954

      Pleasant enough monochromatic Italian coastal travelogue from a leading producer in the field, providing “like” material during this same period for RKO, Universal-International (Romeo Land covered Florence three years earlier) and Warner Brothers (all of theirs in color though including next year’s Italian Holday).

      7:42 PM: Beauty And The Bull (Warner Bros. [Cedric Francis]- Larry Lansburgh; narr: Marvin Miller) c-17+m-(Special)-December 20, 1954 (preview; February 2, 1955 wide-release)

      Oscar nominee in gorgeous Warnercolor and an equally gorgeous Bette Ford, who… alas… has a taste for bovine blood in the Mexican arena. Ouch! Fortunately we are spared some of the gore on screen and get plenty of picture postcard travelogue scenery instead. Director Lansburgh alternated between Warner Bros. and Walt Disney with more critter friendly material (“wetback hounds”, thoroughbreds with an inferiority complex, feisty Arizona pumas who get caged for pestering sheep and cute seals who befriend lonely girls, etc.)

       

      Monday the 24th

      1:25 AM: The Rounder (MGM- J.C. Nugent) bw-20m1s-(Colortone Revue)-January 18, 1930 (filmed ’29)

      A “colortone” shot in black and white, this is one of Jack Benny’s early appearances. After appearing in a Warner-Vitaphone short in 1928 (Bright Moments), he did two shorties and some limited feature work for MGM, followed by a funnier trio of shorts for Paramount’s Astoria facilities in 1931, all before hitting the big time on radio. Hardly trademark funny Benny, but he is amusing as a drunk stumbling in on married woman Dorothy Sebastian. George K. Arthur and Polly Moran have small supporting roles.

      4:02 AM (Canada): The Little Maestro (MGM- Joseph Sherman & Jean Plannette) bw-11+m-(Tabloid Musical)-March 27, 1937

      Showcasing Jerry Bergen and Billy Gray in one of the funnier musical one-reelers… our pantomiming Little Guy with his violin provides plenty of laughs and havoc in a nightclub kitchen. Featured in the recent Warner Archive DVD release Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory Volume 2.

      5:36 AM: Cairo Theater Opening is a vintage 1940 newsreel spotlighting some MGM releases.

      3:49 PM: Important Business (MGM- Will Jason) bw-11+m-(Robert Benchley)-April 29, 1944 

      Ruth Lee and Connie Gilchrist have bit roles here, but this is essentially Benchley’s comedy…a sly satire on politics and How To Travel Through Washington DC (in which half the struggle involves getting off the train). Needless-to-say, none of business winds up important.

       

      Tuesday the 25th

      7:21 PM: People Of Russia (MGM- narr: James FitzPatrick) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-December 26, 1942

      An interesting relic of its era when the Cold War hadn’t officially begun since both enemies were busy fighting that Nazi SOB, this wartime travelogue combines footage of recent newsreels (Stalin overseeing “parades of progress” almost like you-know-who) with 1932 footage FitzPatrick shot for his Traveltalks. Although MGM distributed them like most, TCM has yet to show the original pre-color entries Moscow - Heart Of Soviet Russia (a.k.a. Russia Today) and Leningrad - The Gateway To Soviet Russia.

      One Live Ghost (RKO- Leslie Goodwins) bw-21+m-(Superba w/ Leon Errol)-November 6, 1936

      They don’t show us the RKO ones much… and Leon’s two-reelers are among the most amusing that studio made. Here he tests his family by faking a suicide... but his joke backfires. Co-starring Vivien Oakland, Robert Graves, Delmar Watson and, in a bit role, Lucille Ball.

      9:18 PM: Portrait Of A Genius (MGM- Sammy Lee & Carl Dudley; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-January 23, 1943 (completed ’42)

      Mini-bio of Leonardo DaVinci, starring Richard Ainley and narrated by our favorite chronicler of the bizarre, Carey Wilson.

       

      Wednesday the 26th

      1:37 PM: Picturesque South Africa (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-©-December 9, 1936 (wide release January 2)

      Done the same year cameraman Winton Hotch took on Madagascar, the focus here is Cape Town, where FitzPatrick and another camera crew with Hone M. Glendining would “call upon” again in 1952 to showcase what had changed post-war.

      The Case Against The 20% Federal Admissions Tax On Motion Picture Theatres: a January 1953 monochrome lecture by Pat McGee, operator of Cooper Theaters of the great plains states and a boring-but-historical relic of its era. By this year, only MGM/Loew’s owned their own theater chains and all of theaters were scrambling to keep open.

      4:18 PM: King Solomon’s Mines (1950) gets a color ‘behind-the-scenes”… and those dependable Dodge trucks traipsing through Africa get some free advertizing as well.

      6:03 PM: Lions On The Loose (MGM- Marjorie Freeman) initially sepiatone-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 24, 1941

      Smithie’s most enjoyable reels feaking the young and the furry… only you know these California zoo “escapees” aren’t completely “loose” since the cameraman is constantly following them. Director Freeman also did some zoo shorts for other studios (i.e. Warner’s Alice In Jungleland ’45).

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Mar TCM Short Subject Schedule March 6-16, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      TCM is quite experimental this week, dusting off some oddities not seen in ages, like Judy Garland’s earliest movie performance… and another Charley Chase. Of course, so much of the good stuff is shown in the wee hours in the night. I fully understand why Women In Love is shown at 2:30 Saturday morning on account of Glenda Jackson topless and Alan Bates and Oliver Reed romping before an open fire with Little Al and Ollie on display, but these hopelessly innocent short subjects shown between the features are hardly Late Night Fare.

       

      Thursday the 6th

      1:56 AM: The Big Revue (Starlet Revue) (Tec-Art Studios/Mayfair Pictures) bw-8+m-(musical)-July 1929

      Judy Garland’s very first movie was made at the tender age of seven (just after her birthday) when she sang with her fellow Gumm Sisters. Warner Bros. made a few more shorties later that year (and January 1930), using the novelty of early Technicolor, long before the kids returned as teens in another color short for MGM in 1935… and the rest, as they say, is history.

      You Said A Hatful! (Hal Roach/MGM- Charles Parrott) bw-20+m-(Charley Chase)-October 13, 1934

      Heyyyy! Got a Roach here… Hal Roach, that is. After an opening scene (a.k.a. Steve Martin style) in which Charley winds up in his office workplace's safe (don't ask), he reluctantly agrees to exchange identities with his railroad-oriented boss (Oscar Apfel) while traveling by train. Needless-to-say, Charley is a bit clumsy dressing the "boss" part with his banker's hat actually being a former magician's (prompting the usual "magical" gags). Cast also includes Dorothy Appleby and Clarence Wilson.

      5:38 AM: The Winnah! (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-20m-(Broadway Brevity)-July 21, 1934

      Athletics and romance at a co-ed college…. Typical mid-thirties musical fluff starring Arthur & Florence Lake, along with Dorothy Dare.

      1:15 PM: Breakdowns Of 1941 is a holiday blooper reel made for Warner employees of stars making goof-ups between takes. No, Porky Pig is in a different one.

      Trifles That Win Wars (MGM- Harold Daniels) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-July 17, 1943

      One of our gentle MGM storyteller’s scientific reels, spotlighting three “trifles” that have become all important to the current war being waged: billiard ball makers developed celluloid to substitute for ivory… a must-have in airplane manufacturing, the discovery that collodion can help make glass shatter-proof lead to a revolution in auto and plane windshield production… and even spider webs are useful in maintaining accuracy in periscope instruments.

      3:24 PM: Strictly GI (Army Navy Screen Magazine) bw-13m-(Command Performance no. 20)-January 1, 1943

      Filmed at Camp Roberts in California with Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Betty Hutton and Lana Turner all giving their all to our troops.

      5:50 PM: Vitaphone Pictorial Revue #4 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- narr: Howard Claney) part c (Cinecolor)-10+m-(newsreel)-December 23, 1936

      These human interest reels ran two seasons as Warner’s answer to the “Paramount Pictorials” with three or four segments of educational fluff. Most of the footage was in black and white, but color sequences cropped up (not sure if TCM will have a complete copy or not). Topics here: machine testing of consumer products, testing balance and coordination in the Air Force, snow swimming and Southern fashions.

      7:45 PM: Alex In Wonderland (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Charles Reisner & Owen Crump) bw-14m-(Broadway Brevity)-March 9, 1940 (filmed '39)

      Oddball comedy featuring Eddie Foy Jr. as an eccentric liquor salesman (and annoying his sister and husband), who gets involved with jewelry thieves at a party. Walter Catlett, another familiar comedy star, also is featured along with Jane Gilbert.

      10:16 PM: Water Bugs (MGM- Will Jason) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-August 16, 1941

      No… not a nature documentary on insect life, but a human paddle-boat and water ski group in California.

       

      Friday the 7th

      Nuttin’…

       

      Saturday the 8th

      6:54 AM (Canada): Operation Raintree profiles the 1956 filming of Raintree County, MGM’s failed attempt to duplicate Gone With The Wind.

      7:52 AM: Rowan & Martin At The Movies (MGM- Jack Arnold) c-11+m-(US Savings Bond Promotional)-September 1968

      The cast of Bonanza! Charlton Heston! Andy Griffith! Doris Day! Kirk Douglas! Many others here for a good cause.

      10:07 AM: After The Sunshine Boys (1975), a promotional trailer for it.

      1:38 PM: A day for MGM trailers… Around The World, Under The Sea (1966) showcases some groovy underwater photography as it gets us eager for that upcoming feature release, not shown today though. (Instead we get Around The World In 80 Days.)

      7:43 PM: Alert Today - Alive Tomorrow (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-16+m-(Special)-September 7, 1956

      A nostalgic trip to a “typical town” (Reading, Pennsylvania) preparing itself for possible Cold War invasions as well as less pressing emergencies, with everybody involved in medical and civic defense duty.

      11:51 PM: Wild Water (RKO [Bruno Loetsch]- s: Earl Luby) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-May 1957

      One of the very last RKO shorts profiles kayaking in Austria and Italy

       

      Sunday the 9th

      1:37 AM: Stopover In Hollywood (Will Williams [Paramount]; narr: Walter Kray) bw-16m-(travelogue)-1963

      Modestly budgeted tour of Tinsel Town, interesting mostly for nostalgia…

      5:45 AM: Changing (University of California [Garry Schlosser]- Huber Smith) -28+m-(“The Social Seminar” series)-1971

      Part of a 5 part series (other titles “Bunny”, “Guy”, “Teddy” and “Tom”) profiling the changing lifestyles at the dawn of the seventies and both the good and bad aspects. Of course, these bring up the question of drug usage … this hippy father thinks he is a positive influence on his more conformist wife and kids and has no problem smoking marijuana in the kitchen. Nothing here would shock modern viewers like it did Middle America in the Nixon years, which was only just starting to get used to hot pants.

      10:18 AM: Cliff Edwards And His Buckaroos (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-March 8, 1941 (filmed August 1940)

      A delightful western-ized jazzy-reel with our favorite of Jiminy Cricket and “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” fame.

      4:14 PM: Walter Pigeon promotes the Metro Twin Drive-In in a vintage 1955 theatrical commercial.

      6:08 PM: Daily Beauty Rituals (Educational- Constance Bennett) Cinecolor-5+m-(documentary)-1937

      Nice vintage make-up Hollywood style informercial in color, that seems to be among the TCM Elves’ favorites.

      7:45 PM: Every Sunday (MGM- Felix E. Feist) bw-10+m-(Tabloid Musical)-December 9, 1936

      A pre-stardom Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin (soon to be grabbed by Universal) are singing teens helping out the attendence at a small-town park orchestra. Deanna offers the high brow operetta and Judy the swing element. Obviously a fun and historically significant shortie.

       

      Monday the 10th

      4:05 AM: Just Suppose (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-July 17, 1948

      One of the more amusing bumbling Dave comedies, with Pete our narrator “supposing” that average husbands acted like just like movie screen detective heroes or… like their wives (fussy about their dress code)… or parents switching roles with kids… or Daddies playing the roles of Mommies.

      5:39 AM: Servant Of The People: The Story Of The Constitution Of The United States (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-21m-(Special)-January 22, 1937

      Rarely seen (on TCM) historical docu-reel starring Gladden James, Guy Wilkerson and William Gould, adapted from a play by Joe Sherman, Richard Goldstone and Ray Doyle.

      9:19 AM: Camera Sleuth (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(C: Pete Smith Specialty)-April 28, 1951 (filmed 1950)

      Dave appears in this comic reel as an investigator of a crooked insurance scam… a farmer is “pretending” to be wheel-chair bound and a special hidden movie camera will soon rat him out.

      12:19 PM: Clues To Adventure (MGM- John Nesbitt) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-April 11, 1949

      Three tales from history with our favorite gentle-voiced storyteller, all relating in some way to the US Bill of Rights… and making liberal use of stock footage (going back to 1938’s tale of The Iron Mask in The Face Behind The Mask, a “Historical Mystery” short). Did you know that 'Hush-a-Bye Baby' was once a controversial case study for the freedom of speech?

      5:42 PM: Challenge The Wilderness (MGM- Jack Atlas) bw-11+m-(promotional)-November 1951

      "Making of" preview of Westward The Women.

      7:49 PM: Seattle: Gateway To The Northwest (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-February 17, 1940

      FINALLY! The FitzPatrick Fanatics have been climbing the walls for well over a month. No Starbucks in 1939 here, but we get shots of the lumber camps between Longview and Tacoma.

       

      Tuesday the 11th

      5:11 AM: Reducing (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-March 22, 1952

      Back in 1951, the Petie reels were hardly “socially correct”, but even this low-brow entry has its charm. Maxine Gates is one “well stacked” lady struggling with a diet.

      7:02 AM (Canada): Off The Record (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-©-March 9, 1936

      Benjamin A. Rolfe And Orchestra is the main attraction in this jazzy reel, but support comes from the Music Hall Boys and Sinclair Twins, highlighting by Rolfe's "Yodel".

      9:49 AM (Canada): Believe It Or Not #2-12 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Alfred J. Goulding; narr: Leo Donnelly) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-July 1932

      Our eccentric mastermind is too busy collecting oddities so Leo Donnelly fills in. The primary focus is on the South Seas and the Orient, including Philippines "movable" houses and Japanese roosters with long tails.

      11:52 AM (Canada): The Five Locust Sisters (MGM) bw-10+m-(Movietone Act)-©-October 6, 1928

      This is a key title on the Warner Archive’s Classic Musical Shorts From The Dream Factory and the earlier feature That’s Entertainment III. MGM began cranking out the talkie-shorties a full two years after rival Warners (about the same time all of the studios started making the full-sound features) and some of these are a trifle creaky today compared to other more polished offerings (especially Warner-Vitaphone). This all gal singing group is hardly the Andrews Sisters, but their singing is pretty good. Just that the stationary camera makes this affair dull.

      4:19 PM (Canada): Canadian Carnival (RKO- Douglas Sinclair) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-November 29, 1955

      Winter fun at a carnival in Quebec is the highlight in this vintage sports-shortie.

      5:36 PM (Canada): Soldiers In White (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Eason & Owen Crump) c-20+m-(Technicolor Special)-February 7, 1942 (Filmed ’41)

      This engaging flag-waver has William T. Orr as a young medical recruit in the army with his major (John Litel) encouraging him… and cutie-pie nurse (the late Eleanor Parker) making sure he knows the ladies can be boss around equally at this joint.

      7:38 PM (Canada): The Last Installment (MGM- Walter Hart) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-May 5, 1945

      Sittin’ in the pokey with nothing to do, Clyde (no relation to Bonnie’s boyfriend… and played by Cameron Mitchell) is working up his excitement of a glorious post-prison life by reading the exploits of ‘20s gangster Bull Moose Brannigan (Walter Sande seen in flashback), who once made a huge fortune out of crime. Well… you just know that MGM will not have a character be influenced by what he reads in a pulp magazine, now would you? The friendly warden supplies a “gotcha” lesson in the end that… crime does not pay. This very well received entry in the series (more so in 1945 than today, but it is still fun to watch) boasts a steller cast of mini-roles, including George Lynn, Herbert Lytton, William Phillips and Jack Carr. (see blog photo)

       

      Wednesday the 12th

      3:20 AM (Canada): Pastoral Panoramas (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining & Virgil Miller) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 15, 1950 (Filmed '48)

      OK… this may be among the “deadest” entries of the series with a slew of monuments and tomb stones littering the UK countryside, Bradford-on-Avon, Stoke Poges and Cambridge American Military Cemetery included. At least the Beethoven music is an added plus over the typical post-war organ.

      5:15 AM (Canada): Lawrence Weingarten Promotional (1970) is a 41 minute documentary on the producer’s feature work at MGM (going back to Broadway Melody).

      5:15 AM (US): Hollywood: The Dream Factory (January 10, 1972) is not really a short subject but a limited-released 51 minute “featurette” that also aired on ABC’s “Monday Night Special”. Narrated by Dick Cavitt, it gives a nice (if grainy) overview of MGM film history with shots of the Culver City backlots just a few short years before large sections got bulldozed to the ground. Dated, but fascinating early seventies nostalgia.

      4:40 PM: Inflation (MGM- Cy Endfield) bw-17+m-(Special)-September 1942

      Esther Williams made her debut (out of the water) as a member of a typical family, the Smiths, coping with increased wartime job-pay by splurging on the not-so-necessaries … much to the satisfaction of a devil-ish Edward Arnold aiding Mister Hitler by encouraging this damaging-for-the-United States economic inflation (i.e. the title). A radio address by Pres. Roosevelt sets the Smiths straight.

      9:47 PM: Shoot Yourself Some Golf (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Del Frazier) c-11+m-(Sports Parade)-April 4, 1942

      Legendary pro Jimmy Thompson instructs Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman on their technique in gawdy color.

      11:40 PM: Winning Your Wings (First Motion Picture Unit/Warner Bros.- Owen Crump) bw-18m-(Special w/ James Stewart)-May 28, 1942

      Leading star Stewart gets us all to recruit for the (then) not so friendly skies in this popular Academy Award Nominee. Much of the fun comes from the (then) spectacular aerial footage that showcases the Air Forces in their glory.

       

      Thursday the 13th

      5:12 AM: Lest We Forget (MGM- Henry Hathaway & Frank Whitbeck) bw-10+m-(promotional)-May 1937

      Harry Carey, Gary Cooper, Allan Jones and Robert Taylor all salute the late Will Rogers.

      6:48 PM: Filmmaking On The Riviera covers The Love Cage (a.k.a. Joy House, 1964), spotlighting Alain Delon and the current MGM kitten Jane Fonda.

       

      Friday the 14th

      1:00 AM: Grand Prix: Challenge Of Champions both promotes the ’66 flick but also boasts some groovy Monaco travelogue footage

      2:50 AM: Alaska Lifeboat (RKO [Associated Press]- Herbert Morgan) bw-21m-(Theater Of Life)-November 11, 1956

      MGM and RKO took turns with these specials, vaguely resembling March Of Time. A medical crew aids the far-flung village of Haines, Alaska where one youngster Ralph gets corrective foot surgery.

      11:37 PM: 2010: The Odyssey Continues profiles the unsuccessful 1984 follow-up to Kubrick’s hit.

       

      Saturday the 15th

      5:30 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In #4 (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-11+m-(Special)-February 1951

      British human interest newsreel covering jazz and Note Dame of Saskatchewan College.

      Phantoms, Inc. (MGM- Harold Young) bw-17+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-June 9, 1945

      Overall, the Crime Does Not Pay series was first-rate, but there were the occasional misfires… and these are quite funny despite the no-nonsense seriousness of the screenwriters. Here fake spiritualists are exposed and some gullible customers like one grief-stricken mother are even shown walking into traffic in a trance. Frank Reicher, Ann Shoemaker, Arthur Shields and Dorothy Adams manage to handle their roles with no noticeable smirking or giggling.

      7:21 AM: Dogs ‘N’ Ducks (MGM- Ford Beebe & Norman Wright) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-June 27, 1953 

      Harmless and mildly entertaining fluff with a boy buying a retriever for a duck competition, but gets his older mutt a bit unsettled… until he shows he knows some tricks himself.

      10:01 AM: A Lady Fights Back (MGM) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-November 11, 1944 

      The "lady" here is the French luxury liner Normandie, made good use by the US military at wartime (and renamed USS Lafayette) despite a 1942 fire. A nice newsreel style documentary of the period.

      11:40 AM: I'll Take Vanilla (Hal Roach [MGM]- Eddie Dunn) bw-19+m-(Charley Chase)-May 5, 1934

      Average but funny Roach for the week has Charley as an ice cream vendor struggling with pretty gal Betty Mack and her little brat side-kick (Tommy Bond from "Our Gang").

      2:16 PM: Quebec In Summertime (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Paul Rogalli) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-April 9, 1949 (Filmed ’48)

      The Fitzpatrick Fanatics can sigh relief now… the TCM Elves are back to our regularly scheduled program. This one gets shown more often north-of-the border, showcasing the Chateau Frontenac Hotel in the city and scenic Montmorency Falls.

      5:46 PM: Springtime In The Netherlands (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Ralph Donaldson) c-9+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-April 21, 1951 (edited '50)

      A few soundbytes distinguish this entry from the classic 1934 entry of the same terrain. Particular emphasis is on the tulips and windmills… what else?

      7:42 PM: Tale Of A Dog (MGM- Cyril Endfield) bw-10+m-(Our Gang/MGM Miniature)-April 15, 1944 (Filmed October 1943)

      Last of the Our Gang series to be filmed (second to the last released) featuring the lone survivor from the early years, Buckwheat making a boo-boo of naming a pooch donated to the kids’ club “Smallpox”. Froggy, Janet and Mickey spazz he may actually have the disease, creating a bit of a small town panic as a result.

       

      Sunday the 16th

      5:30 AM: Keep Off The Grass (Sid Davis Productions- Ib Melchor) c-22m-(docu-drama)-December 1969

      Grass being “pot” here… not that the average teen would be taking this warning film seriously.

      6:00 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In #2 (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-11+m-(Special)-January 1951

      Canadian human interest fodder including gold mining and a special group for tall people (going by the TCM descriptions here).

      Soak The Poor (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-16+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-August 21, 1937

      Leon Ames and Leslie Fenton star in this somewhat average, but well made, CDNP expose on racketeers forcing the mom-and-pop grocery stores to relinquish relief tickets and get more dollar change out of the customer pockets.

      8:03 AM: Van Gogh: Darkness Into Light (MGM- Fritz Goodwin) c/CinemaScope-21+m-(CinemaScope Special)-August 1956

      Elaborate mini-bio that also promotes Lust For Life

      11:49 AM: Fortune Seekers (RKO [Burton Benjamin]- Larry O'Reilly) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-February 5, 1956

      All about the American Inventor of today… and a short history of such novelties of the past like the bottle cap and the zipper (which transformed the sexual revolution… although an old RKO-Pathé short will not go in that direction).

      1:45 PM: Pastoral Panoramas: see Wednesday. US viewers made such a fuss missing it, so the Elves gave you your wish.

      3:49 PM: The Car That Became A Star profiles The Yellow Rolls Royce ’64.


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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Feb TCM Short Subject Schedule February 24-March 5, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Rounding out our final weeks of “31 Days Of Oscar” in, hopefully, just one blog that can “stretch” a bit as the TCM Elves add more stuff to the schedule.

       

      I should take time out again by praising Turner Classic Movies for even bothering to show the shorties. Sure, we can all nitpick… year after year, they show the wrong Double Or Nothing and… my guess tomorrow we’ll get the black and white reissue print of A Boy And His Dog again instead of the Technicolor one. Yet the fact that Warner and MGM even “half-heartedly” kept many (if not all) of their short subjects and somebody today bothered to air them has meant that an important part of movie history mostly ignored in print and online is slowly seeing the light. A good indication of how no studio was equal in how they treated their vaults, check out these youtube uploads of a Paramount Oscar nominee from the fairly “recent” year of 1960: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i9AAq_6jAY

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gd7E-pJJrk

       

      Speaking of neglected shorts, the Warner Archive recently released some more 2-reel comedies from their vaults, Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume 2, featuring Shemp Howard (pre-Columbia and not with the Three Stooges during 1933-37). Also Sony’s Charley Chase Collection Volume 2 is quite good… watched them all and enjoyed them as much as any other Columbia comedy series of the period, including The Stooges. Fittingly, his Hal Roach co-director Del Lord assisted on many of them.

       

      Monday the 24th

      5:34 AM: The City Of Little Men (MGM- Harry Loud; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Nov 20, 1938

      Not a nominee, but slipped in this week (gee… why don’t you do the same with the Traveltalks?), this tells the story of Boys Town, founded by Father Edward Flanagan in 1917 as a haven for  wayward, homeless, and neglected boys. Reissued as part of the “Passing Parade” series a decade later.

      Wanted: A Master (MGM- Guther Von Fritsch) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1936

      Nominee for doggie-lovers. We follow one trying to get “adopted” before the dog catcher gets him. All narrated by our snarky Pete. Try the bar! Many there are eager to adopt a pooch.

      7:31 AM: Swingtime In The Movies (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) c-20m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Dec 26, 1938

      Much like a previous (non-nominated) color 2-reeler, Out Where The Stars Are, with a zany Hollywood director played by Fritz Field (familiar with us Joe McDoakes buffs) hamming it up. Katherine Kane and Jerry Colonna have featured roles. Famous for its Technicolor cameos (like Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, the Dead End boys pre-Bowery, John Garfield with the Lane sisters, etc.). (see blog photo)

      11:24 AM (Canada): Annie Was A Wonder (MGM [Herbert Moulton]- Edward Cahn) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt's Passing Parade)-Dec 21, 1948

      This nominee is one of Nesbitt’s “nostalgic” entries, spotlighting a Swedish immigrant Annie Swenson (Kathleen Freeman) who cooked and cleaned for his family before the first world war and was, like many others, following the American Dream to happiness. (Being a woman in this era, she still winds up married instead of law school though.) Howard J. Negley, Ruth Lee and Hugo Sven Borg fill out the cast.

      4:03 PM: Story Of A Dog (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins; narr: Knox Manning) bw-10+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-Oct 27, 1945 

      Delightful nominee about Dobermans, German Shepherds and other breeds in training with Coast Guard War Unit at Curtis Bay, Maryland… and humorously narrated by a Dobe. Filmed before the war ended, this is the kind of “vintage” time-filler that we enjoy all ten minutes of. No complaints.

      7:29 PM: A Boy And His Dog (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Le Roy Prinz & Saul Elkins) c-21m-(Technicolor Special)-Dec 24, 1946 (preview; Apr 4, 1947)

      Billy Sheffield (brother of Tarzan’s son), Harry Davenport, Dorothy Adams and Russell Simpson lead the cast in this color 2-reeler Oscar winner. Teen Davey saves a hound from being beaten by his farmer master (a darker Russell here than in The Grapes of Wrath). Harry is the judge overseeing the dispute of ownership.

      50% chance we will see this in color. In the past, TCM has shown a reissue print (used mostly for TV) processed in black and white, since I am not sure what state of preservation UCLA’s color print is in.

       

      Tuesday the 25th

      6:46 AM: A Patch Of Blue (1965) gets promoted with A Cinderella Named Elizabeth.

      7:49 PM: The Romance Of Radium (MGM- Felix Feist & Jacques Tourneur) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 23, 1937

      One reason the Petie reels were regulars at nomination time was because they showcased sights seldom seen by the average movie goer at that time. Eddie Hart documents radium “in action” for the first time, after a brief history lesson with André Cheron playing Henri Bequerel and Emmett Vogan as Pierre Curie.

       

      Wednesday the 26th

      2:13 AM (Canada): The Merry Wives Of Windsor Overture (MGM- Johnny Greene) c/CinemaScope-9+m-(M: CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-Dec 22, 1953

      This Oscar winner is Metro’s first wide-screen shortie, released with its first wide-screen feature Knights Of The Round Table and showcasing an orchestra performance in stereophonic sound.

      A Night At The Movies (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10m-(Robert Benchley)-Nov 6, 1937

      Although it failed to win like How To Sleep, this is a possibly funnier Benchley, with him basically missing the movie much to wifie’s scorn… and even stumbling against the screen itself. Nice belly laughs here with Gwen Lee, Hal K. Dawson, Frank Sheridan, Jack Baxley & Ricardo Cezon in support.

      Penny Wisdom (MGM- David Miller) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 10, 1937

      A humorous Oscar winner in the color shortie category: Gertrude Short plays Mrs. Smudge, who desperately needs to prepare a big dinner for hubbie and boss. The poor cocker spaniel getting stuck where he shouldn’t in the kitchen doesn’t help. Enter Prudence Penny, newspaper columnist decked in her expensive furs, to the rescue… with a high calorie din-din complete with sausage overkill and baked ice-cream (the only really appetizing part for me).

      8:41 AM: I Won't Play (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) bw-18m-(Special)-Nov 11, 1944

      This Academy Award winner (Two Reel category) is a delightful comedy about a belligerent piano player (cocky Dane Clark hamming it up) who refuses to showcase his musical talents for his South Seas buddies in uniform until his gal Janice Paige shows up with an entertainment tour. Includes the standard “Body and Soul”.

      1:14 PM: Wrong Way Butch (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Sep 2, 1950

      Repeat this month: Bumbling Dave O’ Brien demonstrates how NOT to operate machinery… like Donald Duck in the later How to Have an Accident at Work. Almost saws his hand in half, but fortunately he has “extra” toes on his feet.

      11:59 PM: Kings Of The Turf (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Del Fraser & Harold Medford; narr: Knox Manning) c-10+m-(Sports Parade)-Sep 27, 1941

      Another repeat airing: The first of a cluster of forties and fifties “Sports Parades” to get nominated. Warner Bros. definitely aped the competition with their sports-reels by shooting all of them in Technicolor. Granted, grainy 16mm was often used more frequently than 35. If a clip from another short shot differently is included, you kinda notice it… as here with a quickie-shot from 1935’s Carnival Day. Each year, at least two of these involved horse racing. This one follows Mortimer from birth as a foal to his harness racing.

       

      Thursday the 27th

      4:48 AM: Beyond The Line Of Duty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Lewis Seiler & Edwin Gilbert; narr: Ronald Reagan) bw-24m-(DC: Broadway Brevity)-Nov 7, 1942

      A winner here… and a stellar example of wartime documentary. Air Corp hero Hewitt T. "Shorty" Wheless reenacts the training he went through to become a pilot… with a few contract players from the studio. Usually these things were done in Technicolor (the Warner ones, that is) but the production values are still Grade A here.

      6:32 AM (US): The Music Box (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrott) bw-30+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-Apr 16, 1932 (filmed Dec '31)

      Stan and Ollie’s one Oscar winner was much imitated with its plot of a looooooong stairway and lugging a heavy piece of furniture… painfully, I might add. The Three Stooges used ice, but repeated the essential hubbie birthday “subplot”, in An Ache In Every Stake (Columbia 1941) while Edgar Kennedy struggled with a washing machine in It’s Your Move (RKO 1945). A hilariously over-the-top Billy Gilbert, Gladys Gale, Charlie Hall and Sam Lufkin provide support here.

      3:40 PM (Canada): Calgary Stampede (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins & Herman Boxer; narr: Art Gilmore) c-18m-(Special)-May 29, 1948

      This Oscar nominee spotlights Stampede Week in Alberta held July 1947, with rodeo competitions and a stage coach race not unlike Ben Hur’s chariot race. In 1954, two rival studios also hit the festival: RKO covered this as a monochrome quickie Canadian Stampede and 20th Century Fox in CinemaScope as Stampede City.

      5:38 PM: The Gay Parisian (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) c-20m-(Miniature)-Dec 26, 1941 

      This Oscar nominee boasts fine Technicolor and fast dancing by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, set at a Paris nightclub setting. A companion piece filmed at the same time, but released later, is the often shown Spanish Fiesta, which boasts more impressive lighting effects and bit more “plot”.

      10:48 PM: Menu (MGM- Nick Grindle; narr: Pete Smith) c (2-color Technicolor)-10+m-(MGM Oddity)-Sep 23, 1933

      How to cook a duck dinner in 2-color Technicolor. Uncredited Una Merkel and Franklin Pangborn play the married couple. Luis Alberni is Bizetti the master chef to the rescue.

       

      Friday the 28th

      1:22 PM: Star In The Night (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Don Siegel) bw-22m-(Special)-Oct 13, 1945

      Often shown at holiday time, Don Siegel directed this mini-drama ages before Dirty Harry. After a bloody world war, there was much cynicism on the American landscape. Arizona inn-keeper (J. Carroll Naish) is hardly “in the spirit” for customers, although motherly wifie is all eager to provide room for a filled-up accommodations.  Lo and behold, one couple is ready to have a child and… lo and behold… there are three cowboys bringing gifts… Cast includes Donald Woods as that all-observing visitor (not unlike Jimmy Stewart’s “guardian angel”), Rosina Galli and others.

      5:12 PM (Canada): Service With The Colors (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Eason & Owen Crump) c-21m-(Special)-Aug 31, 1940 

      This nominee is the second in a series of flag-waving Technicolor specials that spotlighted different branches of the US military with a plenty of comedy; contract actors played servicemen in training. The “point” is to recruit some of you young dudes in the theater b making the US Army look like Boy Scouts, especially with America getting nervous about that situation in Europe. Robert Armstrong of King Kong fame is the likeable sergeant gently, but firmly, guiding his “boys” William Lundigan, William T. Orr, Herbert Anderson and George Hayward.

      Now You See It (MGM- Richard Cassell) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 20, 1947

      Only Canada “sees it” this week. One of a cluster of Smithies that were nominated, the focus is on full-color microphotography… close-ups of a wristwatch, a kitty’s tongue, a lizard and housefly’s eyes, two ends of a caterpillar and a mosquito sucking blood… eeeeewwwwwwwwwwww!

      5:29 PM (US): Stop, Look And Listen (MGM- Len Janson & Chuck Menville) c-11+m-(Comedy)-Dec 1967

      No escaping this one… the TCM Elves love it! The method utilized here is “pixilation” with the camera, much as Norman McLaren did with Neighbors, A Chairy Tale and other popular imports from the National Film Board of Canada. Drivers roam recklessly (one sporting his cigar) along Los Angeles suburbs in invisible cars, ever so slightly elevated above the road.

      9:46 PM: Seeing Hands (MGM- Robert Wilmont) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jul 3, 1943

      Nother popular repeat: Ben Helwig may be blind but he is a talented mechanic at a wartime defense plant… and Petie tells us his story.

       

      Saturday the 1st  More repeats…

      2:40 AM: A Gun In His Hand (MGM- Joseph Losey) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Sep 15, 1945

      A police academy graduate tries to succeed with his know-how on "the other side"… with the criminals. Of course you know this bad cop won’t succeed since... (you fill in the blanks). Anthony Caruso, Richard Gaines, Ray Teal and Tom Trout head a top-nob cast.

      7:05 AM: Drunk Driving (MGM- David Miller) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Oct 28, 1939

      One of the granddaddies of the Drivers Ed “scare-flicks” that dominated public schools from the fifties onward, with Dick Purcell and Jo Ann Sayers heading the cast.

      9:23 AM: La Fiesta De Santa Barbara (MGM- Louis Lewyn) c-19+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 7, 1935

      A nominee for 1936 (when it went into general release), this marked an early appearance of Judy Garland as part of the Gumm Sisters singing “La Cucaracha”. It was not her first film appearance… Warner-Vitaphone shot a trio of shorties (also in early color originally) in 1929-30. Buster Keaton, the Spanish Troubadors, Warner Baxter, Chester Conklin and others are included in a “galaxy of stars” enjoying a Santa Barbara festival.

      11:41 AM (US): Strauss Fantasy (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-Jun 15, 1954

      Much like the Merry Wives above (one orchestra + wide screen & stereophonic sound)… and released initially with Mario Lanza’s CinemaScope debut The Student Prince.

      11:49 AM (Canada): Canadian Lancers (RKO- Douglas Sinclair) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Mar 13, 1956

      Not an Oscar nominee, but we are close to the end of this month anyway. This Canadian reel (Sinclair made north of the border reels for three Hollywood studios) shows youngsters training as Junior Bengal Lancers at Halifax's riding school.

      7:33 PM: The Man Without A Country (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) c-21m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Nov 27, 1937

      One of the nominated Warner “historicals”, only there is more fiction than fact here. The tale of Lt. Philip Nolan is a creation of Edward Everette Hale that got adapted into two features in the silent era and a couple radio and TV adaptions later on. After renouncing the United States in the early 1800s, Nolan is set to sea “without a country” despite efforts by his wife to get him pardoned by presidents. John Litel, Ted Osborne and Gloria Holden star. Holmes Herbert (seen in a 1917 version of this) plays real-life Aaron Burr.

       

      Sunday the 2nd

      6:30 AM: The Battle Of Gettysburg (MGM- Herman Hoffman; narr: Leslie Nielson) c/CinemaScope-30+m-(CinemaScope Special)-Dec 1955

      The grand widescreen tour of the Pennsylvania site, narrated by the future Naked Gun star and personally produced by Civil War buff Dore Schary, whose control of MGM would later collapse with a Civil War feature Raintree County.

      9:37 AM: London Can Take It! (Crown Film Unit/Ministry Of Information- Humphrey Jennings) bw-9m-(documentary special)-Oct 21, 1940

      This classic documentary is a favorite of TCM’s, showing the British going about their business as the Nazis keep hitting them with bombs. It was a smash hit US-side (Warner Bros. distributed it), soft-selling the need for Americans to “ease into” the conflict (and increasing the connection with an ally) long before Pearl Harbor.

      3:45 PM: Army Champions (MGM- Paul Vogel) sepiatone-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 11, 1941

      One of many military preparedness shorts released before Pearl Harbor, showing how sports team work can work equally well with the US Army, using similar “game play” strategies in shoulder weaponry.

       

      Monday the 3rd

      4:14 AM: How To Sleep (MGM [Jack Chertock]- Nick Grinde) bw-10m34s-(Robert Benchley)-Sep 14, 1935

      Future sitcoms and Disney’s hilarious Goofy cartoon How To Diet paid homage to Benchley’s first MGM short and Oscar winner (a few of his shorties predate this at Fox, Universal and RKO). He gives us the proper lecture on good sleep, which also involves animated cartoon sheep to count and multiple trips to the fridge.

      9:47 PM: Merry Wives Of Windsor Overture:  see Wednesday above

      11:47 PM: Strauss Factory: see Saturday above

       

      Tuesday the 4th  Done with Oscar Fest… nothing listed yet.

       

      Wednesday the 5th

      4:58 AM: Born To Fight (RKO- Van Campen Heilner) bw-15+m-(Sportscope)-Oct 18, 1956

      Spotlights the less gruesome Portuguese style of bullfighting (compared to Spain).

      8:13 AM: Vaudeville Reel #3- Al Trahan (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10+m-(Pepper Pot)-Feb 16, 1935 (filmed October 1934)

      Showcasing the human garbage disposal Chaz Chase, consuming lit matches and musical instruments like it is licorice. Also Ray & Sunshine and the Holman Sisters provide more “normalized” entertainment.

      7:51 PM: Water Sports (MGM- Ray McCarey) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Sports Parade)-Oct 26, 1935

      Spotlight reel on water sports, featuring Christian Peterson doing a human surfboard at 45 mph.

      9:45 PM: What Do You Think? (MGM- Jacques Tourneur; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Nov 25, 1937 

      Does extrasensory perception exist? Inquiring minds want to know. Carey Wilson was the ‘30s version of Leonard Nimoy


       
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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Feb TCM Short Subject Schedule February 11-23, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Practically, but not every, shortie this week was Oscar nominated or awarded, including another favorite of mine, Sons Of Liberty, showcasing our beloved Claude Rains in glorious Technicolor.

       

      Tuesday the 11th

      3:41 AM: Double Or Another (Double Or Nothing) (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18m-(Broadway Brevity)-Apr 20, 1940 (filmed June 1939)

      Not an Oscar nominee, but this frequently gets shown instead of 1936’s Oscar nominee Double Or Nothing (with Phil Harris) which the TCM elves have yet to dust off. Lee Dixon and a cast of “doubles” impersonating stars like Mae West, Greta Garbo, Eddie Cantor and others are featured here, with Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin contributing to the music. Much comedy mayhem happens while a Hollywood stunt double is gassed in the dentist chair and dreams he is in various movie scenes.

      4:14 AM: The Battle Of Gettysburg (MGM- Herman Hoffman; narr: Leslie Nielson) c/CinemaScope-30+m-(CinemaScope Special)-Dec 1955

      The grand widescreen tour of the Pennsylvania site, narrated by the future Naked Gun star and personally produced by Civil War buff Dore Schary, whose control of MGM would later collapse with a Civil War feature Raintree County.

      6:16 AM (Canada): Wanted: A Master (MGM- Guther Von Fritsch) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1936

      Nominee for doggie-lovers. We follow one trying to get “adopted” before the dog catcher gets him. All narrated by our snarky Pete. Try the bar! Many there are eager to adopt a pooch.

      Shown last week, so I am copying over the synopiesssss…

      You Can't Win (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(C: Pete Smith Specialty)-May 29, 1948

      This nominated comedy of mishaps features our favorite fratfall star Dave O’Brien, getting caught in the hammock and splashed while washing his car. A few good jokes here, although some of Dave’s other reels are funnier.

      Audioscopiks (MGM- Jacob Leventhal & John Norling) bw/3D-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1935

      Pete Smith was a regular each Oscar ceremony. Just like Tom & Jerry, he had a huge studio backing his little one-reelers. This one spotlights the wonders of 3-D, but it is quite likely TCM will show it flat instead of in 2-color Technicolor so you can use your red and blue spectacles to see ladies thrust arms and legs out at you and traffic get chaotic on the freeway.

      6:29 AM (US): Stairway To Light (MGM [Herbert Moulton]- Sammy Lee) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-Nov 10, 1945

      This Nesbitt story-shortie nabbed the big prize in 1-reelers thanks to some moody noir-ish cinematography and a nice recreation of early 19th century France. Gene Stutenroth and Dewey Robinson star in the tale of Dr. Phillipe Pinel and one particular patient in an insane asylum he helped free… along with aiding a great many other “mentally ill” people. Later his life is saved by his patient.

      7:49 PM: Stop, Look And Listen (MGM- Len Janson & Chuck Menville) c-11+m-(Comedy)-Dec 1967

      Repeated from last week… and repeating the synopsis: The method utilized here is “pixilation” with the camera, much as Norman McLaren did with Neighbors, A Chairy Tale and other popular imports from the National Film Board of Canada. Drivers roam recklessly (one sporting his cigar) along Los Angeles suburbs in invisible cars, ever so slightly elevated above the road. This was one of a series of auto safety shorts of the period (i.e. Disney had Goofy appear in two of them a few years earlier).

       

      Wednesday the 12th

      7:49 PM: Don't Talk (MGM- Joseph M. Newman & Alan Friedman) bw-22+m-(Special)-Feb 28, 1942

      Basically a "Crime Does Not Pay" short, but not officially labeled as such, this nominee demonstrates how loose lips can sink ships in the barber shop or workplace. Foreign saboteurs could be anywhere. Donald Douglas and Barry Nelson play FBI agents. Gloria Holden and Harry Worth are among the sneak-thieves. As with the CDNP series, there’s a nice use of vintage autos on the road here, so that you can add to this site, which screencaps… what else?... vintage autos in vintage movies: http://www.imcdb.org/search.php

       

      Thursday the 13th

      12:33 AM: Forbidden Passage (MGM- Fred Zimmerman) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Feb 8, 1941 (filmed ‘40)

      Illegal immigrants are transported across dangerous waters into the US, with some losing their lives. A bit over-the-top, but quite affective. Addison Richards, Wolfgang Zilzer, Hugh Beaumont and George Lessey are featured.

      5:38 AM: La Cucaracha (Pioneer/RKO [Kenneth McGowan]- Lloyd Corrigan) c-20+m-(Technicolor Special)-©-Jul 26, 1934

      Academy Award Winner in “Comedy”… and quite a bit of this is funny, if unintentially so. Steffi Duna and Don Alvarado are the primary stars in this south-of-the-border musical café complete with “fey” customers and a sassy dancer with attitude. Much of its fame comes from it being the first 3-color Technicolor short that was neither an “insert” in a feature or a Disney cartoon (all previous color films being in gawdier 2-color processes). Warner Bros. and MGM quickly began cranking out rainbow shorties that very same summer.

      10:38 AM: Sons Of Liberty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Michael Curtiz & Crane Wilbur) c-20m34s-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-May 20, 1939  

      One of my favorite vintage Oscar winners, part of Warner’s Technicolor “historical” series. Claude Rains plays Jewish patriot Haym Salomon financing the American Revolution. When he cries, we cry. Donald Crisp fans will enjoy his supporting role here, along with Gale Sondergaard as his wife and Montagu Love as George Washington.

      3:06 PM: The Tanks Are Coming (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Easton) c-20m-(Technicolor Special)-Oct 4, 1941

      Familiar character star (later in Bewitched) George Tobias plays a taxi driver who makes the fatal error of bringing his “baby” to a tank training center at Fort Knox. William Justice, Frank Wilcock and Byron Barr all play soldiers in training but the real star is the gorgeous Technicolor here, better than most features of the period.

      7:49 PM: Kings Of The Turf (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Del Fraser & Harold Medford; narr: Knox Manning) c-10+m-(Sports Parade)-Sep 27, 1941

      The first of a cluster of forties and fifties “Sports Parades” to get nominated. Warner Bros. definitely aped the competition with their sports-reels by shooting all of them in Technicolor. Granted, grainy 16mm was often used more frequently than 35. If a clip from another short shot differently is included, you kinda notice it… as here with a quickie-shot from 1935’s Carnival Day. Each year, at least two of these involved horse racing. This one follows Mortimer from birth as a foal to his harness racing.

      9:41 PM: Seeing Hands (MGM- Robert Wilmont) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jul 3, 1943

      Ben Helwig may be blind but he is a talented mechanic at a wartime defense plant… and Petie tells us his story. This was the first of a tidal wave of Oscar nominees focusing on everyday citizens, not actors, overcoming a handicap. Every year at least one documentary shortie has featured a similar uplifting “human interest” story… and some of the most recent award winners even brought the star to the stage with the director and producer.

       

      Friday the 14th

      2:34 AM: Of Pups And Puzzles (MGM- George Sidney) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-Sep 6, 1941

      This Oscar winner asks you what kind of dog are you. I’m a collie. Canines each have a specialized talent that a human possesses… and employers need different “types” for different jobs. We also see other non-humans like a chimp showcase his IQ skills.

      5:29 PM: The Great Heart (MGM- David Miller & Morgan Cox; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Dec 26, 1938

      Tom Neal takes time out from his feature and Crime Does Not Pay shorts in this mini-biopic as Belgian priest Father Damien attending lepers in Hawaii.

      10:02 PM: So You Want To Be In Pictures (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-10m52s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Jun 7, 1947

      One of the trio of McDoakes nominees, we get some great shots of the Warner Burbank lot (circa December 1946) here as Joe tries to break in the movies, winding up as a stand-in for… well… George O’Hanlon playing Joe McDoakes. Hilarious scenes include a feeble attempt recreating a doughboy WW1 drama with Clyde Cook that requires 88 takes. Jack Carson gets stuck in a turnaround with him in another scene.

       

      Saturday the 15th

      2:08 AM: The Man Without A Country (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) c-21m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Nov 27, 1937

      One of the nominated Warner “historicals”, only there is more fiction than fact here. The tale of Lt. Philip Nolan is a creation of Edward Everette Hale that got adapted into two features in the silent era and a couple radio and TV adaptions later on. After renouncing the United States in the early 1800s, Nolan is set to sea “without a country” despite efforts by his wife to get him pardoned by presidents. John Litel, Ted Osborne and Gloria Holden star. Holmes Herbert (seen in a 1917 version of this) plays real-life Aaron Burr. These Warner 2-reel dramas pack plenty of plot and action that you may want this one to be aired again to catch stuff you missed. (see blog photo)

      4:33 AM: Drunk Driving (MGM- David Miller) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Oct 28, 1939

      One of the granddaddies of the Drivers Ed “scare-flicks” that dominated public schools from the fifties onward, with Dick Purcell and Jo Ann Sayers heading the cast. I won’t spoil you on who survives and who doesn’t here.

      7:36 AM: La Fiesta De Santa Barbara (MGM- Louis Lewyn) c-19+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 7, 1935

      A nominee for 1936 (when it went into general release), this marked an early appearance of Judy Garland as part of the Gumm Sisters singing “La Cucaracha”. It was not her first film appearance… Warner-Vitaphone shot a trio of shorties (also in early color originally) in 1929-30. Buster Keaton, the Spanish Troubadors, Warner Baxter, Chester Conklin and others are included in a “galaxy of stars” enjoying a Santa Barbara festival.

      11:35 AM: Heavenly Music (MGM [Jerry Bresler & Sam Coslow]- Josef Berne) bw-22+m-(Special)-May 1, 1943

      This Oscar winner made the cut on Volume 2 of Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory: Frederick Brady plays a deceased bandleader Ted Barry, trying to prove to the classical bigwigs up in heaven that his swing music is equally worthy to play beyond The Pearly Gates. Eric Bore, a regular in many thirties features, also appears here.

      3:37 PM: Calgary Stampede (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins & Herman Boxer; narr: Art Gilmore) c-18m-(Special)-May 29, 1948

      This Oscar nominee spotlights Stampede Week in Alberta held July 1947, with rodeo competitions and a stage coach race not unlike Ben Hur’s chariot race. In 1954, two rival studios also hit the festival: RKO covered this as a monochrome quickie Canadian Stampede and 20th Century Fox in CinemaScope as Stampede City.

       

      Sunday the 16th

      1:42 AM: Menu (MGM- Nick Grindle; narr: Pete Smith) c (2-color Technicolor)-10+m-(MGM Oddity)-Sep 23, 1933

      How to cook a duck dinner in 2-color Technicolor. Uncredited Una Merkel and Franklin Pangborn play the married couple. Luis Alberni is Bizetti the master chef to the rescue.

      3:41 AM: Declaration Of Independence (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur & Charles Tedford) c-17+m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Oct 15, 1938 (previewed by BoxOffice)

      A winner that quickly became a classroom educational. Ted Osborne is featured as the less-than-famous-today Caesar Rodney, a key deciding vote in this great moment. John Litel is Thomas Jefferson this time around, Walter Walker is Benjamin Franklin, with support by Rosella Towne, Owen King and Richard Bond.

      5:28 AM: Cavalcade Of Academy Award Winners is a rarely seen featurette (30 minutes) showcasing the 1940 ceremony that Gone With The Wind won at. The TCM schedule lists it in color.

      7:43 AM: Sure Cures (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Nov 2, 1946

      As bumbling Dave O’Brien proves, there isn’t any… for baldness or hiccoughs. Nice intro showing Dave “through the ages of history” in various costumes.

      9:35 AM: Declaration Of Independence gets repeated US-side.

       

      Monday the 17th

      7:48 AM: Jammin' The Blues (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Gjon Mili & Bob Burks) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-Dec 18, 1944 (filmed July)

      Lost the Oscar but made the National Film Registry, this is probably the crème de la crème of Warner’s long running “Melody Masters”. Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet and Archie Savage are among those jammin’ and Marie Bryant sings “On the Sunny Side of the Street” against a stark background of contrasts and optical printing special effects. Yup, this is one of the high water marks of the week that you should try to catch.

      5:13 PM: Strauss Fantasy (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-Jun 15, 1954

      Much like the Merry Wives Of Windsor Overture… and released initially with Mario Lanza’s CinemaScope debut The Student Prince. One MGM orchestra in stereophonic sound and a wide screen.

      7:39 PM: A Gun In His Hand (MGM- Joseph Losey) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Sep 15, 1945

      All of these CDNP dramas are loads of fun and this Oscar nominee is no exception. A police academy graduate tries to succeed with his know-how on "the other side"… with the criminals. Of course you know this bad cop won’t succeed since... (you fill in the blanks). Anthony Caruso, Richard Gaines, Ray Teal and Tom Trout head a top-nob cast.

       

      Tuesday the 18th

      11:48 PM: Ben Hur gets a Behind The Scenes With Glenn H. Randall & Yakima Canutt (1959), showing how the chariot race was done.

       

      Wednesday the 19th

      11:59 AM (Canada): Double Or Nothing (see Tuesday the 11th above)

      12:27 PM (US): Quicker 'N A Wink (MGM- George Sidney) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 12, 1940

      This Petie reel nabbed the big win in the one-reel category and, for its time, it was a revelation. Slow motion photography with Harold E. Edgerton allows us to see things not caught by the naked eye, like kitty tongues close-up, bubbles bursting, flashbulbs breaking, milk drops, hummingbird flight and a dentist’s drill (!)… all the subject of too-too many documentaries and TV advertisements to come. Yet this is 1940 when it was all new and fresh to moviegoers.

      2:56 PM: The Battle Of Gettysburg gets repeated (see Tuesday the 11th)

      5:39 PM: Main Street Today (MGM [Jerry Bresler]- Edward L. Cahn; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-16m-(Special)-Mar 25, 1944 

      Academy Award Nominee shows how a small town must work together at war time. Ray Collins plays Otis Bird, whose factory is short of employees but must meet the demand for military needs. Addison Richards and Henry O’Neill play key members in the cast of town folk.

      9:42 PM: That Mothers Might Live (MGM- Fred Zimmerman & Herman Boxer; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-10+m-(Historical Mystery)-May 7, 1938

      The gentle-voiced storyteller John Nesbitt scored an Oscar, before his equally Oscar-worthy “Passing Parade” series got started later in 1938, with this mini-bio of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who revolutionalized medical surgery in the first half of the 19th century simply by… washing his hands. Shepperd Strudwick stars in an essentially voiceless role.

       

      Thursday the 20th

      9:06 AM: Strikes And Spares (MGM- Felix Feist; narr: Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(MGM Oddity)-Oct 20, 1934 

      Andy Varipapa shows us his trick shots in professional bowling.

      9:19 AM: Movie Pests (MGM- Will Jason & Dave O’Brien) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jul 8, 1944

      Academy Award nominee has Pete comically narrating the struggles of Dave O’Brien in a “typical” movie theater, stumbling over legs, ladies’ hats and plenty of food in the dark. Apparently not as much real hanky panky is going on here like Cinema Paradiso.

      7:38 PM: Torture Money (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Jan 2, 1937 (filmed '36)

      One of the CDNPs that nabbed the big win: Police go after a fraud operation that stages automobile accidents to collect insurance money. Edwin Maxwell and George Lynn are featured.

      9:17 PM (Canada): Seeing Hands gets repeated from last Thursday (see above)

       

      Friday the 21st

      9:40 AM: Double Or Nothing (see Tuesday the 11th)

      3:08 PM: The Luckiest Guy In The World (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Dec 26, 1946

      The last of a great crime-drama series and a bit different than most with limited sermonizing. Charlie (Barry Nelson) bets on the horses and suffers with his sales job… and marriage. An accidental death (won’t spoil things here) places him on a path of continuous bad luck, until he finally scores in the finale… sort of. With Eloise Hardt, Milton Kibbee, Harry Cheshire, George Travell and Robert B. Williams all part of the supporting cast, this is a surprisingly well constructed short story that could potentially make a good feature-length B noir.

      5:37 PM: They're Always Caught (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Jul 3, 1938 

      This nominee predates CSI with a police team using magnification and other tricks of their trade with any tiny evidence found at the scene of a mayor’s car bombing… and later exposing a criminal racket involved in town politics. Cast includes Stanley Ridges, John Elderidge, Charles Waldron and Louis Jean Heydt.

       

      Saturday the 22nd

      1:19 PM: Army Champions (MGM- Paul Vogel) sepiatone-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 11, 1941

      One of many military preparedness shorts released before Pearl Harbor, showing how sports team work can work equally well with the US Army, using similar “game play” strategies in shoulder weaponry.

       

      Sunday the 23rd

      1:08 AM: Give Us This Earth! (MGM/Fact Films- Herbert Morgan & Gunther Von Fritsch) bw-21+m-(Theater Of Life)-Jun 21, 1947

      Mini “March Of Time” knock-off spotlights the agricultural work of Dr. Spencer Hatch in rura Mexico, done in cooperation with the International Committee, YMCA.

      1:13 PM: King Solomon’s Mines (1950) gets a quickie promotional

      4:21 PM: Main Street On The March! (MGM [Jerry Bresler]- Edward L. Cahn; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-20+m-(Special)-Dec 26, 1941

      A winner in the 2-reel category, this “Passing Parade” knock-off was rush released after Pearl Harbor, mixing newsreel clips with recreated scenes of a typical US town gradually prepping for the inevidable, especially after the news of the fall of Paris in 1940.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule: Fe TCM Short Subject Schedule: February 1-10, 2014

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      February! Groundhog’s Day, Super Bowl and Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, the Month of Aquarius… and 31 Days of Oscar. This is the time when you see more variety in between the main features on TCM. Not that every “shortie” that was nominated or won an Oscar is any more spectacular than one that didn’t… and there are still quite a few award winners in the Warner and MGM… and RKO… vaults that still need dusted off for TV viewing (like the Leon Errol comedy Should Wives Work?, Robert Youngson’s newsreel compilation World Of Kids and Andre de la Varre’s CinemaScope tour of Germany Time Stood Still, just to name three off-hand). Alas… TCM never finds time to include the cartoons. Hey! We wouldn’t mind seeing Tom & Jerry in Mouse Trouble or Yosemite Sam and his “stupid dragon” in Knighty Knight Bugs. Since TCM and Sony joined forces with a UPA cartoon-a-thon a while back, a little Gerald McBoing Boing would be good too.

       

      Saturday the 1st

      1:30 AM: The Dipsy Doodler (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-Aug 1939

      Larry Clinton and his Orchestra perform in a glossy setting with big windows... all quite formal. Theme title song included.

      3:32 AM: Song Of Revolt (MGM- Roy Rowland & Douglas Foster) bw-11+m-(Tabloid Musical)-May 29, 1937

      Leon Ames of Meet Me In St. Louis and “Crime Does Not Pay” fame plays the author of France’s national anthem, despite initially being on the wrong side of the French Revolution. Some borrowed clips from A Tale Of Two Cities.

      5:12 AM (Canada): Roast-Beef And Movies (MGM- Sam Baerwitz & Richy Craig Jr.) c (2-color Technicolor)-16+m-(MGM Musical Revue)-Feb 1, 1934

      Curly Jerry Howard of the Three Stooges (all three were under contract with MGM just prior to Columbia) appears here in early Technicolor with Bobby Callahan and George Givot. Comedians try to sell a producer on movie ideas and we get what look like numbers in the unfinished March Of Time a few years back. The Mae West spoof is hilarious.

      Don't Talk (MGM- Joseph M. Newman & Alan Friedman) bw-22+m-(Special)-Feb 28, 1942

      This Oscar nominee (our first for 31 Days of Oscar) resembles "Crime Does Not Pay" with a touch of humor mixed in: demonstrating how loose lips can sink ships in the barber shop or workplace. Foreign saboteurs could be anywhere. Donald Douglas and Barry Nelson play FBI agents. Gloria Holden and Harry Worth are among the sneak-thieves.

      Daily Beauty Rituals (Educational- Constance Bennett) Cinecolor-5+m-(documentary)-1937

      Nice vintage make-up Hollywood style informercial in color. The actress and her husband director previously shot some much more interesting and provocative 2-color features like Legong: Dance Of The Virgins, with its topless Bali dancing, and Kilou The Killer Tiger.

      9:49 AM: Sword Fishing (Warner Bros. - DeLeon Anthony; narr; Ronald Reagan) bw-10m-(Bow & Arrow Adventure)-Oct 21, 1939

      A year after training Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, Howard Hill starred in a couple of hunting and fishing reels that… usually… kept the critter violence to a minimal, but showcased his archery skills. Needless-to-say, the swordfish who attacked a small sailboat gets his climatic death scene in slow-motion here. Another Oscar nominee.

      7:45 PM: Prophet Without Honor (MGM- Felix E. Feist; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11m-(Miniature)-May 20, 1939

      This bio-doc nominee focuses on US Navy officer Matthew Fontaine Maury (Tom Neal) who was handicapped by war and forced to work mostly behind a desk, yet made great advances in map-drawings, meteorology and oceanography research. Only his support of the South during the Civil War prompted a downfall in his career.

      9:46 AM: More About Nostradamus (MGM- David Miller; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Dec 26, 1940

      MGM made a cluster of these between 1938 and 1944 and again in ’52; this being an Oscar nominee. After the usual introductory bio on the 16th century psychic, narrator Carey Wilson gets us to study some of those nebulous stanzas that just might have predicted the rise of Pope Sixtus V up through the current war situation in Europe. John Burton and Hans Conried have non-speaking roles in the historical footage.

       

      Sunday the 2nd

      5:31 AM: Service With The Colors (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Eason & Owen Crump) c-21m-(Special)-Aug 31, 1940 

      This nominee is the second in a series of flag-waving Technicolor specials that spotlighted different branches of the US military with a plenty of comedy; contract actors played servicemen in training. The “point” is to recruit some of you young dudes in the theater b making the US Army look like Boy Scouts, especially with America getting nervous about that situation in Europe. Robert Armstrong of King Kong fame is the likeable sergeant gently, but firmly, guiding his “boys” William Lundigan, William T. Orr, Herbert Anderson and George Hayward.

      11:59 AM: Stop, Look And Listen (MGM- Len Janson & Chuck Menville) c-11+m-(Comedy)-Dec 1967

      Academy Award Nominee and a rare MGM “live-action short” released among Chuck Jones’ latest Tom & Jerry cartoons and “coming attraction” featurettes of the late sixties… and technically more ‘toony than “live”. The method utilized here is “pixilation” with the camera, much as Norman McLaren did with Neighbors, A Chairy Tale and other popular imports from the National Film Board of Canada. Drivers roam recklessly (one sporting his cigar) along Los Angeles suburbs in invisible cars, ever so slightly elevated above the road. This was one of a series of auto safety shorts of the period (i.e. Walt Disney had Goofy appear in two of them a few years earlier).

      1:59 PM: Merry Wives Of Windsor Overture (MGM- Johnny Greene) c/CinemaScope-9+m-(M: CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-Dec 22, 1953

      This Oscar winner is Metro’s first wide-screen shortie, released with its first wide-screen feature Knights Of The Round Table and showcasing an orchestra performance in stereophonic sound.

      11:37 PM: Star In The Night (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Don Siegel) bw-22m-(Special)-Oct 13, 1945

      Often shown at holiday time, Don Siegel directed this mini-drama (Oscar winner) ages before Dirty Harry. After a bloody world war, there was much cynicism on the American landscape. Arizona inn-keeper (J. Carroll Naish) is hardly “in the spirit” for customers, although motherly wifie is all eager to provide room for a filled-up accommodations.  Lo and behold, one couple is ready to have a child and… lo and behold… there are three cowboys bringing gifts… Cast includes Donald Woods as that all-observing visitor (not unlike Jimmy Stewart’s “guardian angel”), Rosina Galli and others.

       

      Monday the 3rd

      6:48 AM: Facing Your Danger (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Edwin E. Olsen & DeLeon Anthony; narr: Knox Manning) c-10m-(Sports Parade)-May 11, 1946 (©-Dec 23, 1945)

      Oscar winning trip through the Grand Canyon up through Lake Mead with a mix of 35 mm and 16 mm grainier footage shot on the Colorado rapids. An all guy adventure here with a cardboard lady hostess on the boat who won’t bark back.

      10:38 AM: Strauss Fantasy (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-Jun 15, 1954

      Much like the Merry Wives above… and released initially with Mario Lanza’s CinemaScope debut The Student Prince.

       

      Tuesday the 4th

      9:40 PM: Tit For Tat (Hal Roach [MGM]- Charles Rogers) bw-20+m-(Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy)-Jan 5, 1935 (filmed Dec '34)

      Laurel & Hardy’s second nominee (but failing to score like the earlier The Music Box): The boys run an electronics store and get involved in a battle with neighboring grocery (run by Charley Hall & Mae Busch). As expected, much of the merchandise gets a work out as artillery weapons…

       

      Wednesday the 5th

      2:00 AM: How To Sleep (MGM [Jack Chertock]- Nick Grinde) bw-10m34s-(Robert Benchley)-Sep 14, 1935

      Future sitcoms and Disney’s hilarious Goofy cartoon How To Diet paid homage to Benchley’s first MGM short and Oscar winner (a few of his shorties predate this at Fox, Universal and RKO). He gives us the proper lecture on good sleep, which also involves animated cartoon sheep to count and multiple trips to the fridge.

      12:50 PM: Operation Dirty Dozen is not an Oscar nominee, but promotes one released in 1967.

       

      Thursday the 6th

      3:17 AM: Smart As A Fox (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins; camera: Viktor Asmus; narr: Knox Manning) bw-10m-(Vitaphone Variety)-Apr 27, 1946

      Awwww! My cupeth runneth over. Yet why so early in the morning? This is one you need the kiddies to gather around… all about cute foxes in the deep forest battling ravens and huntin’ dawgs. It is as cutesy as Gerber’s babyfood. It was awfully nice of the TCM Elves to let the Canadians know that their airing will be one minute later than south-of-the-border on account of different preceding feature attractions. After all, this one is special.

      This might have been the final Oscar nominee imported from the Soviets until the sixties, although Warner Brothers chopped it down to ten minutes (being initially a featurette, supposedly Zakon Velikoi Lyubvi released in Moscow in July 1945, but subject to future correction once a few film buffs actually get to see the original to be certain). Only cameraman Viktor Asmus gets credited on screen. Although trade periodicals that reviewed it (i.e. BoxOffice) did acknowledge its origins, it had the great misfortune of being released right after Winston Churchill’s “iron curtain” speech kickstarting the Cold War. The brothers Warner already had enough to answer for with Mission To Moscow, so there was some hope this nature-reel would be as indistinguishable as those shot in Griffith Park. (see blog photo)

      9:19 AM: Cavalcade Of The Dance With Veloz And Yolanda (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco; narr, Art Gilmore) bw-11m-(Melody Master)-Nov 20, 1943 (filmed July)

      This nominee was part of Warner’s highly successful jazzy reels, the “Melody Masters” (shot in New York and later California between 1931 and 1946) and often showcasing stunning camera work, optical effects and… here… stark contrast lighting. A famous ballroom couple perform different early 20th century dance crazes.

      10:19 PM: London Can Take It! (Crown Film Unit/Ministry Of Information- Humphrey Jennings) bw-9m-(documentary special)-Oct 21, 1940

      This classic documentary is a favorite of TCM’s, showing the British going about their business as the Nazis keep hitting them with bombs. It was a smash hit US-side (Warner Bros. distributed it), soft-selling the need for Americans to “ease into” the conflict (and increasing the connection with an ally) long before Pearl Harbor.

       

      Friday the7th

      3:46 PM: So You Think You're Not Guilty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare) bw-10m29s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Dec 21, 1949

      Nominee: The ol’ “pay the two dollars” routine is expanded into a belly laugh McDoakes comedy using some of the sets from recently completed White Heat. Ralph Stanford is the zany lawyer (in jail like Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider) who tries to get Joe off his traffic ticket. Phyllis Coates is uber-sexy and hilarious as usual playing Alice, supplying the jail cake with a file in it… and breaking Joe’s bridge-work.

      5:33 PM (Canada): Now You See It (MGM- Richard Cassell) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 20, 1947

      Only Canada “sees it” this week. One of a cluster of Smithies that were nominated, the focus is on full-color microphotography… close-ups of a wristwatch, a kitty’s tongue, a lizard and housefly’s eyes, two ends of a caterpillar and a mosquito sucking blood… eeeeewwwwwwwwwwww!

      7:44 PM: Annie Was A Wonder (MGM [Herbert Moulton]- Edward Cahn) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt's Passing Parade)-Dec 21, 1948

      This nominee is one of Nesbitt’s “nostalgic” entries, spotlighting a Swedish immigrant Annie Swenson (Kathleen Freeman) who cooked and cleaned for his family before the first world war and was, like many others, following the American Dream to happiness. (Being a woman in this era, she still winds up married instead of law school though.) Howard J. Negley, Ruth Lee and Hugo Sven Borg fill out the cast.

      10:02 PM: Wrong Way Butch (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Sep 2, 1950

      Bumbling Dave O’ Brien demonstrates how NOT to operate machinery… like Donald Duck in the later How to Have an Accident at Work. Almost saws his hand in half, but fortunately he has “extra” toes on his feet.

       

      Saturday the 8th

      2:17 AM: So You Want To Be On The Radio (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Nov 6, 1948 (filmed July)

      Too bad only three McDoakes got nominated… a lot more deserved to be. The years 1947-49 were the heyday of radio’s competitive game show (the ABC network was particularly successful with this genre) and the silliness of them also got parodied by Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in Chuck Jones’ The Ducksters. Joe and Alice (Jane Harker) contend with announcer Clifton Young on “Double Up Or Drop Dead”.

      8:46 AM: You Can't Win (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(C: Pete Smith Specialty)-May 29, 1948

      A nominated comedy of mishaps featuring our favorite fratfall star Dave O’Brien, getting caught in the hammock and splashed while washing his car. A few good jokes here, although some of Dave’s other reels are funnier.

       

      Sunday the 9th

      2:17 AM: Water Trix (MGM- Charles Trego) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Nov 5, 1949

      Well-executed, if “vintage average” (and Oscar nominated), sports-reel in which Pete gets us behind he camera of Charles Trego shooting the aquatic acrobats of Preston Petersen and others.

      4:18 AM: Now You See It: Now both sides of the border get to see the mosquito babies getting’ born and growing up to be big blood-sucking mommies. (see Friday)

      6:29 AM: Marines In The Making (MGM- Herbert Polesie) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1942

      This Nominee’s subject matter is summed up in the title, but with Pete’s oh-gosh commentary making all of that hand-to-hand combat Japanese style seem less serious than it is.

      8:14 AM: Forty Boys And A Song (Warner Bros.[Gordon Hollingshead]- Irving Allen) bw-11+m-(Melody Master)-Dec 6, 1941 (filmed June)

      One of the less energized Melody Masters which got nominated partly for the awww factor: part is a straight-forward documentary of a California boys school and part is a musical performance with the Robert Mitchell’s Boy Choir.

      10:49 AM: Penny Wisdom (MGM- David Miller) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 10, 1937

      A humorous Oscar winner in the color shortie category (there was a separate one for the color shorts then): Gertrude Short plays Mrs. Smudge, who desperately needs to prepare a big dinner for hubbie and boss. The poor cocker spaniel getting stuck where he shouldn’t in the kitchen doesn’t help. Enter Prudence Penny, newspaper columnist decked in her expensive furs, to the rescue… with a high calorie din-din complete with sausage overkill and baked ice-cream (the only really appetizing part for me).

      9:45 PM: A Night At The Movies (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10m-(Robert Benchley)-Nov 6, 1937

      Although it failed to win like How To Sleep, this is a possibly funnier Benchley, with him basically missing the movie much to wifie’s scorn… and even stumbling against the screen itself. Nice belly laughs here with Gwen Lee, Hal K. Dawson, Frank Sheridan, Jack Baxley & Ricardo Cezon in support.

       

      Monday the 10th

      3:40 AM: The Making Of A Great Picture (1936) profiles one of Warner’s most expensive features of 1936, Anthony Adverse.

      6:06 AM: Give Me Liberty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reaves Eason & Forrest Barnes) c-21m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Dec 19, 1936 (previewed the 3rd)

      John Litel, Robert Warwick and Nedda Harrington head the cast in this typical mid-thirties Technicolor short dramatizing the eve of the American Revolution with Litel’s Patrick Henry included. This Oscar winner got some “rotoscoping” done a few years later for Chuck Jones’ Old Glory with Porky Pig.

      10:20 AM: Audioscopiks (MGM- Jacob Leventhal & John Norling) bw/3D-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1935

      Pete Smith was a regular each Oscar ceremony. Just like Tom & Jerry, he had a huge studio backing his little one-reelers. This one spotlights the wonders of 3-D, but it is quite likely TCM will show it flat instead of in 2-color Technicolor so you can use your red and blue spectacles to see ladies thrust arms and legs out at you and traffic get chaotic on the freeway.

      3:39 PM: The Public Pays (MGM- Errol Taggart) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Oct 10, 1936

      This crime-fighting dramatic series was loved by J. Edgar Hoover thanks to its sometimes heavy-handed messages… and did quite well at awards season; this taking the prize in the 2-reel category. All about the racketeering and criminal involvement in the dairy business, with little Johnny almost getting sick over his breakfast milk. Have to jack up prices to please the crooks, y’know! The large cast participating in this expose include Paul Stanton, Cy Kendall, William Pawley, Emmet Vogen, Frank Puglia and Edwin Stanley… and all of these CDNP shorties are a great showcase of vintage thirties chrome speeding across highways.

      7:37 PM: Teddy The Rough Rider (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Ray Enright) c-19m-(Technicolor Broadway Brevity)-Feb 24, 1940

      Winner in the 2-reel category: Sidney Blackmer does a good knock-off of the Pres. Roosevelt in his San Juan Hill days, with Pierre Watkin and Theodore von Eltz in support. Part of Warner’s Technicolor “historicals” cranked out in the years 1936-40 and frequent Oscar winners and nominees.

      11:18 PM (Canada): Beyond The Line Of Duty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Lewis Seiler & Edwin Gilbert; narr: Ronald Reagan) bw-24m-(DC: Broadway Brevity)-Nov 7, 1942

      A winner here… and a stellar example of wartime documentary. Air Corp hero Hewitt T. "Shorty" Wheless reenacts the training he went through to become a pilot… with a few contract players from the studio. Usually these things were done in Technicolor (the Warner ones, that is) but the production values are still Grade A here.

      I Won't Play (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) bw-18m-(Special)-Nov 11, 1944

      This Academy Award winner (Two Reel category) is a delightful comedy about a belligerent piano player (cocky Dane Clark hamming it up) who refuses to showcase his musical talents for his South Seas buddies in uniform until his gal Janice Paige shows up with an entertainment tour. Includes the standard “Body and Soul”.

      11:35 PM (US): Eyes Of The Navy (MGM- Herman Hoffman) bw-20+m-(Special)-©-Oct 22, 1940

      This nominee was distributed to theaters as part of “Crime Does Not Pay” (and included in the Warner Archive’s DVD set of those), but is actually a straight-forward documentary of aerial pilot training with the United States Navy, particularly in Pensacola, Florida and San Diego, California. Some stunning camera work from high above here.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Jan TCM Short Subject Schedule January 22-31, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      A bare bones blog today since the TCM Elves are a bit behind getting the schedule ready. As usual, this posting will “grow” with new add-ons this week.

       

      Wednesday the 22nd

      3:35 AM:Jaipur- The Pink City (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Oct 29, 1938

      India in all its Technicolor glory. Cameraman Glendining loved this locale enough to revisit for FitzPatrick in 1951 as Ancient India.

      8:48 AM:Your Last Act (MGM- Fred Zimmerman) bw-8+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-Jul 12, 1941

      That Nesbitt sure knew how to keep movie audiences glued to the screen. This one is a good companion piece to the previously shown (Tuesday the 21st) Strange Testament. As the title suggests, this takes on the always fascinating subject of strange wills and testaments like that of “hobo” Charles Lounsberry. (Recent research suggests some hoaxing going on here, but in1941 it was thought legit… and the words are awfully perty.)

      5:49 PM:Do Someone A Favor! (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 10, 1954 (completed ‘53)

      … or, rather not… since it may be more trouble than it is worth. Bumbling comedian Dave shows us in head-and-body-hurting fashion the adage "no good deed goes unpunished."

      7:46 PM:Copenhagen- City Of Towers (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jul 18, 1953

      What? No airing of Delightful Denmark too? Det gørmig gal!

       

      Thursday the 23rd

      12:19 AM: Whispers (Dark River) (MGM- Basil Wrangell) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Feb 8, 1941 (Filmed ‘40)

      I feel like I died this month and gone to John Nesbitt heaven. The TCM Elves are on a role! This delightful docu-reel (and they all are delightful… I don’t think he ever had a klunker) shows how some cunning men have turned small-town gossip into a profitable business. This being the age before The National Inquirer and US Weekly. John Burton and Ken Christy star in non-speaking parts.

      7:34 AM: The Band Beautiful (The Ingenues All-Girl Orchestra) (Warner Bros.) bw-9m10s-(Vitaphone Act)-©-Jun 30, 1928

      Ladies dominating an orchestra was still a novelty in the twenties. Lots of violins, harps and banjos included along with a boppy "Chasing the Blues Away". (see blog photo)

       

      Friday the 24th

      2:15 PM: Just What I Needed (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 16, 1955 (edited ‘54)

      All about unwanted gifts… and the struggles Dave O’Brien has with a chest that won't open and a runaway motorcycle. Dave and John Nesbitt are getting plenty of mileage this month… and probably will next month too, since a few of theirs got Oscar nods.

       

      Saturday the 25th

      5:49 AM: Film Fun (RKO- Burton Benjamin) bw-10+m-(Screenliner)-May 31, 1955

      Comedy dialogue is added to some old “stuff” like A Cry For Help (1912) with Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore.

      Between 1943 and 1948, Richard Fleischer (director of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and other epics) cobbled vintage silent film footage together in a series of 34 shorts for RKO titled “Flicker Flashbacks”. These took on an “ain’t it all funny?” tone much like Pete Smith’s earlier MGM “Goofy Movies” and contrasted from the more studious, nostalgic work of Robert Youngson (which began at Warner’s around the time this series ended). Unlike Youngson (and the early ‘30s “Pepper Pots” of Vitaphone-Warner and Paramount’s “Screen Souvenirs”), the “Flicker Flashbacks” and their spin-off specials of the ‘50s (which were mostly “re-edits” of the previous series) currently drive modern movie historians absolute “bonkers” trying to figure out what-film-that-clip-was-borrowed-from.

      6:00 AM (Canada): So You Want To Give Up Smoking (Warner Bros.- Richard L. Bare; narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Nov 14, 1942 (filmed May ’42)

      Compared to the post-war entries, this McDoakes short may seem slightly dull. It and So You Think You Need Glasses were shot independently as Pete Smith “knock-offs” and also as USC projects that Richard Bare supervised with a film class and sold to Warner’s. (Later shorts were shot at WB in Burbank.) Some good laughs here, especially for those fighting the nicotine fairy, along with animated diagrams of the Robert Benchley school as well.

      Hollywood Wonderland (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) c-16m-(Special)-Aug 9, 1947 (Filmed April ’46)

      Canada gets another helping of this Technicolor 2-reeler shown last week. A movie tour guide takes a troop to see musicals in production… well, actually already produced. At least half of this film consists of stock scenes of late thirties stuff like Swingtime At The Movies and Royal Rodeo.

      8:11 AM: Phantoms, Inc. (MGM- Harold Young) bw-17+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Jun 9, 1945

      Overall, the Crime Does Not Pay series was first-rate, but there were the occasional misfires… and these are quite funny despite the no-nonsense seriousness of the screenwriters. Here fake spiritualists are exposed and some gullible customers like one grief-stricken mother are even shown walking into traffic in a trance. Frank Reicher, Ann Shoemaker, Arthur Shields and Dorothy Adams manage to handle their roles with no noticeable smirking or giggling.

      9:58 AM: Decathlon Champion (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Nov 20, 1937

      Well-made sport-reel, with Smithie’s usual snarky commentary, showing how Glenn Morris trained for and won in the 1936 Olympics.

      11:50 AM: Twenty Years After (MGM- Frank Whitback) bw-9+m-(Romance Of Celluloid)-May 1944

      MGM since 1924 as profiled in vintage clips and shots of the Culver City studios wartime.

       

      Sunday the 26th

      4:07 AM: Season In Tyrol (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts [William Hendricks]- Kurt Jetmar; narr: Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) color-19+m-(Worldwide Adventure)-Jun 14, 1969

      Hurry up and book with your travel agent! The Austrian Alps are at their wintery prettiest this time of year. Too bad they couldn’t use Marvin Miller to narrate this slightly lethargic travelogue with a bit more “zip”.

      7:39 AM: Souvenirs Of Death (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Jun 19, 1948 (filmed Dec '47)

      This Nesbitt goodie gives us a short history of modern guns, from the German battlefield to the Mob.

      9:42 AM: Gym College (RKO- Howard Winner) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Oct 2, 1955

      Florida State University crops up in quite a few sports-reels in the early fifties (i.e. Fox Movietone’s Circus On The Campus ‘50 and Paramount’s Water Swymphony ’53). The studio filmmakers probably stopped frequently on their way for location shooting in Silver Springs or the Everglades father south in the peninsula. The focus here is on gymnastics.

      9:49 PM: Take A Cue (MGM- Felix Feist) sepiatone-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Aug 12, 1939

      Leading pro Charles Peterson gives us a lesson in billiards.

       

      Monday the 27th

      1:30 AM: Quiet, Please (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) c-18m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Jul 1, 1939

      Fritz Feld repeats a recurring role (in a trio of WB shorties of the late ‘30s) as a nutty movie director trying to drum up romance for the screen with uncooperative stars. Charles Foy, Larry Williams and Katherine Kane are featured. Tom Kennedy dresses in a gorilla suit.

      5:15 AM (Canada):They're Always Caught (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Jul 3, 1938 

      This Academy Award Nominee predates CSI with a police team using magnification and other tricks of their trade with any tiny evidence found at the scene of a mayor’s car bombing… and later exposing a criminal racket involved in town politics. Cast includes Stanley Ridges, John Elderidge, Charles Waldron and Louis Jean Heydt.

      7:19 AM: Personalities (MGM- Frank Whitbeck) bw-10+m-(Romance Of Celleluid)-Nov 1942

      From Clark Gable to newcomer Esther Williams, this behind-the-scenes at MGM shows how stars are created.

      9:01 AM: Minnesota: Land Of Plenty (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jan 31, 1942 (filmed ’41)

      No stops at Rose Lylund’s St. Olaf, but we see Paul Bunyan and Babe. Also Itasco and its source of the Mississippi River, along with the usual St. Paul (nice cameo by our travel guide “in the flesh” with Governor Harold Stassen) and Duluth.

      7:49 PM: Crashing The Water Barrier (Warner Bros.- Konstantin Kaiser; narr: Jay Jackson) c-10+m-(Sports Parade)-©-Mar 17, 1956

      Scrumptious looking sports-reel (that nabbed an Oscar) shows how Donald Campbell broke a 200 mile record on Lake Mead, Nevada on November 16, 1955.

       

      Tuesday the 28th

      6:04 AM (US): Yankee Doodle Goes To Town (MGM- Jacques Tourneur) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-Jun 17, 1939

      American optimism… and pessimism… is profiled through famous figures like Nathaniel “Curdleface”. Albert Russell and Josiah Tucker appear in non-speaking roles in this docu-drama, which lifts some footage from MGM features like Of Human Hearts.

      6:15 AM (Canada): Kissing Time (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-23+m-(Broadway Brevity)-Dec 16, 1933 (filmed August)

      American tourist (Jane Froman) visits a South American town on San Marcos Day, finds romance and gets involved with rebel El Toro. George Metaxa, wonderfully gravel-voiced Ralph Stanford, Novia and Philip Ryder also appear here in this fun musical fluff.

      Gus Arnheim & His Ambassadors (Coconut Grove Orchestra) (Warner Bros.) bw-9m38s-(Vitaphone Variety)-Jul 15, 1928 (Film Daily review)

      Harry Robison and Russ Columbo are credited here. Straight-forward band numbers with a trio of crooners. Featured on the multi-disc The Jazz Singer DVD and the Warner Archive’s Vitaphone Cavalcade Of Musical Comedy Shorts.

      10:19 PM: Believe It Or Not #1 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Murray Roth) bw-9+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-May 4, 1930 (Film Daily review)

      Probably the first of the series and mislabeled #13 on the schedule, but I could be wrong. In a studio office setting, Ripley discusses and sketches interesting tidbits like demonstrating how a woman can jump through cigarette paper and a Chinese boy named One Long Hop.

       

      Wednesday the 29th

      1:39 AM: Strauss And Vienna: On Location covers the filming of The Great Waltz (1972)

      7:24 AM: Battle Of San Pietro (US Signal Corps- John Huston) bw-33m-(documentary)-Dec 1944

      A National Film Registry entry that covers the historic December 1943 battle in Italy, a major win for the Allies as they moved northward through Europe. Well edited and executed, like many wartime docs.

      4:17 PM: Sun… The Sand… And The Hill covers the 1964 filming of The Hill, which Sean Connery starred in between his most profitable Bonds.

      6:03 PM: The “She” Story (1965)… Hammer Film, a wacky fantasy tale and Ursula Andress!

       

      Thursday the 30th

      12:05 AM: This Theatre And You (Warner Bros.- Felix Jacoves; narr: Brandon Beach) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts)-Jun 1949

      All about Going To The Movies… part of a series all the studios distributed for the Academy.

      4:05 AM (US): South of the border gets stuck with a Blue Lagoon promotional (1980)

      4:06 AM (Canada): Third Dimensional Murder (MGM- George Sidney) bw/3D-7+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Mar 1, 1941

      If you have red and blue glasses, grab them because some of the TCM airings of this one involve the 3-D 2-color Technicolor version. Smithie narrates a visit to a haunted house with Frankenstein monsters and wooden Indians come to life… and plenty being thrown at you on screen.

      2:48 PM: What Do You Think? #4: Tupapaoo (MGM- Jacques Tourneur; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Jun 11, 1938

      Future travelogue and Cinerama guru Carl Dudley wrote this one. Moroni Olsen plays a “white trader” eager to exploit the pearls found along an island called Tawinghi and desecrate an important burial place, but the natives aren’t going to take it lightly. This film might be a good companion piece to the popular-on-TCM Ramon Novarro flick The Pagan.

       

      Friday the 31st

      5:19 AM: Kingdom Of The Saguenay (Warner Bros.- Douglas Sinclair; narr: Rod Warren & Joel Aldred) c-9+m-(World Wide Adventure)-Feb 8, 1964 (edited ’63)

      Gorgeous Quebec in all of its early ‘60s vibrancy, relaxed fishing, sailboating, marching soldiers and delightfully dated bee hive hairdos.

      7:09 AM: Stopover In Hollywood (Will Williams [Paramount]; narr: Walter Kray) bw-16m-(travelogue)-1963

      Modestly budgeted tour of Tinsel Town, interesting mostly for nostalgia…

      9:09 AM: Violets In Spring (MGM- Kurt Neumann) bw-21+m-(Special)-Sep 5, 1936

      George Murphy and Virginia Grey are workers who hardly notice each other in a mechanized office run by humorless boss Robert Middlemass, until janitor Christian Rub (later the voice of Geppetto in Disney’s Pinocchio) does a bit of “psychology” on them with a specially placed card in somebody’s pocket. The usual boy-meets-girl fluff, but with interesting settings and nice montage work in the early parts. This and Saturday morning’s Song Of Revolt are available on the Warner Archive’s latest shorties compilation Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory Volume 2… so check ‘em out to see if that set is worth a try.

      7:47 PM: Look Back At Crossbow…the movie Operation Crossbow (filmed 1964) that is.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for January 11-21, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      My-my-my-my-my! Everybody has been a busy beaver on this forum, a-bloggin’ away, and my last post is already pushed back two pages. Must be our wintery weather keeping folks tied to their computers. Soooo… figured I would start with Saturday here, even though it was covered last time. Makes it easier to find, I guess.

       

      We are smack dead-in our Boring Month Of January, just before TCM once again dusts off the eagerly-waited-for goodies we’ve come to expect during its “31 Days Of Oscar”. Not that an Oscar nominated short subject (and we do get at least two this week) is necessarily better than an awards-neglected one, but I always count down the days leading up to the next airing of Smart As A Fox. (Or as doctom666 dubs it: Товарищ лиса отвечает товарищ ворона… “Comrade Fox meets Comrade Raven”. Ain’t google translator grand?)

       

      Saturday the 11th

      1:02 AM: Gadgets Galore (Warner Bros./Pathé- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist & Ward Wilson) bw-10m-(Variety [Novelty])-Jul 30, 1955

      Covered this docu-reel…a survey on automobiles since the horseless carriage and even clips from Warner Bros. own 1927’s The First Auto (which eagle-eyed observers noted on the other messageboard)… on this ol’ post: http://fan.tcm.com/_Shortcuts-17-Gadgets-Galore/blog/2640426/66470.html  Overall, it is almost if not quite the out-and-out masterpiece as another Oscar nominee Spills And Chills (*hint hint*… TCM Elves, are you reading this? Febwaury is not far ahead…), but it is still high up there in among the Robert Youngson canon.

      5:48 AM: Portrait Of An Actor showcases George C. Scott, the ham, in The Last Run (1971)

      11:57 PM (Canada): Golden Glamour (RKO- Larry Williams) bw-15+m-(Special)-Oct 14, 1955

      Nice mini-history of GOLD! Includes its use in many household items such as eyeglasses.

       

      Sunday the 12th

      After titillating us with a teen girl’s nude swim in Child Bride, that anti-Hays Code naughty-reel that made the seedier theaters and town-outskirts tents of pre-WW2 America (even though the same period’s Expose Of The Nudist Racket gave us a lot more flesh to relish), we are asked a very important question:

      5:30 AM: Right Or Wrong? (Making Moral Decisions) (Coronet Films- David A. Smart; collaborator: Judson T. Landis) c-10m39s-(docu-drama)-©-Jun 21, 1951

      Only a Smart director (who did a cluster of these tootin’ Coronets) can lay this on us properly. Usually these schoolroom “breathers from Chemistry lesson” are in black & white (like their messages), but this one boasts pretty color… and so much “noir” lighting that you question why they even bothered with color. “Most of us think we know what is right. But do we?” Test yourself with this storyline. “Nice” boy Harold Green is involved with a gang that vandalizes a warehouse. Should he be a stool pigeon?

      5:48 AM: People Of Russia (MGM- narr: James FitzPatrick) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-Dec 26, 1942

      An interesting relic of its era when the Cold War hadn’t officially begun since both enemies were busy fighting that Nazi SOB, this wartime travelogue combines footage of recent newsreels (Stalin overseeing “parades of progress” almost like you-know-who) with 1932 footage FitzPatrick shot for his Traveltalks. Although MGM distributed them like most, TCM has yet to show the original pre-color entries Moscow - Heart Of Soviet Russia (a.k.a. Russia Today) and Leningrad - The Gateway To Soviet Russia.

      10:14 AM: Hollywood Wonderland (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) c-16m-(Special)-Aug 9, 1947 (Filmed April ’46)

      A movie tour guide takes a troop to see musicals in production… well, actually already produced. At least half of this film consists of stock scenes of late thirties stuff like Swingtime At The Movies and Royal Rodeo.

       

      Monday the 13th

      Midnight with Sennett… no clue of the order so listing according to release dates:

      Mabel And Fatty's Wash Day (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual) bw/silent-13+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy & Alice Davenport)-Jan 14, 1915

      Mabel and Fatty aren’t married here… she has a spouse at home sleeping and he a nagger. When friendly neighbor Fatty offers friendly neighbor Mabel his washer and Mabel gets her outfit caught, this creates some typical “domestic unrest” between neighbors. Fortunately (or unfortunately), our neighborly Keystone Kops get involved.

      Fatty's New Role (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-13+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Mark Swain, Edgar Kennedy and others)-Feb 1, 1915

      Our favorite rotund comedian plays a hobo trying to get a free meal out of Ambrose’s bar and getting mistaken for a mad bomber out to avenge those who mistreat bums.

      Mabel and Fatty’s Married Life (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-14+m-(Fatty Arbuckle & Mabel Normand)-Feb 11, 1915

      The Keystone Kops once again show their dedication to service, if not their coordination, as Mabel struggles with house maintenance and a potential burglar.

      Fatty's Faithful Fido (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-13+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Al St. John, Minta Durfee, Frank Hayes & Charles Lakin)-Mar 20, 1915

      Pretty Minta has rival suitors: Fatty being the one with a pooch and slightly weaker Al has some rough-and-tough friends… and the usual rough-and-tough chaos takes over.

      Fatty's Plucky Pup (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-27+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Edgar Kennedy, Joe Bordeaux, Phyllis Allen & others)-Jun 28, 1915

      His pooch helps Fatty round up the Keystone Kops to rescue his kidnapped sweetheart.

      Fatty's Tintype Tangle (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual) bw/silent-27m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Louise Fazenda, Josef Swickard, Edgar Kennedy, Norma Nichols & others)-Jul 26, 1915

      A National Film Registry entry, considered a mini-classic of sorts, although there isn’t much of a storyline. Photographer Josef Swickard plays paparazzi on an embracing Fatty and Louise in a park, but things are not what they look like… not that their spouses will be easily convinced. Prepare for plenty of chases here.

      3:28 AM: The Bounty (1962) profiles the MGM epic remake with Marlon Brando on board… and this ship sank that studio’s finances almost as much as Cleopatra did Fox during the same period.

      5:48 AM: High Spots Of The Far East (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- E.M. Newman) bw-10+m-(World Adventures)-©-Feb 6, 1933 (Completed June ’32)

      Actually a composite of several previous Newman Traveltalks (Vitaphone-Warner’s version of FitzPatrick) with some nice shots (in monochrome this time) of China’s Pearl River, Temple of 500 Buddhas, Siam’s teakwood palaces and ancient Egypt. (see blog photo)

      7:03 AM: The Grand Bounce (MGM- Jacques Tourneur) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 22, 1937

      Not an acrobat act (although Pete Smith covered a few of those), but a “bounce” of another kind: one man tries to get his check cleared at the bank on account of a gambling debt and fusses the usual struggles so many of us had long before online checking accounts. Del Henderson plays the un-credited Harry Briggs here. J. Carrol Nash has a bit role as a thug. Also included are Barbara Bedford, Margaret Bert and John Kelly.

      9:44 PM: Larry Clinton & His Orchestra With Bea Wain (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-May 20, 1939

      Ford Leary is also featured, if not billed with the title, in this jazzy reel (available on the Warner Bros. Big Band, Jazz & Swing Shorts DVD with the Warner Archive).

       

      Tuesday the 14th

      5:15 AM: Spotlight On The World We Live In #5 (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-Feb 1951

      Thanks to some good home-researchers, we now have the “goods” on this one, covering Canadian odds and ends such as the jazz history at Saskatchewan College.

      3:17 PM: Johnny Green & His Orchestra (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-11m-(Melody Master)-Oct 12, 1935 (Filmed May)

      Sweet big band music and a little “plot” set in a rural countryside house complete with swing sets for wooing.

      7:39 PM (Canada): Traffic With The Devil (MGM/Fact Films- Herbert Morgan & Gunther Von Fritsch) bw-19+m-(Theater Of Life)-Aug 31, 1946

      In this Oscar nominated knock-off of The March Of Time, we learn all about the glories of California roadways. Predating the wave of Drivers Ed scare-flicks that infiltrated high schools in the sixties and seventies, we get a surprising quota of newsreel crash scenes and bodies on the ground… either on account of alcohol, bad judgment or just speeding in haste… in addition to a vintage display of forties chrome.

       

      Wednesday the 15th

      1:16 AM: The Movie Makers is an informercial/extended trailer for The Wild Rovers (1971).

      3:19 AM: Filmmaking On The Riviera covers The Love Cage (a.k.a. Joy House, 1964), spotlighting Alain Delon and the current MGM kitten Jane Fonda.

      4:46 AM: The Golden Equator (RKO- Hamilton Wright) bw-18+m-(Special)-Apr 6, 1956

      The modern agricultural and transportation advances in Ecuador are showcased in this monochrome travelogue. Hamilton Wright provided three studios with a cluster of travelogues in the fifties and sixties; Warner Brothers got the Warnercolor tour of this country the same year as Green Gold.

      5:45 AM (Canada): A special promotional coverage of the May 1974 premiere of That’s Entertainment!

      9:52 AM: You, John Jones (MGM- Mervyn LeRoy; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(War Activities Committee Special)-Jan 14, 1943 (Filmed ’42)

      James Cagney is local air-raid warden, Ann Sothern is his wife and Margaret O'Brien his cutie-pie daughter. Imagine, Mister Jones, what it would be like to be overseas this wartime… and little Margaret gets to reenact, in dream sequences, children all suffering famine, orphan-status and even the grim reaper. All of this is just too over-the-top for words, but it puts its wartime message across.

      5:48 PM: Main Street Today (MGM [Jerry Bresler]- Edward L. Cahn; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-16m-(Special)-Mar 25, 1944 

      Academy Award Nominee shows how a small town must work together at war time. Ray Collins plays Otis Bird, whose factory is short of employees but must meet the demand for military needs. Addison Richards and Henry O’Neill play key members in the cast of town folk.

      7:49 PM: Double Talk (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-10m-(Vitaphone Novelty)-Jun 26, 1937 (filmed Nov ’36)

      Belly-laugh Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy vehicle has our all-time favorite “dummy” trying to get “adopted” at an orphanage by a southern dame. When a less glamorous matron shows interest in him, he pretends to be sick. Oh Charlie…

       

      Thursday the 16th

      5:30 AM: Public Jitterbug Number One (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10m-(Broadway Brevity)-Apr 5, 1939

      Forget the plot… all wooing and romancing with tunes like "I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and the title tune. Hal LeRoy is at his rubbery dancing best, along with Betty Hutton, human garbage disposal Chaz Chase and Tom Emerson’s Hillbilly Sextette.

      1:36 PM: Glimpses Of Kentucky (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-Apr 12, 1941

      This state tends to get under-represented in vintage travelogues and it is nice that Fitz pays a Technicolor visit pre-war. Includes the Cumberland River, Old Fort Harrod and My Old Kentucky Home State Parks... and plenty of race horse farms. Man O'War even makes a cameo.

      10:17 PM: Hollywood Hobbies (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- George Sidney) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-May 3, 1939

      A couple take a tour of Tinseltown as producer Louis Lewyn gives us just-like-common-folk glimpses of celebs Reginald Denny with his toy planes, Clark Gable working his farm, all of the various horse racing fanatics and a celebrity baseball game.

       

      Friday the 17th

      4:00 AM: Further Prophecies Of Nostradamus (MGM- David Miller; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-May 9, 1942

      Did the great 16th century psychic predict the outbreak of our current war? Inquiring minds want to know!

      8:55 AM: Radio Hams (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 20, 1939

      A pretty good look at amateur radio enthusiasts, still a popular occupation today and likely to hold special interest for some viewers. Even shows aircraft using morse code.

      1:18 PM: Willie And The Mouse (MGM- George Sidney) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-May 17, 1941

      All you wanted to know about rodent I.Q. This is why I love the John Nesbitt series. I don’t have to ask for an amusing subject matter to be profiled in a docu-short. Just let him pick the subject. Humans are little different then rats in their multitude of personalities.

      3:18 PM: The United States Service Bands (Warner Bros.) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-Jul 24, 1943

      Title says it all. This is basically a compilation of previous Melody Masters such as United States Army Air Force Band, United States Marine Band and United States Navy Band.

      7:20 PM: Joan Crawford gets us to support the Jimmy Fund (1952)

      Let's Ask Nostradamus (MGM- Peter Ballsbusch; s: Richard H. Landau) bw-10+m-(Special 1-reeler)-Jun 6, 1953

      This essentially recycles some footage from the earlier 1938-44 shorts on the famous fortune teller with a few added newsreel clips and added sequences showcasing the French Revolution and recent history that may or may not have been predicted in those nebulous stanzas so many centuries ago.

      Ski-Flying (RKO [Jay Bonafield]) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Feb 1956 (edited ’55)

      Typical mid-decade sports-reel with some interesting newsreel style footage of Professor Thirring test-gliding the Austrian slopes and a Yugoslavia ski-flying contest.

       

      Saturday the 18th

      1:59 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-1950

      Not sure which edition of this British newsreel series is presented here, but the TCM Elves added the following description: “This short film spotlights several interesting stories, from monks who use dogs to help them find people missing in the snow to rabbits that perform tricks.”

      10:06 AM: The most popular MGM promotional of 2013, Ryan’s Daughter Featurette (1970) gets first bi-monthly airing in 2014 right on cue.

      11:51 AM: Old Natchez On The Mississippi (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Dec 30, 1939

      The antebellum South in costume and plantation preservation is showcased here with many scenes resembling those posed “cultural” group shots you often saw in ‘30s-50s National Geographic before Melville Grosvenor decided to jazz up the publication with more space travel, Cousteau and Leakey.

      1:50 PM: Speed Week (RKO- Howard Winner) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-1957 

      This not often shown sport-reel (that barely got released when the studio collapsed) profiles the automobile races held annually in Nassau, Bahamas.

      9:48 PM: That’s The Spirit (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-12+m-(Melody Master)-Feb 3, 1933 (filmed October ’32)

      The legendary Noble Sissle with the Washboard Serenaders star in this mildly entertaining all-black musical with some stereotyped “spook” humor. Cora La Redd is also featured here.

       

      Sunday the 19th

      1:32 AM: Lionpower At MGM is a full 27 minutes of Metro promotion spotlighting the 1967-68 season, some features completed and ready for release like Far From The Maddening Crowd and others still in production (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fixer and others are mostly storyboard pictures).

      5:30 AM: Keep Off The Grass (Sid Davis Productions- Ib Melchor) c-22m-(docu-drama)-Dec 1969

      Grass being “pot” here… not that the average teen would be taking this warning film seriously.

      7:41 AM: Martin Block's Musical Merry-Go-Round #3 (MGM- Jack Scholl) bw-11+m-(musical)-Jun 26, 1948

      These “playing the hits” one-reelers with a popular disc-jockey are a lot of fun in a mellow pre-rock sort of way. Ray Noble’s band and Buddy Clark are spotlighted here with the popular tune “Linda”. (Ugh… I always found that one sappy.)

      9:33 AM: You The People (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Nov 30, 1940

      An average-but-highly-entertaining entry in a great dramatic series which predates All The King’s Men in its expose of political corruption, but with the added twist of organized crime involved. With C. Henry Gordon, Paul Everton and Byron Shores featured in the cast.

      1:51 PM (Canada): Home Movies (MGM- Basil Wrangell) bw-8+m-(Robert Benchley Comedy)-Feb 17, 1940

      One of the best Benchleys resmbles future I Love Lucy and Flintstones episodes with a vacation home movie presentation gone badly. Supporting cast, including Hobart Cavanaugh and Marie Blake, are eager to make a clean getaway from our little star showing tiring frames of bad focus and upside-down compositions… not to mention his desire to smoke while playing in the editing room.

      7:44 PM: The Screen Director (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- narr: Art Gilmore) bw-9+m-(Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)-Mar 13, 1951 (edited 1950)

      Perhaps the best of the Academy promotional reels put out by each of the major studios between 1948 and ’51, this gets behind-the-scenes with John Ford, Elia Kazan, Joe Mankiewickz, and others to show what a director has to do.

      11:37 PM: Movie Mania (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-21+m-(Broadway Brevity)-May 8, 1937

      Simple plot embroidering some musical numbers: Dave Apollon plays a fussy studio mogul hen-pecking all of the musical numbers in production, including some featuring Yvonne Moray and the Savoy Dancers.

       

      Monday the 20th

      1:33 AM: High Gear (Hal Roach [MGM]- George Stevens) bw-25+m-(The Boy Friends)-Feb 28, 1931 (filmed November 1930)

      Hey! A Hal Roach this morning! Also one rarely screened on TV, featuring a teenaged version of “Our Gang” (some, in fact, were previous members in earlier Roach shorts). The group takes refuge from a thunderstorm in an abandoned building and find themselves mixed up with gangsters. With David Sharpe, Gertrude Messinger, Mary Kornman and Mickey Daniels.

      5:41 AM (US): Wagon Wheels West (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reeves Eason) bw-18+m-(Santa Fe Trail)-Oct 30, 1943

      Part of WB’s two season series of western 2-reelings making good use of stock footage (like ‘36’s Song Of The Saddle) and keeping Robert Shayne, Nina Foch, Charles Middleton and Addison Richards busy. Frank Wilson is out to avenge his father’s unjustified death as a U.S. deputy.

      5:47 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In #5 (see Tuesday above) is repeated.

       

      Tuesday the 21st

      2:46 AM: Challenge Of The Champions both promotes Grand Prix (1966) and the scenery of Monaco.

      9:34 AM: Strange Testament (Strange Will of Julian Poydras) (MGM- Sammy Lee) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Nov 15, 1941

      The story of Julian Poydras, whose life was dramatically changed by a girl he encountered at Mardi Gras. Edward Ashley, a fleeting Ava Gardner and Dorothy Morris have non-speaking roles.

      7:30 PM (Canada): Two promotionals: on for the Cairo Loew’s Theater (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Big Parade Hits for 1940) and Warner’s Gold Diggers In Paris as Impressions Of The Merriest Musical of 1938.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule sta TCM Short Subject Schedule starting New Years 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      A new year… and a bit of a drab one to boot. Well… not exactly. We get a nice helping of Sennett and Fatty this first week. Some rare gems featured from those golden years of 1913-15. Then back to our first monthly airing of Looking At London and… oh joy oh joy oh joy… our first airing of Glimpses Of Florida for the year. I am so hopeful that we get a cluster more by the time Where The Boys Are gets dusted off again for Spring Break. A month without Ross Allen milking the rattlers is like… well… a day without sunshine for the sunshine state.

       

      Wednesday… New Years

      11:36 AM (Canada): Starting off with a mini behind-the-scenes look at Doctor Zhivago (1965)

       

      Thursday the 2nd.

      1:39 AM: A Day In Death Valley (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Charlie Boyle) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Jan 22, 1944

      1943 Technicolor tour (and a theatrical release approaching its 70th birthday) of California’s desert regions, where many have looked for gold and came out… burnt by the sun.

      5:24 AM: MGM’s 40th Anniversary has a “best of” montage of pre-1964 clips that are worthy of an approaching 90th.

      7:41 PM: That Mothers Might Live (MGM- Fred Zimmerman & Herman Boxer; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-10+m-(Historical Mystery)-May 7, 1938

      The gentle-voiced storyteller John Nesbitt scored an Oscar, before his equally Oscar-worthy “Passing Parade” series got started later in 1938, with this mini-bio of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who revolutionalized medical surgery in the first half of the 19th century simply by… washing his hands. Shepperd Strudwick stars in an essentially voiceless role.

       

      Friday the 3rd

      4:03 AM: Don’t Get Nervous (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Bryan Foy) bw-10+m-(Vitaphone Act)-Jul 28, 1929 (Film Daily review)

      What makes this early (if stagey) Vitaphone one reel comedy so amusing (and still fresh today) is that it is about a vaudeville star Georgie Price… making a Vitaphone one reel comedy and worrying that his theatrical act (done to a different audience in a different theater each week) will be ruined with the same performance shown in many, many theaters across the country. The death of vaudeville is humorously… and ominously… predicted here.

      7:37 PM: Women In Hiding (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Jun 22, 1940

      Today this would be considered one of the sillier entries of this great dramatic anthology since unwed mothers no longer have to be sneaky (and embarrassed with shame and scorn) going to questionable medical facilities and adoption agencies. Marsha Hunt gives a key early appearance with C. Henry Gordon, Jane Drummond and Mary Bovart in support. The burning inferno in the climax is… well… just too-too much.

       

      Saturday the 4th

      12:28 AM (Canada): Shoe Shine Boy (MGM- Walter Hart) bw-15+m-(Special)-Dec 24, 1943 (filmed May)

      Melvin Bryant is a teenaged musical talent who struggles to get a horn at a pawnshop. Later he dedicates his musical talents to the military. A trifle dated with its racial tones, but an engaging fluff piece of its time.

      4:03 AM: Vienna: The Years Remembered covers 1968’s Mayerling teaming Omar Sharif with Catherine Deneuve in Austrian splendor.

      11:49 PM: Return From Nowhere (MGM- Paul Burnford) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Oct 28, 1944

      All of these Nesbitt docu-reels are a lot of fun (*hint hint* Warner Archive?) This one is a follow-up to a popular Nesbitt from 1940 titled Dreams, focusing this time on “The Subconscious”. Sort of the thing that Leonard Nimoy tackled in the seventies with In Search of…Don DeFore, Don Curtis, Morris Ankrum, Kay Medford and Naomi Scher appear here in small roles.

       

      Sunday the 5th

      7:39 AM: Are Animals Actors? (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- James Bloodworth; narr: Knox Manning) bw-20+m-(Special)-Mar 31, 1945 (edited ‘44)

      Features dogs in training at the Burbank lot (including Daisy) combined with culled Vitaphone footage of circus acts (monkeys, bears and ponies included). Much of the footage lifted from earlier critter performances like 1936's Vitaphone Stage Show and Here Comes The Circus.

      2:16 PM: Fishing Feats (MGM- Charles Treggo) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 22, 1951

      Average Smithie sports reel spotlighting the ferocious marlin and the hammerhead shark along the Pacific coastlines.

      9:47 PM: We Must Have Music (MGM- narr: Frank Whitback) bw-11+m-(Romance Of Celluloid)-©-Dec 2, 1941

      Like all of ’38-44 “Romance Of Celluloid” series, this is one half “behind the scenes” on a particular MGM department and one half trailers for attractions like Ziegfeld Girl, The Chocolate Soldier and Babes On Broadway.

      11:38 PM: Glimpses Of Florida (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Sep 6, 1941

      Giddyup! First showing for 2014! Put on you shades as FitzPatrick showcases the Sunshine State over thirty years before Walt Disney World changed everything… Miami was almost as sleepy as Orlando then, Bok Tower still looked the same and the bathing beauties in Silver Springs give us an eyeful of fanny shots. Of course, the focus of interest here is our beloved Ross Allen playing with his reptilian pets. Some day in my lifetime the TCM Elves will russle up some of his Warner shorties hassling bobcats and swimming for buried treasure. Ross needs to be our Star of the Month. (see blog photo)

       

      Monday the 6th

      Midnight with Mack Sennett…no clue of the order

      The Knockout (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Charles Avery) bw/silent-27+m-(Charlie Chaplin & Fatty Arbuckle)-Jun 11, 1914

      Two comedy greats together… with Fatty impressing his babe in the ring and Chuck as his referee.

      A Flirt's Mistake (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- George Nichols) bw/silent-8+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Minta Durfee, Frank Cooley, Edgar Kennedy [as Rajah] and others)-Jan 12, 1914

      Hubbie Fatty can't stop flirting and even mistakes a rajah for a lady… oooooh boy! Much to comment here with modern eyes.

      Fatty Joins The Force (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual) bw/silent-12+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Dot Farley, Edgar Kennedy, Charles Avery, Lou Breslow & others)-Nov 24, 1913

      Title says it all... with the Keystone Kops. Fatty saves a gal from drowning and becomes commissioner, but finds the job more than he bargains for.

      Leading Lizzie Astray (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-12+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Minta Durfee, Ed Brady, Mark Swain, Slim Summerville & others)-Nov 30, 1914

      Ed Brady is a city slicker luring rural Fatty's gal away as he works on his car.

      Fatty And Mabel’s Simple Life (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual) bw/silent-15+m-(Fatty Arbuckle & Mabel Normand)-Jan 18, 1915

      Green Acres circa 1915… Fatty is a farm hand at Mabel's father's place.

      Fatty's Chance Acquaintance (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-13+m-(Fatty Arbuckle, Billie Bennett, Harry McCoy, Minta Durfee, Frank Hayes & others)-Mar 8, 1915

      Billie Bennett is Fatty's macho wife here... and hardly happy with all of the park pick-pocketing going on. During all of the thievery antics, Fatty manages to find time exercising his wandering eye… with the thief’s girlfriend!

      Fatty And Mabel At The San Diego Exposition (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-14+m-(Fatty Arbuckle & Mabel Normand)-Jan 23, 1915

      The happy married couple visit the Big Fair (where the zoo animals made their debut) with plenty of flirting on Fatty’s part… in the hula pavilion no less.

      5:30 AM (Canada): Arctic Roundup (RKO- John Teal Jr.) c-28+m-(Wildlife Album)-Jan 1957 (edited ’56)

      Back again to Canadian TV, another look at the Musk-ox of the tundra.

      10:41 AM: I Am An American (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur) bw-20+m-(Special w/ Dennis Morgan)-Dec 23, 1944

      Nicely edited, if sentimental, docu-drama about of a Polish immigrant family, shown with some actors at the Burbank lot intermixed with newsreel footage of many famous sons-and-daughters of immigrants. This was a typical wartime piece promoting solidarity among your fellow countrymen in conflict.

      12:47 PM: Looking At London (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller & S.D. Onions) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jun 1, 1946

      Another year… another round of wartime rubble near St. Paul’s and the still buoyant Piccadilly Circus.

      7:45 PM: So You Want To Be A Gambler (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Feb 13, 1948 (filmed August 1947)

      Never take advice from a macaw when gambling with that wheel of fortune. This is a fun, if slightly predictable, entry to the great McDoakes series.

      11:21 PM (Canada): Believe It Or Not #10 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-Jul 5, 1931 (filmed March)

      Robert impresses a bunch on a ship with his curiosities, including a champion billiard player Otto Reiset.

       

      Tuesday the 7th

      12:45 AM: The Giant Of Norway (The Man Who Couldn't Say No) (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Jun 24, 1939

      A mini-biopic on Fridtjof Nansen, who aided countless refugees from the “great war” and later… until his death in 1930. Starring Lumsden Hare and Hugh Sothern, with gentle-voiced John Nesbitt narrating.

      2:43 AM: The Candid Camera Story (Very Candid) Of The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures 1937 Convention (MGM) bw-16+m-(promotional)-1937

      A “home movie” chronicle of MGM bigwigs in route from the Big Apple back to Culver City, promoting the studio and providing fans and visitors a grand luncheon of sorts. An interesting artifact of its era, not often shown.

      4:42 AM: Moments In Music (MGM- Carey Wilson) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Special)-Nov 13, 1950

      A short behind-the-scenes look at music in movies, not just the period “stuff” but jazzy beats as well. Part of a series all of the studios put out covering various departments of the industry for the Academy as education and soft-sell promotion in theaters.

      3:50 PM: Glimpses Of Argentina (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Keith Covey) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Dec 1, 1951

      Includes a mandatory shot of Loew’s theaters in Buenos Aires.

       

      Wednesday the 8th

      3:30 AM: India On Parade (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-10m-(Traveltalk)-Feb 6, 1937 (filmed ’36)

      A visit with the private army of the Maharajah of Baroda, complete with elephants and jewels galore… along with some monkey footage a well. Also some shots of the Taj Mahal that Jack Cardiff would tackle again in 1938 for the British-made “World Windows” series. In fact, this was quite probably the most Technicolor-photographed landmark in Asia during the thirties.

      7:46 PM: A quickie for 1962’s version of Mutiny On The Bounty.

       

      Thursday the 9th

      12:44 AM: Have You Ever Wondered? (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 13, 1947

      Why women get dangerous behind the wheel? (This is the ‘40s y’know) Why milk and pickles taste awful together?

      2:33 AM: Desert Killer (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Larry Lansburgh; narr: Art Gilmore) c-10m-(Sports Parade)-Dec 25, 1952 (preview) 

      This was Oscar nominated partly in memory of producer Hollingshead, who passed away some months earlier (this being one of his last credits) and likely not because of its cinematic “wow” factor. It is all about a big ferocious kitty high in the Chiricahua mountains of Arizona, who happens to crave mutton fresh off the flock and the poor dimple-faced Navaho boy who can’t keep him from prowling. Enter Marvin Glenn and his teen son, professional puma wrestlers. Fortunately, no cougars were injured in the making of this docu-reel, but the sound effects department somehow got their tiger roars mixed up.

       

      Friday the 10th

      4:10 AM: Yours Sincerely (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-16+m-(Broadway Brevity)-Jan 28, 1933 (filmed November 1932)

      Musical 2-reeler that condenses Rogers & Hart's "Spring Is Here", featuring Lanny Ross, Nancy Welford and Richard Keene in the cast. A resort owner tries to marry his daughter to a millionaire but his scheme doesn't turn out exactly as planned.

      2:48 PM: Hollywood- The Second Step (MGM- Felix Feist; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Jun 6, 1936

      Structured like the later “Romance of Celluloid” series showcasing how a star makes it through a typical movie studio. Typical actress (Jane Barnes) goes through the ropes as an actress at MGM in this behind-the-scenes instruction. Highlight includes glimpses of the filming of TARZAN ESCAPES.

       

      Saturday the 11th

      1:02 AM: Gadgets Galore (Warner Bros./Pathé- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist & Ward Wilson) bw-10m-(Variety [Novelty])-Jul 30, 1955

      Covered this masterpiece…a survey on automobiles since the horseless carriage and clips from Warner Bros. 1927’s The First Auto (which eagle-eyed observers noted on the other messageboard)… on this ol’ post: http://fan.tcm.com/_Shortcuts-17-Gadgets-Galore/blog/2640426/66470.html

      5:48 AM: Portrait Of An Actor showcases George C. Scott in The Last Run (1971)

      11:57 PM (Canada): Golden Glamour (RKO- Larry Williams) bw-15+m-(Special)-Oct 14, 1955

      Nice mini-history of GOLD! Includes its use in many household items as well as eyeglass where.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Dec TCM Short Subject Schedule December 21-31

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Ahhhh… yes. That time again, when we get to relive holidays past. Studio mogul Louie Bee had to please the movie-goers of the thirties and forties with all of the stars chipping in as One Big Happy Metro Family. Nobody did it better than the Hardy clan. We look back at this era with plenty of nostalgia for those simpler times when everybody knew their “place” and memorized their lines on cue. Gee… do I sound cynical of yee yesteryear?

       

      Saturday the 21st

      7:34 AM (US): Chips Of The Old Block (Warner Bros.- Bryan Foy) bw-7m42s-(Vitaphone Act with Eddie Foy Jr. & The Foy Family)-Jul 1, 1928

      After Bob Hope’s The Seven Little Foys, we see the real Foys perform. Vaudeville routines of some zany teen-oriented humor, including a quick Red Riding Hood tale of graphic violence...

      7:44 AM (Canada): Crazy House (MGM- Jack Cummings) c (2-color Technicolor)-13+m-(Colortone Musical "Novelty")-Feb 11, 1931 (Filmed '30)

      Benny Rubin visits a sanitarium for “rest” but finds it quite the loony bin. Karl Dane, Cliff Edwards, Polly Moran and the wonderful “Snake Hips” Earl Tucker all provide lively entertainment in this oddball early color reel.

      Private Lessons (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-22m-(Broadway Brevity)-May 5, 1934 (Filmed Nov ‘33)

      Gotta love the rubbery dancing of Hal LeRoy, top star of many Vitaphone musical shorties. Here, he heads… what else?... a dancing school with Dawn O'Day, Dorothy Dare, Dollie Arden and Marie Fay.

      42nd Street Special is a rather ambitious promotional for the 1933 Warner release.

       

      Sunday the 22nd

      11:36 AM: Star In The Night (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Don Siegel) bw-22m-(Special)-Oct 13, 1945

      Don Siegel directed this mini-drama ages before Dirty Harry. After a bloody world war, there was much cynicism on the American landscape. Arizona inn-keeper (J. Carroll Naish) is hardly “in the spirit”, although motherly wifie is all eager to provide room for a filled-up accommodations.  Lo and behold, one couple is ready to have a child and… lo and behold… there are three cowboys bringing gifts… Cast includes Donald Woods as that all-observing visitor (not unlike Jimmy Stewart’s “guardian angel”), Rosina Galli and others.

      7:44 PM (Canada): Compliments Of The Season (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Arthur Hurley) bw-13+m-(Vitaphone Act)-Sep 1930

      Now for a darker, Depression Era, take on the season. Eric Dressler, Lenita Lane and soon-to-be-a-star Pat O’Brien star in this little “drama-ette” about a crook saving a girl from suicide on Christmas Eve.

      9:43 PM: The Greatest Gift (MGM- Harold Daniels) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Sep 5, 1942

      Often shown during the summer snooze months rather than the holidays, this charming mini-drama features familiars Edmund Gwen and Hans Conried in the cast. All about a French monastery and a juggler residing with them.

      11:47 PM: Silent Night (1937) is a vintage MGM holiday trailer with a quite young Judy Garland singing.

       

      Monday the 23rd

      5:56 AM: Another vintage holiday trailer from mighty Metro, this culling a clip from The Great Caruso (1951) as Mario Lanza sings “Ave Maria”.

      11:32 AM: MGM trailer #3: The Hardy family is the best family we should spend Christmas 1939 with. No worry about European wars behind that white picket fence. Followed by a repeat of Compliments Of The Season for US viewers eagerly waiting to have the helium popped out of their happy balloon.

      1:49 PM: Going Spanish (Bob's Busy Day) (Educational [Al Christie]/Fox- Jack Skirball) bw-19+m-(Al Christie Comedy)-Mar 2, 1934

      Early Bob Hope, during his Broadway days, with Leah Ray, Frances Halliday and others in support. This almost forgotten two-reeler was made just before he joined Warner-Vitaphone (for slightly better material) and, later, the glory years with Paramount and NBC radio. He joked about how bad this particular short was by saying the FBI would make John Dillinger sit through it after they caught him. Needless-to-say, producer Christie wasn’t amused. While it is quite silly, it isn’t a waste. Bob and his gal… and her mom… get stuck in a down-Latin-way musical village that sings a lot as part of their rules. The focus is more on the tunes than the comedy.

      3:33 PM (US): Seasoned Greetings (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-20+m-(Broadway Brevity)-Sep 23, 1933 (filmed June)

      Pint-sized Sammy Davis Jr. (see blog photo) has a prominent comedy-stealing role here. A card shop owner (Lita Grey Chaplin, one of Charlie’s exes) trumps up business with cards that morph into musical numbers. Only on screen, folks, only on screen… would you get this nifty “technology”. Various performers spotlighted include Carleton Macy, the Village Barn Hill Billys and the Sizzlers.

      3:47 PM (Canada): Movie Pests (MGM- Will Jason & Dave O’Brien) bw-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jul 8, 1944

      Academy Award nominee has Pete comically narrating the struggles of Dave O’Brien in a “typical” movie theater, stumbling over legs, ladies’ hats and plenty of food in the dark. Apparently not as much real hanky panky is going on here like Cinema Paradiso.

      5:47 PM: The Christmas Party (MGM- Charles Reisner) bw-9+m-(Special)-Dec 17, 1931

      Here it comes… oh boy! The ultimate whopper in MGM gotta-love-Daddy-Louie-and-please-the-MGM-famileee greetings. We all hold our breath with great eagerness and grab every last cup of cocoa for the moment TCM airs this ditty each year. Norma Shearer does just what her hubbie Irving tells her, hugging cute Jackie Cooper (rescued from Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” series and his Paramount contract for zeee big time with mighty Metro) and wrestling up all of the stars on the lot for one big kiddie holiday bash… and all eager to serve with smiles: Clark Gable, Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, Ramon Novarro, Cliff Edwards, Charlotte Greenwood (yeah, she was around long before Oklahoma!)… the list goes on. Well, not Miss Crabtree.

       

      Tuesday the 24th

      11:10 AM: Judy’s Silent Night (1937) gets repeated

      1:09 PM: The Present With A Future (Warner Bros. War Bonds Trailer) (Warner Bros.- Vincent Sherman) bw-3+m-(commercial)-Dec 1, 1943

      Not to be out-done, the brothers Warner get into the holiday well-wishing with Bette Davis getting us to buy war bonds.

      2:25 PM: back with Judge Hardy, Andy and crew

      5:43 PM: … and Mario Lanza again, but then…

      Snow Birds (MGM- Jules White; narr: Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Sports Champions)-Aug 20, 1932  Our favorite gee-whizz narrator gets us to look at the biggest winter recreations this 1932 year: tobogganing, skating, and barrel jumping (all shot in alpine California) followed by a quick look at what the Swedish have been up to (sports-wise… not other “recreations” you frisky minds may be thinking).

       

      Wednesday the 25th

      5:00 AM: Another airing of Star In The Night (see above)

      7:13 AM: Miracle At Lourdes (MGM- Henry K. Dunn; Carey Wilson) sepia tone-11+m-(Miniature)-Dec 16, 1939

      The story of the healing powers of that most famous of French sites (but no Jennifer Jones present) and its effects on a doubting physician and his handicapped wife. Jo Ann Sayers and G.P. Huntley have non speaking roles.

      10:09 AM (Canada): Andy Hardy's Dilemma (MGM- George B. Seitz & Carey Wilson) bw-19+m-(Special with Mickey Rooney)-Dec 1938

      Andy and pop go jalopy shopping but quickly learn of the charities their hard earned money may be more useful for.

      10:16 AM: While many are in that religious mood, a trailer for MGM’s 1968 Shoes Of  Fisherman. Curiously Canada gets the full feature, but US-side gets The Big Fisherman instead. Both sides get Charlton Heston and Ben Hur hogging up the mid-day (although Ramon Novarro’s version is shown at another time). Stay tuned for a little “making of” promotional that follows at 2:13 PM.

      7:49 PM: Let's Dance (MGM- David Miller; narr: Pete Smith) bw-8+m-(Miniature)-Jan 4, 1936 (filmed ‘35)

      Demonstrations in tap and ballroom dancing with the usual Smithie jokes.

      9:50 PM: Streamlined Swing (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Buster Keaton) sepia (originally)-9+m-(Miniature)-Sep 10, 1938

      Features the Sing Band, a harmonical playing group that boasts more members than the Mills Brothers, as bow-tied waiters and servers on a train (the all-familiar MGM one featured in many features of course). They soon set up a "Stream Dinah Dinner Car" that is the swingiest place to stop.

      11:49 PM: Jimmie Lunceford And His Dance Orchestra (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10m-(Melody Master)-Dec 19, 1936

      One of the most popular Melody Masters viewed in recent years thanks to a stellar selection of material such as "Rhythm Is Our Business", about as close to rock as you get in the thirties.

       

      Thursday the 26th

      3:32 AM (Canada): The Five Locust Sisters (MGM) bw-10+m-(Movietone Act)-©-Oct 6, 1928

      This is a key title on the Warner Archive’s Classic Musical Shorts From The Dream Factory and the earlier feature That’s Entertainment III. MGM began cranking out the talkie-shorties a full two years after rival Warners (about the same time all of the studios started making the full-sound features) and some of these are a trifle creaky today compared to other more polished offerings (especially from Warner-Vitaphone). This all gal singing group is hardly the Andrews Sisters, but their singing is pretty good. Just that the stationary camera makes this affair dull.

      9:17 AM: Capriccio Italien (MGM- music: Johnny Green) bw-10+m-(Special 1-reeler)-May 9, 1953

      Monochromatic orchestra performance not unlike the CnemaScope ones later like Merry Wives Of Windsor Overture.

      11:33 PM (Canada): Heavenly Music (MGM [Jerry Bresler & Sam Coslow]- Josef Berne) bw-22+m-(Special)-May 1, 1943

      Frederick Brady plays a deceased bandleader Ted Barry, trying to prove to the classical bigwigs up in heaven that his swing music is equally worthy to play beyond The Pearly Gates. Eric Bore, a regular in many thirties features, also appears here.

      11:49 PM (US): Penny Wisdom (MGM- David Miller) c-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 10, 1937

      A humorous Oscar winner in the color shortie category: Gertrude Short plays Mrs. Smudge, who desperately needs to prepare a big dinner for hubbie and boss. The poor cocker spaniel getting stuck where he shouldn’t in the kitchen doesn’t help. Enter Prudence Penny, newspaper columnist decked in her expensive furs, to the rescue… with a high calorie din-din complete with sausage overkill and baked ice-cream (the only really appetizing part for me). I guess the TCM Elves are being “punny” by showing Pennies From Heaven right after Prudence practically sends everybody into heaven with all of that over-eating.

       

      Friday the 27th

      7:45 AM: Movies Are Adventure (Universal- Jack Hively) bw-11+m-(Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)-Sep 7, 1949

      One of those docu-“informercials” aimed at keeping audiences from leaving the movie-theater for that tardy “small screen” on the rise. Each of the studios backed one or two of these for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. This one shows clips from all kinds of “adventure” like King Kong, The Sheik and hurricane special effects, providing all the thrills you can possibly want.

      5:46 PM: A Really Important Person (MGM- Basil Wrangell) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Jan 11, 1947 (filmed ‘46) 

      Dean Stockwell stars as a pupil who learns how important his father is when he is asked to write an essay at school. Awwww! Also co-starring Connie Gilchrist, Clancy Cooper and Chick York.

       

      Saturday the 28th

      1:39 AM (Canada): The Golden Equator (RKO- Hamilton Wright) bw-18+m-(Special)-Apr 6, 1956

      The modern agricultural and transportation advances in Ecuador are showcased in this monochrome travelogue. Hamilton Wright provided three studios with a cluster of travelogues in the fifties and sixties; Warner Brothers got the Warnercolor tour of this country the same year as Green Gold.

      4:05 AM: Just What I Needed (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Apr 16, 1955 (edited ‘54)

      All about unwanted gifts… and the struggles Dave O’Brien has with a chest that won't open and a runaway motorcycle.

      9:53 AM: Alert Today - Alive Tomorrow (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-16+m-(Special)-Sep 7, 1956

      A nostalgic trip to a “typical town” (Reading, Pennsylvania) preparing itself for possible Cold War invasions as well as less pressing emergencies, with everybody involved in medical and civic defense duty.

       

      Sunday the 29th

      5:15 AM: A double-dose of “Just Say No” documentaries:

      Distant Drummer: A Movable Scene (Arlie Productions- William Templeton; narr; Robert Mitchum) c-22m-(documentary)-1970

      Gee… Mister Mitchum. Didn’t you enjoy a good wif-of-weed back in the forties when you worked for RKO? Even so, it is still important to warn the long hairs all about the evils of drug trafficking.

      Distant Drummer: Flowers Of Darkness (Arlie Productions- William Templeton; narr: Paul Newman) c-22+m-(documentary)-1972

      Newman adds marquee value to this second one: a profile of the opium poppy plant from soil growth to human consumption.

      9:59 AM: Hollywood: Style Center Of The World (MGM- Oliver Garver) bw-11+m-(Romance Of Celluloid)-©-Apr 23, 1940 

      Promoting Adran at MGM… and a nifty period look at the studio in action.

       

      Monday the 30th

      5:37 AM: One Who Came Back (Disabled American Veterans- Owen Crump) bw-21+m-(Special)-Sep 1951

      This Academy Award Nominee profiles disabled veterans of World War II and Korea. Co-produced independently and distributed by Warner Bros.

      7:43 AM: A Wife’s Life (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jul 8, 1950  

      Life of Mrs. George Hardnose (Dorothy Short) whose hubbie (Dave O’Brien) just doesn’t understand how much “work” she does with all of these “modern” appliances.

      7:51 PM: Why Is It? (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Sep 11, 1948

      Smithie profiles (with some comic scenes with O’Brien) life’s little annoyances: shoelaces that break, alarm clocks that don’t go off, pests in public libraries, etc.

       

      Tuesday the 31st

      10:35 AM (Canada): Canadian Carnival (RKO- Douglas Sinclair) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Nov 29, 1955

      Winter fun at a carnival in Quebec is the highlight in this vintage sports-shortie.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Dec TCM Short Subject Schedule December 8th through 20th

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Got a bit of news for yee Shortie fans. The Warner Archive has a new $34+ DVD set out on MGM musical shorts: Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory Volume 2: http://shop.warnerarchive.com/product/classic+shorts+from+the+dream+factory+volume+two+1000446621.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search

       

      Now… if you don’t already have Volume 1 of Classic Musical Shorts From The Dream Factory (see it here: http://shop.warnerarchive.com/product/classic+musical+shorts+from+the+dream+factory+1000179975.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search ) and are striving to be a “completist”, I would suggest you start with the earlier one first as a test to your shortie endurance level… since that selection has more hits than misses and either you will “dig the stuff” or not. MGM was very polished, if sometimes a trifle bland, with their mini-musicals; Vitaphone-Warner had the livelier material with tighter direction, better song selections and a higher quota of still familiar faces. Of course, you can’t beat Every Sunday with Judy Garland and Deanna Durban together (seen quite a bit on TCM) or Jack Benny (both featured in Volume 2)… and Technicolor mannequins coming to life (Frankenstein’s monster included) in the delightful Two Hearts In Wax Time. Also Volume 2 includes at least two or three titles so rare that they have yet to be listed on the imdb.com site. (Gee! Here’s a canister marked No Place Like Rome sitting on the vault shelf... has anybody seen this thing since FDR was president? Get to work adding the online information, yee fellow movie geeks!)

       

      Sunday the 8th

      3:44 AM: The Sky Divers is a Dale Makey directed promotional for The Gypsy Moths, with some stunning aerial shots shot in 1968, along with interviews by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and others.

      5:45 AM: A Visit To Santa (Clem Williams) c-12m-(docu-fantasy)-1963

      Those expecting a holiday Citizen Kane in miniature will be vastly disappointed. This is essentially a narrated “home movie” to the local shopping mall with very limited cinematic innovation. It is interesting mostly, for those viewers not snoozing, on account of the abundance of tail-fins in a Pittsburgh area parking lot.

      11:44 AM: Chicago, The Beautiful (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller ) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jul 31, 1948

      …and a LOT has changed there since ’48.

      11:42 PM: Victoria And Vancouver: Gateways To Canada (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Benjamin Sharpe & Winton Hoch) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Feb 1, 1936

      Special note must be given to one of the cinematographers on this trip up the Pacific northwest: After honing his Technicolor skills in these shorties, Winton Hoch moved on to bigger projects like Paramount’s Dr. Cyclops and Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon (live action parts) along with some John Ford later.

       

      Monday the 9th

      5:36 AM: Come To Dinner (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-22m-(Broadway Brevity)-©-Apr 24, 1934 (filmed Nov ’33)

      You may not recognize the cast (featuring Flavia Arcaco, Hershel Magall, Margot Stevenson & Clinton Sundberg), but dedicated TCM viewers will recognize the stars they lampoon in Dinner At Eight, this being a Warner spoof of a MGM hit. Others to keep on the look out for include Nothing Ever Happens (spoofing Grand Hotel), Twenty Thousand Cheers For The Chain Gang  (spoofing more than one title) and… my personal favorite… Hal LeRoy in The Prisoner Of Swing (i.e. Zenda copied practically scene by scene with jokes galore). (see blog photo)

      2:49 PM: Fancy Answers: What's Your I.Q. - No. 5 (MGM- Basil Wrangell) sepiatone-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Nov 1, 1941

      Question and answer sessions were much the rage among the theatrical shorties that followed in the wake of RKO’s adaptation of radio’s Information Please. Pete Smith’s snarky commentary was a natural fit for these multiple choice audience participations. Topics include the US flag and zebras (!). Highlight: A young unknown Ava Gardner has a peekaboo scene in a short dramatization scenario.

      4:20 PM: Headline Bands (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl & Lloyd French) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-Jan 26, 1946 (Edited ’45)

      Essentially a compilation reel of previous “Melody Masters” going back to the ‘30s with Larry Clinton, Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey and Vincent Lopez spotlighted.

      7:41 PM: Season In Tyrol (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts [William Hendricks]- Kurt Jetmar; narr: Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) color-19+m-(Worldwide Adventure)-Jun 14, 1969

      The Austrian Alps in their travelogue (book at your local agent) splendor. Shame about the sleepwalking narration…

       

      Tuesday the 10th

      1:45 AM (Canada): The Jimmy Fund (1952) with Joan Crawford at her best-dressed “housewife” best.

      1:47 AM (US): US side gets that repeating MGM promotional for Fame (1980)

      7:35 AM: Angel Of Mercy (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-May 20, 1939 

      Soothing voiced Nesbitt narrates a mini-bio on Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross. Featuring Sara Haden, Ann Rutherford and Emmet Vogan in the cast.

      11:38 AM: A Lady Fights Back (MGM) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Nov 11, 1944 

      The "lady" here is the French luxury liner Normandie, made good use by the US military at wartime (and renamed USS Lafayette) despite a 1942 fire. A nice newsreel style documentary of the period.

      3:41 PM: Decade For Decision (RKO- Ardis Smith) bw-15+m-(Special)-Mar 1957

      An interesting relic of the times, this docu-reel emphasizes the necessity of increasing education in the sciences. Completed early in 1957, Sputnik would later make this need more of a reality.

       

      Wednesday the 11th

      6:00 AM (Canada): Soft Drinks And Sweet Music (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-22m16s-(Broadway Brevity)-Nov 30, 1934 (Film daily review)

      Daydreams become music numbers, this time with a soda jerk. Georgie Price, Sylvia Froos, Billie Leonard and George Watts head the cast.

      Good Morning, Eve (Warner Bros.- Roy Mack) c-19m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler [Leon Erroll])-Aug 5, 1934 

      Adam (Leon Errol) and Eve (June MacCloy) visit the human cultures that succeeded them: hedonistic Rome, middle aged chivalry and the California beaches of 1934… all in glorious Technicolor (this being Warner’s second shortie in the 3-color system… after a great many in the 2-color system) and with plenty of musical interludes. Vernon Dent and Maxine Doyle also have prominent roles here. Stay tuned for the amusing finale punch line, spoofing the current craze among Depression Era folks having “fun in the sun”... “natural” style.

       

      Thursday the 12th

      5:14 PM: This Is The Bowery (On The Bowery) (MGM- Gunther V. Fritsch) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-May 31, 1941

      All of the Nesbitt shorties are good; this having a pretty good mixture of suffering and hope. Down on their luck guys in NYC seek sanctuary with various institutions dealing with alcoholism, homelessness and unemployment. Done a bit in the March Of Time style with some acting scenes.

      7:48 PM: The Cinematographer (MGM- Jerry Hopper; narr: Warner Anderson) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Special)-Jan 13, 1951 (edited ’50)

      Each of the studios released one of these “behind the scenes” for the Academy to keep theater attendees interested in Hollywood in this dawn-of-TV era. The focus is as much on the stars (like Hope & Crosby and Van Johnson) as the men behind the camera (mostly un-named).

       

      Friday the 13th

      What? No Black Cats And Broomsticks airing today?

      5:39 AM: 2010: The Odyssey Continues (1984)… TCM’s quota of vintage MGM promoting of forgotten sequels.

      8:49 AM: Spade Cooley- King of Western Swing (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) bw-10m-(Melody Master)-Sep 1, 1945

      Some may argue that Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys were the better western swingers, but I find Spade’s Warner short more entertaining than Bob’s 1944 entry. We even have more biographic backstory in addition to the boppin’ country.

      2:14 PM: America, Preferred (MGM- Earl Robinson & Frank Whitbeck) bw-7+m-(War Activities Committee Special)-May 20, 1941

      This docu-reel gets us to buy US Defense Bonds

       

      Saturday the 14th

      8:30 AM (Canada): Heavenly Music (MGM [Jerry Bresler & Sam Coslow]- Josef Berne) bw-22+m-(Special)-May 1, 1943

      This Oscar winner made the cut on Volume 2 of Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory: Frederick Brady plays a deceased bandleader Ted Barry, trying to prove to the classical bigwigs up in heaven that his swing music is equally worthy to play beyond The Pearly Gates. Eric Bore, a regular in many thirties features, also appears here.

      Daily Beauty Rituals (Educational- Constance Bennett) Cinecolor-5+m-(documentary)-1937

      Nice vintage make-up Hollywood style informercial in color. The actress and her husband director previously shot some much more interesting and provocative 2-color features like Legong: Dance Of The Virgins, with its topless Bali dancing, and Kilou The Killer Tiger.

      4:30 PM: Grand Prix: Challenge Of Champions both promotes the ’66 flick but also boasts some groovy Monaco travelogue footage. Followed by the feature itself.

       

      Sunday the 15th

      1:33 AM: Lionpower At MGM is a full 27 minutes of Metro promotion spotlighting the 1967-68 season, some features completed and ready for release like Far From The Maddening Crowd and others still in production (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fixer and others are mostly storyboard pictures). Also some titles “in the works” that didn’t get made.

      5:00 AM: The Golden Years (Jam Handy/Brunswick) c-14m25s-(infomercial)-1960

      Produced by the same company that kept General Motors stocked in color auto-mercials. Back in 1985, ABC ran an ambitious, but now forgotten, retrospective 45/85 with Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings on American life since WW2. The network was on a history kick and followed it with an even better multi-episode Our World, but viewers, apart from dorks like me, disliked being “educated in primetime” and it got canned too soon. In any case, the classic “threshold of the golden sixties” shot (used in both shows) of The Nuclear Family enjoying their modern day living room (i.e. sonny boy assembling his space rocket, mom mulling about the kitchen, dad in his easy chair and daughter gabbing on the designer phone) quickly became THE all-time favorite “cliché clip”. Every cynical documentarian convinced that the fifties resembled Disneyland’s animatronics rides simply had to use it… and many a History Channel viewer has it now etched in the cranium. It was only much later that we discovered which public domain flick the ABC editors lifted it. Here we learn that your local bowling alley has every reason to be as fully advanced, comfort-wise, as your living room.

      Holiday From Rules? (Portafilms- William H. Murray) c-11+m-(instructional)-1958

      It has been a while since they brought back this shown-too-often-before reel. At least the set decoration here is great… sort of a post-UPA “pop up” design. One expects Gerald McBoing Boing or Captain Kangaroo to show up at any moment. Elementary school kids (from Wall Lake schools in Michigan) wander about in a stylized forest with no rules to follow and… well… you know they aren’t going to get away with it, do you?

      A Visit To Santa… ugh. I discussed you already up top

      One Got Fat (Interlude Films- Dale Jennings & a surprisingly large cast; narrator: Edward Everett Norton) c-15m-(docu-drama)-©-Dec 23, 1963

      Nice narration choice here... and very funny toon-y gags. Lesson learned: do not act like monkeys when bike riding. Accidents will happen. Also “Slim” can use less bag-lunching. No, this is hardly a “socially-correct” instructional. Then again, most who are biking with monkey masks these days generally do so in the nude.

      7:32 AM: A Night At The Movies (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10m-(Robert Benchley)-Nov 6, 1937

      Nice Oscar nominated Benchley has him basically missing the movie much to wifie’s scourn… and even stumbling against the screen itself. Nice belly laughs here with Gwen Lee, Hal K. Dawson, Frank Sheridan, Jack Baxley & Ricardo Cezon in support.

      5:49 PM: Things You Never See On Screen is the seasonal shown-to-employees “blooper reel”, this time for 1935, covering all of the blunders on the Warner Bros. sets. In a later one (’39), even the cartoon star Porky Pig has one, cursing. Today we often see such things over end credits in theatrical features, including the animated Pixar.

      7:40 PM: Toyland Casino (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-22m-(Broadway Brevity)-Oct 8, 1938

      Credited in this typical-of-its-period juvenile talent show are Francine Lassman (aka Abbe Lane), the Michael Bell Ensemble, Albert Adams, Barbara Dennison, Kathleen Sullivan & Richard Monahan.

      11:37 PM: Star In The Night (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Don Siegel) bw-22m-(Special)-Oct 13, 1945

      ‘Tis the season for the ol’ Oscar winners of yesteryear sporting a holiday theme. Don Siegel directed this mini-drama ages before Dirty Harry. After a bloody world war, there was much cynicism on the American landscape. Arizona inn-keeper (J. Carroll Naish) is hardly “in the spirit”, although motherly wifie is all eager to provide room for a filled-up accommodations.  Lo and behold, one couple is ready to have a child and… lo and behold… there are three cowboys bringing gifts… Cast includes Donald Woods as that all-observing visitor (not unlike Jimmy Stewert’s “guardian angel”), Rosina Galli and others.

      11:52 PM (Canada): 42nd Street Special is a rather ambitious promotional for the 1933 Warner release.

       

      Monday the 16th

      1:31 AM: The Matinee Idle (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Arthur Hurley) bw-7+m-(Vitaphone Act with Henry Hull & James Dale)-Sep 14, 1930 (Film Daily review; filmed May)

      One of those dusted-from-the-vaults shorties not seen in a while, this is a playlet or theatrical sketch (if you can call it) featuring a conflict between a play writer and a conceited actor.

      5:00 AM: The MGM Story, a feature billed as a “short”, profiles the silver jubilee in 1949.

      8:19 AM (Canada): Strikes And Spares (MGM- Felix Feist; narr: Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(MGM Oddity)-Oct 20, 1934 

      An Academy Award Nominee with snarky Petie narrating: Andy Varipapa shows us his trick shots in professional bowling.

      10:16 AM (Canada): Trifles Of Importance (MGM- Basil Wrangell) bw-9+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Jul 13, 1940

      Only Nesbitt, the great MGM and radio storyteller, can get us fascinated with the topics of the “lucky number 7” not working with a car theft, the fine “art” of passing-the-time doodling (which even Gary Cooper earlier commented on in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town) and the purposes of certain items used in men’s suits.

      11:35 AM: The Camera Caught It (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 9, 1954

      MGM released this to cash in on rival Warner Brothers’ Robert Youngson series with a collection of newsreel clips of sports events and famous moments in history. Highly entertaining, but Pete Smith’s “gee whizz” style narration seems a bit out of place covering such traumatic events like the Tacoma bridge disaster.

      2:02 PM (Canada): Greer Garson gets the Hollywood Hist-O-Rama treatment, part of Jaywark’s nostalgic Hollywood 3-minut-ers shown on TV in 1961-62. Followed by A Patch Of Blue getting promoted in A Cinderella Named Elizabeth (1965).

      3:35 PM (Canada): Yosemite The Magnificent (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-May 10, 1941 

      Bridal Veil Falls, sequoias and eager-to-raid-tourists bears are shown in glorous color.

      5:06 PM (Canada): Third Dimensional Murder (MGM- George Sidney) bw/3D-7+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Mar 1, 1941

      If you have red and blue glasses, grab them because some of the TCM airings of this one involve the 3-D 2-color Technicolor version. Smithie narrates a visit to a haunted house with Frankenstein monsters and wooden Indians come to life… and plenty being thrown at you on screen.

      6:26 PM (Canada): Silent Night (1937) is a vintage MGM holiday trailer with Judy Garland singing.

      7:49 PM: Glacier Park And Waterton Lakes (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Apr 24, 1942

      Scenic Montana gave MGM executives good scouting material for future color westerns and action adventures, in addition to good stock footage to make the studio bound product look outdoors-y.

      7:53 PM (Canada): The Marx Brothers also get Hollywood Hist-O-Grammed.

       

      Tuesday the 17th

      Nuttin’

       

      Wednesday the 18th

      5:51 AM (Canada): Vitaphone Pictorial Revue #18 (Series 2-10) (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- narr: Maida Severn, Clem McCarthy & Ben Grauer) originally part color (Cinecolor)-10+m-(docu-reel)-Jun 4, 1938

      Highlights in this “human interest” newsreel (part of a two season series Vitaphone-Warner put out to compete with Paramount’s Pictorials) are beavers (not as pets but as fur-bearers), polo and wool manufacture

      7:07 PM: MGM Jubilee Overture (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10+m-(CinemaScope Musical Gem)-Jul 22, 1954

      Johnny Greene conducts a medley of popular MGM hits in gorgeous widescreen and stereophonic sound. This short was first released with Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

       

      Thursday the 19th

      1:37 AM: Looking At London (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller & S.D. Onions) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jun 1, 1946

      Post-war rubble around St. Paul’s adds historical interest to this average outing, showcasing Piccadilly Circus ages before an American werewolf caused havoc during the Thatcher years.

      11:52 AM: Game Warden (RKO- Harry W. Smith) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Sep 2, 1955

      This docu-reel spends a light-hearted day with Brian Bergen, "game protector", micromanaging the fishing and national park recreations in New York.

      Tanbark And Turf (RKO- Peter Roberts) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Jul 24, 1955

      The fun of harness racing and the horsies in training spotlight this slightly routine, but not often shown and still a fun ten minutes to kill, sports-reel.

      5:12 PM: Calgary Stampede (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins & Herman Boxer; narr: Art Gilmore) c-18m-(Special)-May 29, 1948

      Back by popular demand… I just know you folks are pestering those TCM Elves for this one again. The glories of Alberta’s Calgary Week (July 1947 in this case) with rodeo, cattle wrestling and stagecoach racing…

       

      Friday the 20th

      9:44 PM: So Your Wife Wants To Work (Warner Bros.- Richard L. Bare) bw-8m58s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Jul 14, 1956 

      It is my fault. I am the one pestering the Elves for this one repeated. The last and one of the funniest of all McDoakes comedies: Alice (Phyllis Coates) goes to work at Joe's office (with boss Emory Parnell) and, surprisingly, winds up vice-president (this being before women’s lib and ahead of its time). Up-to-date jokes spotlighting the Davy Crockett craze are an added plus.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Nov TCM Short Subject Schedule November 26th through December 8th

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Starting out with a couple of repeats shown frequently. This, however, makes my work easier… copy and paste… copy and paste…

       

      Tuesday the 26th

      1:33 AM: On Location With Fame (a vintage MGM promotional from1980) followed by a yet-not-shown trailer from a rival studio (!?!): The Blue Lagoon (same year… and definitely a classic among a great many post-Pretty Baby Brook Shields masterpieces… but less “deep” and more turquoise than Endless Love).

       

      Wednesday the 27th

      1:40 AM: Calgary Stampede (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins & Herman Boxer; narr: Art Gilmore) c-18m-(Special)-May 29, 1948

      This Oscar nominee spotlights Stampede Week in Alberta held July 1947, with rodeo competitions and a stage coach race not unlike Ben Hur’s chariot race. In 1954, two rival studios also hit the festival: RKO covered this as a monochrome quickie Canadian Stampede and 20th Century Fox in CinemaScope as Stampede City. (see blog photo)

      9:19 AM (Canada): Mighty Niagara (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jan 30, 1943

      In glorious wartime color. Fox shot it in Grandeur widescreen, but black & white, back in 1929.

       

      Thursday the 28th

      12:05 PM: Let’s Talk Turkey (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 28, 1939

      Funnyman narrator Petie wise-talks us through a typical thirties Culver City (a.k.a. MGM backlot) family dinner. These days, it is hard simply to get “a family” together.

      5:45 PM: Calling All Kids (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-(2R)-(C: Joe Palooka)-Nov 20, 1937

      Lookie! A Joe Palooka 2-reeler dusted off from the vaults. Wonder if the Warner Archive is setting up another Vitaphone Comedy multi-DVD package? Hmmm…. Hope so. Robert Norton, Beverly Phalon and Johnny Burkes are key players in this mildly engaging (if forgotten) series, adapted from the boxing comic strip by Ham Fisher. Joe goes on the radio to denounce his advertisers using his name for gum and cigars.

      7:51 PM: Another promotional for a… Columbia picture? My! TCM is reaching beyond their usual Time Warner owned stash. The Moviemakers shows us the British filming of Oliver! (from June ‘67 through January ’68). It is followed by another musical that did NOT win that year’s Best Picture Oscar: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Hey! With Finian’s Rainbow, Funny Girl, Star!, Head and the animated Beatles in Yellow Submarine in release before these two musicals hit the big screen… and Hello Dolly!, Sweet Charity, Oh! What A Lovely War, Paint Your Wagon, Goodbye Mr. Chips! and Darlin’ Lil’ all wrapping up production in 1968 as well, it is fair to say that the industry was glutted with musicals boasting exclamation points in the titles.

       

      Friday the 29th

      1:06 AM: Fish Tales (MGM) c-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Mar 13, 1954 (edited ‘53) 

      Champion fisherman Ernie St. Claire battles the man-eating salmon along Oregon's Rogue River, while our ho-hum Pete has a few laughs narrating the adventure.

      8:41 AM: Auto Antics (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10+m-(Our Gang)-Jul 22, 1939

      After The Great Race, we visit with Our Gang… and the last short with regular Porky Lee. As usual, mean kid Butch wrecks the Gang’s car. This puts us in the mood for our next flick, Jason And The Argonauts… I guess… sorta…

       

      Saturday the 30th

      5:39 AM (US): Okay Toots! (Hal Roach [MGM]- Charles Parrott & William Terhune) bw-18+m-(Charley Chase)-Feb 2, 1935

      An interesting companion piece to a Joe McDoakes comedy which TCM never airs for some oddball reason, So You Want To Wear The Pants, with Charley switching gender roles with his wife (Jeanie Roberts) after seeing a psychic.

      6:00 AM (Canada): Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-Oct 22, 1938 (Filmed July)

      Straightforward nightclub performances of "Beebe" and "Dusk in Upper Sandusky" (among others) with Bob Eberle and Evelyn Oakes in support.

      Equestrian Quiz (MGM- Dave O’Brien) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 18, 1946

      Mixing recycled and new footage of horses, Pete gives us a question and answer seminar on what all we know about them… and much of it we don’t know.

      How To Be A Detective (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-9+m-(Robert Benchley)-Oct 17, 1936

      Robert Benchley takes on the noir-ish role here in one of his all time best, with Arthur Hoyt, Dewey Robinson and Harry Semels in support. Too bad TCM doesn’t have access to the Disney cartoons: Goofy’s same-titled offering from 1952 would be a hilarious companion piece here.

      10:05 AM: The Making Of Cannery Row (1982) is self explanatory.

      5:49 PM:Shrines Of Yucatan (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-10+m-(DC: Traveltalk)-Jan 13, 1945 (edited ’44)

      The Mexican Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá were a fascination to wartime movie-goers… and now a tourist trap with visiting cruise ships.

       

      Sunday the 1st

      4:00 AM: Back On Location With Fame (1980)… again.

      8:05 AM: Headline Bands (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl & Lloyd French) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-Jan 26, 1946 (Edited ’45)

      Essentially a compilation reel of previous “Melody Masters” going back to the ‘30s with Larry Clinton, Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey and Vincent Lopez spotlighted.

      11:41 AM: Colorful Holland (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Ralph Donaldson) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Mar 5, 1950 (edited ’49)

      Focusing on the towns of Alkmaar, Hoorn, Spakenburg and Staphorst. FitzPatrick traveled along similar terrain previously in 1934 (also in full Technicolor), but this trip is done with a little less gusto.

      9:47 PM: Spotlight On The World We Live In (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-Jan 1951

      I don’t know all of the topics on show here (this being the third “volume”)… in this vintage, British imported, “human interest” newsreel.

      11:38 PM: Luncheon At Twelve (Hal Roach [MGM]- Charles Parrott) bw-21+m-(Charley Chase)-Dec 9, 1933

      Our favorite overlooked Roach star, Chuck, has his usual bumblings when he becomes a house painter.

       

      Monday the 2nd

      1:30 AM: Use Your Imagination (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18+m-(M: Broadway Brevity)-©-Sep 2, 1933 (filmed April)

      Hal LeRoy is a bellhop dreaming up dance numbers on the job. Mitzi Mayfair is his love interest (and a regular with rubbery-legged Hal) with the Eton Boys providing comic support. Highlights include a barber shop number with some impressive eye-popping optical effects that will please aging Woodstockers tuning in (a groovy as LSD) and a wonderfully campy birdy costumed finish.

      3:49 AM (Canada): The Costume Designer (RKO- Tholen Gladden) bw-9+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)-Jul 13, 1950

      A behind-the-scenes docu-reel showing Hollywood studios actually designing costumes for movies we see in theaters and not just for the Red Carpet we see on the smaller screen on Oscar night.

       

      Tuesday the 3rd

      12:20 AM (Canada): Buyer Beware (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Aug 17, 1940 

      Charles Arnt stars as a corrupt(ed) retail merchant in this somewhat average entry of the great MGM docu-drama series.

      7:45 AM: Visiting Italy (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Howard P. Nelson) c-8+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-Aug 25, 1951

      Touring all of the hot-spots (this being released with An American In Paris initially… different country) such Rome, Pisa, Assisi and Florence.

      9:08 AM: How To Figure Income Tax (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-9+m-(Robert Benchley)-Mar 19, 1938

      Our favorite bumbling lecturer provide graphs and pie-cutting scenarios to explain what all of us struggle with.

      4:47 PM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In gets repeated.

       

      Wednesday the 4th

      1:37 AM: Cruise Of The Zaca (Warner Bros.- Errol Flynn & Owen Crump) c-19m54s-(Special)-Dec 6, 1952 (Filmed in 1946-’47)

      A favorite of matinee freaks, despite its grainy 16mm blown-to-35 imagery. Errol Flynn travels along the Pacific coast and later the Caribbean with daddy marine biologist Theodore (collecting the puff-fishies), archery guru Howard Hill, Carl Hubbs and other bro-buddies… and his then wife Nora who sunbathes with her shirtless hunk in their “garden of Eden” (while Errol fantasizes being more than shirtless with her). California gray whales make Errol almost lose his camera, sea elephants bark like sea lions when getting lassoed and suffer gender misidentification on screen, while creepy crawlies get their portraits painted and Jamaican flame dancers hop all over the screen for added fun.

      5:30 AM (Canada): Arctic Roundup (RKO- John Teal Jr.) c-28+m-(Wildlife Album)-Jan 1957 (edited ’56)

      The TCM Elves show this short quite often north of the border, but there must be something too-too provocative and explicit in it for the virginal folk in The States. Once again… a quickie intro to this “back-to-nature” reel: After Walt Disney took his True Life Adventures to his own Buena Vista distribution company, RKO decided to try a short-lived “Wildlife Album”, but with humans “communing” with nature. Here the mini- Musk-ox of Canada’s tundra are examined by the Institute of Northern Agricultural Research to see if they may succeed as domesticated live-stock.

       

      Thursday the 5th

      … and another that is too sexy for the conservative USA…

      3:41 AM (Canada): Love Tales of Morocco (MGM- Zion Meyers & Jules White) bw-16+m-(Dogville)-Jun 1931

      Canine antics in the French Foreign Legion… oui! Oui!

       

      Friday the 6th

      5:43 AM: Night Intruder (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery; narr: Floyd Gibbons) bw-14+m-(Your True Adventure)-Jul 9, 1938

      This delightful series dramatized real stories collected by radio/newspaper columnist Gibbons and delivered with his usual gunfire delivery. However, this entry would hardly keep modern viewers riveted in their seats. New Jersey housewives play bridge, while elderly mom is sleeping upstairs and… hark!... a burglar sneaks in to cause havoc. Cast featured: Helen Carew, Edith Ketchum, Jean Whittaker, Helen Cromwell and Harry Bellaver

      8:02 AM: Beau Hunks (Hal Roach [MGM]- James W. Horne) bw-40+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-Dec 12, 1931 (filmed September)

      A four reel “featurette” made at a time Stan and Ollie were making the gradual move to feature film status, although they continued their shorties through 1935. A little long, but the laughs are still there in this foreign legion spoof also starring Charles Middleton as the commander and the director himself as “Chief of Riff-Raff”. Broderick O'Farrell and Harry Schultz also star.

      1:22 PM (Canada): Van Gogh: Darkness Into Light (MGM- Fritz Goodwin) c/CinemaScope-21+m-(CinemaScope Special)-Aug 1956

      Elaborate mini-bio that also promotes Lust For Life

      4:00 PM: No short here, but we see so little of Bugs Bunny on TCM that even a guest appearance in Doris Day’s My Dream Is Yours is a welcome surprise.

      5:47 PM: Gadgets Galore (Warner Bros./Pathé- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist & Ward Wilson) bw-10m-(Variety [Novelty])-Jul 30, 1955

      Covered this masterpiece…a survey on automobiles since the horseless carriage and clips from Warner Bros. 1927’s The First Auto (which eagle-eyed observers noted on the other messageboard)… on this ol’ post: http://fan.tcm.com/_Shortcuts-17-Gadgets-Galore/blog/2640426/66470.html

      7:39 PM: Salute To The Theaters (1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration) (MGM- Ira Heymann) part c/CinemaScope-18+m-(Special)-Aug 1955

      Highlights of the year starting with earlier releases like Jupiter’s Darling and Love Me Or Leave Me along with those in production like The Cobweb.

      9:40 PM: Arabian Tights (Hal Roach [MGM]) bw-20+m-(Charley Chase)-Jun 3, 1933 

      Average, but funny, antics with an Arabian Sultan, with our star Chuck and his buddies (Marvin Hatley, Frank Gage and Jimmie Adams) getting captured. Muriel Evans and Carlton Griffin also star.

      11:49 PM: A Night At The Movies (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10m-(Robert Benchley)-Nov 6, 1937

      Nice Oscar nominated Benchley has him basically missing the movie much to wifie’s scourn… and even stumbling against the screen itself. Nice belly laughs here with Gwen Lee, Hal K. Dawson, Frank Sheridan, Jack Baxley & Ricardo Cezon in support.

       

      Saturday the 7th

      6:44 AM: Hollywood: Style Center Of The World (MGM- Oliver Garver) bw-11+m-(Romance Of Celluloid)-©-Apr 23, 1940 

      Promoting Adran at MGM… and a nifty period look at the studio in action.

      2:00 PM: Athletiquiz (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jan 11, 1947 (edited ’46)

      Recycled and vintage clips of many Pete sports reels are utilized with a series of pop quiz questions for the audience to chip in.

      7:48 PM: Honolulu: The Paradise Of The Pacific (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick & Ruth FitzPatrick; camera: Wilfred Cline) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Nov 2, 1935

      Nice locale music and shots of Pearl Harbor before the war highlight this one. Yup, color was that good in 1935.

      9:48 PM: Glimpses Of Florida (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Sep 6, 1941

      Just after Key Largo… Ross Allen wrestling his gator. Giddyup!

       

      Sunday the 8th

      3:44 AM: The Sky Divers is a Dale Makey directed promotional for The Gypsy Moths, with some stunning aerial shots shot in 1968, along with interviews by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and others.

      5:45 AM: A Visit To Santa (Clem Williams) c-12m-(docu-fantasy)-1963

      Those expecting a holiday Citizen Kane in miniature will be vastly disappointed. This is essentially a narrated “home movie” to the local shopping mall with very limited cinematic innovation; it is interesting mostly for those viewers not snoozing for the abundance of tail-fins in a Pittsburgh area parking lot.


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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Nov TCM Short Subject Schedule November 10-25

    • From: Jlewis
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      OK… I was a bit late getting this up, but I did add Sunday’s schedule to the last one as a “comment”. Pickings are slim this week, but… well… you know how I word it week after week: watch this blog “grow” as the week progresses.

       

      Sunday the 10th

      5:30 AM: Distant Drummer: Flowers Of Darkness (Arlie Productions- William Templeton; narr: Paul Newman) c-22+m-(documentary)-1972

      Newman adds marquee value to this just-say-no-to-drugs ephemerial, profiling the opium poppy plant from soil growth to human consumption. Part of an early seventies series which others like Robert Mitchum, already experienced with “weeds”, partook in.

      7:43 AM: Inflation is repeated from last Sunday.

      11:33 AM: So You Think You're Allergic (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11m6s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Dec 1, 1945 (Filmed June)

      This was the third McDoakes comedy produced (three years after the first pair) and the first with sound footage (not just narration). Our star (filming this while on leave from the military) plays a hypochondriac who is allergic to his wife's dandruff and winds up with a special sleeping chamber! Keep your eye open for a young Barbara Billingsley, a full dozen years before playing mom to The Beav.

      Little White Lie (MGM- Paul Burnford) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Mar 3, 1945

      Minor off-beat dramatic made to showcase child star Sharon MacManus (later seen in Anchors Aweigh and The Paleface) wanting to live at an orphanage after her parents adopt a baby brother.

       

      Monday the 11th

      Midnight: An Eastern Westerner (Rolin Films/Pathé- Hal Roach) bw/silent-20+m-(Harold Lloyd Comedy)-May 2, 1920

      Funnyman Lloyd is out west to meet with his uncle and we have the usual east meets west culture clashing, highlighted by a good chase scene towards the end (typical of great twenties slapstick). Noah Young is the bully (every western must have one) and Mildred Davis the love interest. (see blog photo)

      1:50 AM: Glimpses Of Australia (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Apr 15, 1939

      Some of this footage was recycled in 1943 as a wartime MGM Miniature Memories Of Australia, but curiously our easy chair travel guru didn’t revisit Down Under after the war like he did parts of Europe.

      5:13 AM (Canada):Searchers For A Special City covers Mister Buddwing (1966) starring James Garner, Jean Simmons and Angela Lansbury, among others.

      5:15 AM (US): Paris On Parade (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Jack Cardiff) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Jul 9, 1938

      Gradually becoming the top Traveltalk of 2013. The great Cardiff shot just one Traveltalk before producing a series of “World Windows” in the UK (covering Italy and India); this covering the Paris International Exposition of 1937 and its spectacular nighttime light displays.

      5:23 AM (Canada): Water Wisdom (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Nov 27, 1943

      Interesting wartime “sugar coated education” from Oh Geeeez Smithie, spotlighting the American Red Cross instructing swimmers on proper water safety.

      Believe It Or Not #2-2 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-Dec 3, 1931

      Highlights in this delightful parade of oddities: a book that fits on Robert's knuckle, Indian head mountain in Wisconsin, Atlantic City giant typewriter and Pittman the hedge animal trimmer.

      A Dream Of Love (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick ) bw-37+m-(featurette)-Jan 1938 (UK) (Filmed ’37)

      Directed by our favorite travel guide and starring Ian Colin, Sylvia Marriott, Cathleen Nesbitt and Julie Suedo, this is a romanticized biopic on composer Franz Liszt, shown in flashbacks as he spends his waning years in an abbey. The featured item of interest here is a flower representing a lost love. Initially planned as feature, but cut back in length.

      7:51 PM: Before Jaws… a promo for 1966’s Around The World Under The Sea.

       

      Tuesday the 12th

      12:30 PM: Rambling 'Round Radio Row #6 (Series 1-5) (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Jerry Wald) bw-10+m-(Pepper Pot)-©-Jun 7, 1933 (filmed Sep ’32)

      Radio celebrity hodgepodge featuring Uncle Don, Three Keys, Harry Lou Conrad, Buddy Rogers and Harriet Lee. Jerry Wald and Harry Rose serve as hosts; the latter mixing cocktails between acts.

       

      Wednesday the 13th

      11:51 AM: Wandering Here And There (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Dec 9, 1944

      Probably has been ages since TCM has shown this FitzPatrick, a rare “best of” hotspots in the good ol’ USA. Includes Crater Lake (Oregon), Brigham Canyon (Utah), Mark Twain country in Missouri and Arlington Cemetary (Washington DC)… all footage lifted from earlier shorts.

      7:41 PM: Gun To Gun (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- D. Ross Lederman) bw-20m-(Santa Fe Trail)-Jan 8, 1944 (Filmed '43)

      Robert Shayne, Pedro de Cordova, Lupita Tovar and Harry Woods star in this quite exciting western 2-reeler saga about cattle ranching and seedy tax-men. Borrows a bit of stock footage from the feature California Mail.

       

      Thursday the 14th

      7:53 AM (Canada): Tom Mix, great western star, gets the Hollywood Hist-O-Rama treatment. Raymond Stuart’s 3 minute TV spots were a regular feature in 1961-62 and provide us a nice bombardment of film stills and Wikipedia info-at-a-glance.

       

      Friday the 15th

      5:45 AM: Harry Warren- America’s Foremost Composer (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Ray McCarey) bw-9m9s-(Pepper Pot)-Nov 23, 1933

      Shot in April 1933 shortly after the release of 42nd Street (which Warren contributed to… and TCM shows it along with this little extra), this is one of a cluster of one-reel spotlights on key composers that Warner Brothers found available at Brooklyn’s Vitaphone facilities at that time. He plays the piano as others dance to his compositions… and the cameramen get some nice optical effects and silhouette action in with numbers like “Shadow Waltz”. Margie Hines is one key singer: a few animation buffs may recognize her as a voice-artist in Van Beuran and Fleischer cartoons that were also produced in New York at this time (i.e. she shared Betty Boop with Mae Questel on occasion).

       

      Saturday the 16th

      5:48 AM: Auto Antics (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10+m-(Our Gang)-Jul 22, 1939

      Historically significant as the final short with Porky Lee, the gang has trouble with their makeshift car and bad boy Butch causing havoc. It is fair to say that these later Our Gang shorts are not as much fun as the Hal Roach produced stuff (pre-1938), but it is still great that TCM is dusting these off for a spin.

      5:47 PM: Ancient Egypt (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Jan 21, 1939 (©-Dec 31,1938)

      Companion piece to Cairo, City Of Contrast, notable simply for the stunning shots of the area in full thirties Technicolor.

      7:44 PM: An Old Spanish Custom (MGM- Carlos Navarro & Antonio Samaniego; narr: Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith "Sport Champions")-©-Sep 26, 1932 

      This Sports Champion covers bullfighting in Mexico… a topic shown all too frequently in vintage shorts, but… again… kudos to the TCM Elves for yanking out the stuff not aired in ages.

       

      Sunday the 17th

      3:43 PM: Return From Nowhere (MGM- Paul Burnford) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Oct 28, 1944

      All of these Nesbitt docu-reels are a lot of fun (*hint hint* Warner Archive?) This one is a follow-up to a popular Nesbitt from 1940 titled Dreams, focusing this time on “The Subconscious”. Don DeFore, Don Curtis, Morris Ankrum, Kay Medford and Naomi Scher appear here in small roles.

      3:56 PM (Canada): For Defense, For Freedom, For Humanity is a 1951 promotional for the Red Cross with host Spencer Tracy.

      11:48 PM: Some Of The Greatest (Warner Bros.- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist) bw-10m-(Warner Novelty)-Jun 18, 1955

      This Youngson reel profiles highlights from Don Juan (1926) as part of a series getting Eisenhower Era audiences re-interested in twenties cinema.

      This is followed at midnight by a neat documentary showcasing one of this year’s DVD compilations: American Treasures From The New Zealand Archive. Check out this very thorough review that does a better job than I would: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/61623/lost-and-found-american-treasures-from-the-new-zealand-film-archive/

       

      Monday the 18th

      1:28 AM: (The) Wedding In Monaco (MGM- Jean Masson) c/CinemaScope-31+m-(CinemaScope Special)-May 1956

      MGM had widescreen dibs to Grace Kelly’s wedding and Prince Rainier III. A bit static as cinema, but visually impressive as historical document.

      5:22 AM (Canada): Carnival In [Of] Rhythm (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Stanley Martin; narr: Knox Manning) c-18+m-(Special)-Aug 23, 1941 

      Katherine Dunham's dance troupe salutes the music of Brazil.

      A Thrill For Thelma (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-18+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-Nov 23, 1935

      … is a thrill for me. Yup, this is among my favorites of that over-the-top dramatic series that boasted all of the MGM production gloss and certainly pleased J. Edgar Hoover in keeping those hoodlum underlings attending the theater showings “in line”. A struggling high school graduate (Irene Harvey) wants the easy life and hooks up with a bad boy (Robert Livingston), who gets her both knocked-up and aiding him as he bumps off unwary folks for easy cash along the byways and roadways of Depression Era America. Robert Warwick plays the key detective hot on their trail.

      10:17 AM: Leo Beers, World Renown Whistling Songster (MGM) bw-10+m-(Movietone Act)-©-Oct 6, 1928

      One of those early MGM talkie shorts patterned after Warner-Vitaphone, but a bit more static cinematically with the performer on a stage/room and limited editing.

      2:04 PM: The Hollywood You Never See (Paramount- Herbert Moulton) bw-11+m-(Paramount Special)-Jun 1934

      Wow! A Paramount short? Hmmm… are the TCM Elves dusting other vaults for us? Goody-goody gum drop! Actually this is merely a thinly disguised promotional trailer for DeMille’s version of Cleopatra.

      3:26 PM: Three Cheers For The Girls (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-16+m-(Broadway Brevity)-May 8, 1943 (edited ’42)

      Essentially a compilation reel of thirties Busby Berkeley numbers from musical features.

      5:45 PM: The Million Dollar Nickel (MGM- John Nesbitt) bw-10+m-(Special 1-reeler)-Mar 1952

      All about the 5-cent stamp required to send a letter overseas… to show frends and family in the Old Country how wonderful America is in his Cold War Era when Soviet influence preaches differently. In this product-of-its-time, key MGM stars Pier Angeli, Ricardo Montalban, Leslie Caron and Zsa Zsa Gabor all chip in with the narration.

      9:35 PM: 2010: The Oddyssey Continues (1984) is seen way more often in trailer form than actual feature. Talk about forgotten sequels…

       

      Tuesday the 19th

      Nuttin’ yet

       

      Wednesday the 20th

      1:43 AM: A Look At Soylent Green (1972) and poor Edward G. Robinson trying to make the best of it in this “upcoming” MGM release.

      3:50 AM (Canada): Canadian Carnival (RKO- Douglas Sinclair) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-Nov 29, 1955

      Winter fun at a carnival in Quebec is the highlight in this vintage sports-shortie.

       

      Thursday the 21st

      12:51 AM: Cavalcade Of San Francisco (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Sep 28, 1940

      Nice Technicolor tour (complete with thirties chrome on the highways) of the Golden Gate International Exposition and a complete “Cavalcade of the Golden West” stage show performance.

      7:49 AM: Dogs ‘N’ Ducks (MGM- Ford Beebe & Norman Wright) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jun 27, 1953 

      Harmless and mildly entertaining fluff with a boy buying a retriever for a duck competition, but gets his older mutt a bit unsettled… until he shows he knows some tricks himself.

      7:30 PM (Canada): The Last Installment (MGM- Walter Hart) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-May 5, 1945

      Sittin’ in the pokey with nothing to do, Clyde (no relation to Bonnie’s boyfriend… and played by Cameron Mitchell) is working up his excitement of a glorious post-prison life by reading the exploits of ‘20s gangster Bull Moose Brannigan (Walter Sande), who once made a huge fortune out of crime. Well… you just know that MGM will not have a character be influenced by what he reads in a pulp magazine, now would you? The friendly warden supplies a “gotcha” lesson in the end that… crime does not pay. This very well received entry in the series (more so in 1945 than today, but it is still fun to watch) boasts a steller cast of mini-roles, including Walter Sande, George Lynn, Herbert Lytton, William Phillips, Jack Carr & others.

      How To Figure Income Tax (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-9+m-(Robert Benchley)-Mar 19, 1938

      Our favorite bumbling lecturer provide graphs and pie-cutting scenarios to explain what all of us struggle with.

      9:03 PM: Weekend In Hollywood is a vintage 1947 promotional travelogue of sorts, little documented online but occasionally shown.

      9:40 PM (Canada): Traffic With The Devil (MGM/Fact Films- Herbert Morgan & Gunther Von Fritsch) bw-19+m-(Theater Of Life)-Aug 31, 1946

      In this Oscar nominated knock-off of The March Of Time, we learn all about the glories of California roadways. Predating the wave of Drivers Ed scare-flicks that infiltrated high schools in the sixties and seventies, we get a surprising quota of newsreel crash scenes and bodies on the ground… either on account of alcohol, bad judgment or just speeding in haste… in addition to a vintage display of forties chrome.

      10:20 PM: Kingdom Of The Saguenay (Warner Bros.- Douglas Sinclair; narr: Rod Warren & Joel Aldred) c-9+m-(World Wide Adventure)-Feb 8, 1964 (edited ’63)

      Gorgeous Quebec in all of its Kennedy Era vibrancy, relaxed fishing, sailboating, marching soldiers and delightfully dated bee hive hairdos.

      11:26 PM: Stopover In Hollywood is a 1963 promotional tour of TinselTown

       

      Friday the 22nd

      2:02 AM (Canada): Weekend In Hollywood gets repeated… maybe.

      5:58 AM: How To Eat (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10+m-(Robert Benchley)-Jun 10, 1939

      Ruth Lee plays the beleagured wife of our little lecturer, utilizing his changing emotions as an excuse for consuming the kitchen.

      9:38 PM: Shop Talk (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-20+m-(Big V Comedy)-©-Feb 14, 1936

      Early vintage Bob Hope has him taking over pop’s department story.. but not if others can stop him. Highlight involves elevator gags with look-alike liftmen. John Berkesand Richard Lane support.

      11:51 PM: Vitaphone Pictorial Revue #19 (Series 2-11) (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- narr: Maida Severn, Clem McCarthy & Ben Grauer) bw-10+m-Jul 9, 1938

      Newsreel fluff, part of a series that lasted two seasons: shows how plastics get, greyhounds on the race track and perfume manufacturing… maybe. Unless I got the title mixed up here.

       

      Saturday the 23rd

      3:51 PM: The Rock promotes one of MGM’s better releases of ’67: Point Blank.

      5:40 PM: Cruise Of The Zaca (Warner Bros.- Errol Flynn & Owen Crump) c-19m54s-(Special)-Dec 6, 1952 (Filmed in 1946-’47)

      Back again for another go… Errol Flynn’s home movies from 1946 and ’47 trips along the Pacific coast and in theCaribbean… whales, Howard Hill lassoing an elephant seal, dancers with flames, ex-wifie Nora sunbathing with her man… all you can want for a brainless 20 minutes.

      7:39 PM: The Great American Mug (MGM- Cyril Endfield) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Oct 6, 1945

      An excellent… no-nonsense and nostalgic… look at the barbershops pre-WW1, with unlisted actors dressed up.

      9:39 PM: Season In Tyrol (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts [William Hendricks]- Kurt Jetmar; narr: Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) color-19+m-(Worldwide Adventure)-Jun 14, 1969

      The Austrian Alps in their travelogue (book at your local agent) splendor. Shame about the sleepwalking narration…

       

      Sunday the 24th

      1:42 AM: See Holland Before It Gets Too Big (Netherlands National Tourist Office/Warner Bros.-Seven Arts- Norman Weissman) c-11+m-(World Wide Adventures)-Apr 5 1969

      More enjoyable than Season In Tyrol, if also promoting the tourism with little subtly. We follow a sketchbook artist touring the more rural parts of the country with a sexy blonde muse. Robert Klinkert photographed this with groovy music by Dan Barrie.

      3:46 AM: King Of The Duplicators (MGM- narr: Wayne Thomas) c-13+m-(promotional)-Dec 1968

      Brief look at the work of make-up artist William Tuttle with a bit of MGM feature promoting.

      7:34 AM: Projection Room (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18+m-(M: Broadway Brevity)-Mar 4, 1939 (filmed ’38)

      A popular radio team is kept united romantically by the movie studio head who hired them. Essentually an excuse to spotlight Gower Champion & Jeanne Tyler on the dance floor, with support by Jack Arthur, Evelyn Case and Eddie Foy Jr.

      1:48 PM: Stuff For Stuff (MGM- Paul Hoffman & John Nesbitt) bw-11+m-(Special 1-reeler)-©-Mar 29, 1949

      A quickie lesson in economics, combined with a bit of Egyptian history as well, brings us into the promotion of free trade among nations and the Marshall Plan. Part of MGM’s Cold War Era also-rans.

      5:49 PM: Let’s Talk Turkey (MGM- Felix Feist) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 28, 1939

      Just in time for the holidays…. Poor bird… with Smithie profiling an “average” MGM-set-up family.

       

      Monday the 25th

      Midnight: See the 17th above: we get more from American Treasures From The New Zealand Archive

      9:49 PM: Time for more MGM promotionsla, staring with Cannery Row (1982), then 2010: The Odyssey Continues (1984, 11:48 PM)

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule fro TCM Short Subject Schedule from October 31st through November 9th

    • From: Jlewis
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      Many on the messageboard are fussing about Mark Cousins’ Story Of Film because he focuses way too much on those “avant garde” Europeans and Asians, along with out-there-and-out-of-Hollywood Americans, and not enough on Hollywood itself. Yet I am enjoying his Belfast mumblings for what they are: a retrospective of enjoyable film sequences, often from features best seen in only edited sequences. Also, as I mentioned last week, this show encourages the TCM Eves to get all “avant garde” on us with the foreign feature and shortie selections. This Sunday morning (while most are sleeping Saturday night off), they went all out in this direction (despite Marky Mark being shown on Monday nights).

       

      Thursday the 31st

      9:57 AM (Canada): Spotlight On The World We Live In (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-Jan 1951

      This British produced series may or may not be shown today… I am not sure if the TCM Elves are referring to the same “Spotlights #2 and #3” that I am thinking of. These were newsreel human interest items that MGM padded its short subject program with in early 1951.

      10:20 AM (Canada): The Courtship Of A Newt (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-8+m-(Robert Benchley)-Jul 23, 1938

      Allow Robert Benchley to be your friendly zoology professor teaching you about the birds and the bees… and the amphibian’s sex lives. Not that this was a full decade before Kinsey made it safe discuss other living beings and their mating rituals.

      12:01 PM: Black Cats And Broomsticks (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-10+m-(Screenliner)-Oct 4, 1955

      Shown any day that Bell, Book and Candle is televised (which is once a month), but the TCM Elves are giving it to us for Halloween. This docu-reel covers Eisenhower Era superstitions of the “old school” (i.e stepping on cracks, under ladders, tea leaves, etc. rather than the usual “new school” stuff like The Bomb and Commies ready to nuke us).

      3:21 PM: The Devil's Cabaret (MGM- Nick Grinde) c (2-color Technicolor)-16+m-(Colortone Musical)-Mar 3, 1931 (Completed 1930)

      A delightful reel in glorious 2-color (lots of red here down in Hades) with Edward Buzzell playing salesman out to gather some “souls” for the man downstairs, complete with enticing musical numbers and some very funny laughs. Charles Middleton and Vera Marshe co-star with nice MGM-style sets.

      7:00 PM: Who's Superstitious? (MGM- Sammy Lee) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-May 1, 1943 

      Our gentle storyteller profiles famous superstitions, like the seamen’s "Flying Dutchman". Some bit acting scenes featuring Dave O’Brien of Pete Smith’s shorts.

      7:38 PM: Desert Killer (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Larry Lansburgh; narr: Art Gilmore) c-10m-(Sports Parade)-Dec 25, 1952 (preview) 

      This was Oscar nominated partly in memory of producer Hollingshead, who passed away some months earlier (this being one of his last credits) and likely not because of its cinematic “wow” factor. (No. Mark Cousins didn’t include it in Story Of Film… sorry.) It is all about a big ferocious kitty high in the Chiricahua mountains of Arizona, who happens to crave mutton fresh off the flock and the poor dimple-faced Navaho boy who can’t keep him from prowling. Enter Marvin Glenn and his teen son, professional puma wrestlers. Fortunately, no cougars were injured in the making of this docu-reel, but the sound effects department somehow got their tiger roars mixed up. (Good thing that the Ford Mercury commercials of the sixties and seventies got it right or Detroit would sell no muscle cars.)

      11:01 PM: Ghost Treasure (MGM- Will Jason; narr: Carey Wilson) sepiatone-10+m-(Miniature)-Aug 2, 1941

      I think Leonard Limoy covered this in the seventies In Search Of… We get a re-enactment of Mexican Soldier Manuel Arguello finding gold in Death Valley (California) in 1843 followed by the mostly unsuccessful attempts later. Uncredited Henry Brandon plays Arguello and Roman Bohnen plays Pete Wilkins, another explorer.

       

      Friday the 1st

      12:47 AM: Operation Crossbow (1965) gets the “making of” promotion.

      4:50 AM: Fortune Seekers (RKO [Burton Benjamin]- Larry O'Reilly) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-Feb 5, 1956 (edited 1955)

      All about the American Inventor of today… and a short history of such novelties of the past like the bottle cap and the zipper (which transformed the sexual revolution… although an old RKO-Pathé short will not go in that direction).

      8:07 AM: The Moonshine War gets the typical 1970 MGM promoting, featuring a young Alan Alda in the roaring twenties.

      3:04 PM: Land Of The Zuider Zee (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Ralph Donaldson) c-9+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-Apr 28, 1951

      FitzPatrick checks up on Holland in 1950 (after filming it in glorious color back in 1934 as well), with special attention to The Hague.

       

      Saturday the 2nd

      2:48 AM: Dad For A Day (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-11+m-(Our Gang)-Oct 21, 1939

      One of the only mildly funny (but nostalgic) post-Roach “Our Gang” shorts has the kids playing matchmaker to service station attendant Mister Henry and the widow Baker.

      7:49 AM: Master Will Shakespeare (MGM- Jacques Tourneur & Richard Goldstone; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-Jun 13, 1936

      Well-made mini-bio with an unbilled Anthony Kemble-Cooper recreating the literary genus. All of this is essentially a “soft sell” for the latest version of Romeo And Juliet.

      11:46 AM: How To Raise A Baby (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10+m-(Robert Benchley)-Jul 2, 1938

      A favorite bumbling lecturer guides us through proper babycare. If you can’t succeed in feeding, enjoy the mush yourself. Supporting our star: Ricardo Cezon, Paul Clark, Robbie & Rolly Jones)

      1:49 PM: Modern Tokyo (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Wilfred Cline) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Dec 28, 1935

      … had some cars on the road back in ‘35… and plenty of military just off camera. FitzPatrick nonetheless brought back more colorful footage of Japan than practically anybody else in the thirties, since Hollywood wasn’t importing much Yasujirō Ozu at this time.

       

      Sunday the 3rd

      1:58 AM (Canada): Hollywood Wonderland (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) c-16m-(Special)-Aug 9, 1947 (Filmed April ’46)

      A movie tour guide takes a troop to see musicals in production… well, actually already produced. At least half of this film consists of stock scenes of late thirties stuff like Swingtime At The Movies and Royal Rodeo.

      Rowan & Martin At The Movies (MGM- Jack Arnold) c-11+m-(US Savings Bond Promotional)-Sep 1968

      The cast of Bonanza! Charlton Heston! Andy Griffith! Doris Day! Kirk Douglas! Many others here for a good cause.

      2:33 AM: The MGM Story is technically a feature, listed as a short, saluting the sudio’s silver jubilee in 1949.

      4:00 AM: No… you are not dreaming. It is Surreal Sunday morning. No idea what order these will be shown. Make sure you watch GHOSTS BEFORE BREAKFAST.

      Cassis (Jonas Mekas) c-5m-(experimental)-1966

      This is a simple hand-held travelogue of the port of Bouches-du-Rhône (France), nothing too out of the ordinary. Fasten your seatbelts though… the stuff gets weirder as the hour progresses.

      Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren) bw-13m30s-(experimental)-filmed around May 1943

      Trippy stuff… and a favorite of the National Film Registry and, more recently, Sight & Sound. The war years saw an increase in home movie projectors, allowing many artists to shoot stuff that went beyond the typical vacation at the family beach. Willard Maas and Marie Menken took on The Geography Of The Body this same year, not that you could see too much with all of that magnification. This dream film has no peekaboo nudity though… and little “plot” either, but we see the curly haired star (a forerunner to Carole King) roaming around in her sexy slacks with knife in hand in scenes that may or may not have happened. A groovy soundtrack was added a few years later.

      Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter) tints/silent (music added)-3m22s-(animated)-Jul 3, 1923 (completed 1921)

      From Germany (and the Dadism movement of the period), we get some abstract animation… all rectangles growing and shrinking. A couple of these are featured in Kino’s three DVDs on Avant garde: Experimental Films, a must-buy if your interest is coaxed here.

      Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts Before Breakfast) (Hans Richter) bw/silent-9m1s-(part animated comedy)-Jul 14, 1928 (filmed ’27)

      Richter, the animator of the bizarre, has a cluster of his buddies (and himself) dealing with everyday objects (clocks, guns, hats, etc.) gone “rebellious” via stop-motion and other tricks for the screen. Apparently Hitler and Goebbels were not fans of this flick years later and had the sound version destroyed, since the theme “suggests” rebellion against authority figures who know what is best for the underlings in their power.

      Science Friction (Stanley Vanderbeek) c-9m51s-(animated)-1959

      Pop Art (a.k.a. early Andy Warhol) becomes animated. Later in the sixties, Sesame Street and Monty Python showed many “like” cut-out photos pixilated across the screen. Rocket ships, new technology, physicists at work, television, Moscow and even the Statue of Liberty (and Empire State, Big Ben, etc.) are all lampooned here… and you can’t beat the humor of seeing a fried egg a-sizzlin’ as its climax.

      Symmetrics (Stanley Vanderbeek) bw-6m18s-(animated)-1972

      A bit like Rhythmus 21 above but with lots of vibrating circles and countless “squigglies”, mostly white against a black screen and set to an Indian sitar, the most popular instrument post-Beatles. In many ways, this resembles a lot of National Film Board stuff imported from north-of-the border. Ishu Patel’s Bead Game resembles it, as do the earlier Norman McLaren scratch-ons.

      Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling) bw/silent-7m29s-(animated)-Nov 5, 1924 (completed ’23)

      One of the most famous of all abstract cartoons, although it has been repeated so much over the decades that many modern viewers may not understand what all the fuss was. Much of the animation here involves the un-covering and covering of comb like designs against another black screen. Unlike Symmetrics, there is few “sguigglies” here.

      Little Stabs Of Happiness (Ken Jacobs) c-15+m-(experimental)-completed Feb 1963

      Shot between 1959 and 1963 (the imb.com site dates it to 1960). We open with a zany pair in the bedroom smoking away and putting out their butts in doll eyes. Yeah… and things get even odder after the first minute or so… some of you will promptly change channels. It does soon become more “standardized”, home-movie style, though. There is a bit role here with Jack Smith, troublemaker creator of Flaming Creatures (that late-night “indie”, showing gents in drag and exposing their wee-wees, which shocked Kennedy Era prudes to no end). By the way, who is singing (with Charlie Parker?) “Happy Bird” in the last scene?

      Orchard Street (Ken Jacobs) bw-12+m-(experimental)-1955

      More standardized home movie shot in New Jersey… a tamer piece than the above.

      Notes On The Circus (Jonas Mekas) c-12m28s-(documentary)-1966

      Yup… a trip under the Big Top… and some double-exposuring to boot.

      5:42 AM: Inflation (MGM- Cy Endfield) bw-17+m-(Special)-Sep 1942

      Esther Williams made her debut (out of the water) as a member of a typical family, the Smiths, coping with increased wartime job-pay by splurging on the not-so-necessaries … much to the satisfaction of a devil-ish Edward Arnold aiding Mister Hitler by encouraging this damaging-for-the-United States economic inflation (i.e. the title). A radio address by Pres. Roosevelt sets the Smiths straight.

      11:49 AM: Jan Savitt And His Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) bw-10m-(Melody Master)-Mar 16, 1946 (filmed Oct ’45)

      From Warner’s final season of Melody Master jazz reels, with the support of Bob Arthur, Shirley Van, Helen Warren and the Lipham Children.

      3:35 PM: The Camera Caught It (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Oct 9, 1954

      MGM released this to cash in on rival Warner Brothers’ Robert Youngson series with a collection of newsreel clips of sports events and famous moments in history. Highly entertaining, but Pete Smith’s “gee whizz” style narration seems a bit out of place covering such traumatic events like the Tacoma bridge disaster.

      7:48 PM: Magic Movie Moments (Warner Bros./Pathé- Robert Youngson; narr: Dwight Weist) bw-10m-(Warner Novelty)-Dec 26, 1953

      … and speaking of Robert Youngson, guru of the silent comedy documentary… here he is showing the making of a Hollywood disaster, 1928’s Noah’s Ark.

      9:47 PM: That Mothers Might Live (MGM- Fred Zimmerman & Herman Boxer; narr: John Nesbitt) bw-10+m-(Historical Mystery)-May 7, 1938

      The gentle-voiced storyteller John Nesbitt scred an Oscar before his equally Oscar-worthy “Passing Parade” series with this mini-bio of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who revolutionalized medical surgery in the first half of the 19th century simply by… washing his hands. Shepperd Strudwick stars in an essentially voiceless role.

      11:50 PM: Ben Pollack & His Orchestra (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-©-Oct 4, 1934 (Filmed March)

      A fairly conventional, straight-forwardly filmed, “Melody Master” (many other entries have more razzle-dazzle), highlighted by the talented singer Doris Robbins crooning.

       

      Monday the 4th

      1:28 AM: Twenty-four Hour Alert (Warner Bros. [Cedric Francis]- Robert Leeds) c-31+m-(Featurette Special)-Dec 22, 1955

      Either you will view this Academy Award nominee as an interesting relic of its time or find yourself snickering just a little. It presents jet plane operations at a US Air Force base with our host Jack Webb (with Art Balinger aiding) explaining how “concerned” neighborhoods shouldn’t fuss so much about the noise pollution since our military keeps us safe.

      3:50 AM: Where Is Jane Doe? (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-©-Apr 17, 1956

      She ran away from home to be a model. Those wayward teenagers! Required the NYC police to investigate what appeared to be a suicide.

      5:15 AM: The Woman In The House (Fear) (MGM- Sammy Lee) bw (originally sepiatone)-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-May 9, 1942

      Ann Richards stars as famous recluse who never got over the loss of her lover and stayed in her home for over three decades before wartime forced her out in the open. Like all Nesbitts, this recreates a true story with the usual MGM production values.

      9:44 PM: The evening before Story Of Film and Mark Cousins’ profiling Third World Cinema in the seventies (and I’m guessing that there is much skin and gore in this episode for its ridiculous 2 in the morning airing), we get two MGM promotionals showing just how well that company was doing in 1975-77. If only they could get Logan’s Run completed in time for The Lion Roars Again… but at least The Goodbye Girl was a better-than-average effort as promoted in The Amazing Miss Cumings.

      9:54 PM (Canada): One For The Book (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-18m17s-(Broadway Brevity)-Jan 6, 1940 (Filmed May ’39)

      Betty Hutton (who appeared in several shorts before becoming a star at Paramount), the Beaus & Belles, Miriam Grahame, Gae Foster Sisters and Hal Sherman are the featured entertainers in this vaudeville type musical revue.

       

      Tuesday the 5th

      9:18 AM: London Can Take It! (Crown Film Unit/Ministry Of Information- Humphrey Jennings) bw-9m-(documentary special)-Oct 21, 1940

      This classic documentary is a favorite of TCM’s, showing the British going about their business as the Nazis keep hitting them with bombs. It was a smash hit US-side (Warner Bros. distributed it), soft-selling the need for Americans to “ease into” the conflict (and increasing the connection with an ally) long before Pearl Harbor.

       

      Wednesday the 6th

      10:53 AM: Wild People (MGM- Ray McCarey) c (2-color Technicolor)-18+m-(Colortone Musical)-Jan 9, 1933 (filmed November 1932) 

      The Globe Broadcasting Company does a radio broadcast from Dutch New Guinea, with the aborigines as performers… but hardly looking like New Guineans. Actually this resembles an early color version of One Million B.C. with the caveman get-ups. Features Harry Jans and Harold Whalen and some humorous if aged, one-liners.

      4:05 PM: Colorful Colorado (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller) c-9+m-(DC: Traveltalk)-May 20, 1944

      From Buffalo Bill’s grave at Lookout Mountain to the cliff dwelling Mesa Verde, all in glorious wartime color. Complete with a bit of “America the Beautiful” to indirectly remind you attendees of all the hard work your fighting men are doing for you overseas.

      9:48 PM: Grandad Of Races (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- André De La Varre; narr: Art Gilmore) c-11+m-(Sports Parade)-Sep 2, 1950 (Filmed July 1949)

      Highly enjoyable Oscar winner covering the famous Palio horse race of Siena, Italy. I previously blogged about this title... it is somewhere around here. Um… Aha! Here it is: http://fan.tcm.com/_Shortcuts-13-Grandad-Of-Races/blog/2393583/66470.html

      Now you will feel all educated before watching this.

       

      Thursday the 7th

      3:44 AM: The Sky Divers is a Dale Makey directed promotional for The Gypsy Moths, with some stunning aerial shots shot in 1968, along with interviews by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and others.

      7:46 AM: Pro Football (MGM- Ray McCarey; Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(MGM Oddity)-Sep 22, 1934

      Pete Smith comically comments on top Chicago Bears football stars performing in slow-motion.

      10:58 AM: Red Men On Parade (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-Feb 1, 1941

      FitzPatrick takes the 1940 visit to a Native American 30 tribe get-together in New Mexico. A bit more interesting than other Traveltalks in its look at handcrafts anddoll making.

       

      Friday the 8th

      6:00 AM (Canada): The Fall Guy (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jun 4, 1955

      The very last of the Smithies… and the last regular series short that MGM shorts put out. (After this, we just got a trio of CinemaScope Specials, promotionals for features and the Tom & Jerry cartoons, which ended two years later when Hanna-Barbera were forced to moved to TV.) In many ways, this was a nice swan-song spotlighting the greatest funny moments of bumbling, frat-falling Dave O’Brien in previous Smithies since the mid-forties.

      Marines In The Making (MGM- Herbert Polesie) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Dec 26, 1942

      Academy Award Nominee whose subject matter is summed up in the title, but with Pete’s oh-gosh commentary making all of that hand-to-hand combat Japanese style seem less serious than it is.

      Athletiquiz (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-Jan 11, 1947 (edited ’46)

      Recycled and vintage clips of many Pete sports reels are utilized with a series of pop quiz questions for the audience to chip in.

      9:34 AM: Manhattan Monkey Business (Hal Roach [MGM]- James Parrott & Harold Law) bw-20+m-(Charley Chase)-Nov 9, 1935 

      Charley becomes a waiter at the Ritz (and a bumbling one at that) when he can't pay his bill. Joyce Compton and James Finlayson co-star.

      11:42 AM: Song Of A Nation (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]-- Frank MacDonald) c-20+m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-Jun 12, 1936 (preview)

      The first of Warner's Technicolor "historicals", this great first effort spotlights the national anthem and features some impressive sea war footage. In addition to lead Donald Woods, Clare Dodd and Carlyle Moore Jr. also star. Reissued May 31, 1947, the date the TCM Elves use on the main schedule by mistake.

      1:56 PM: The Amazing Mr. Nordill (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-Aug 30, 1947

      Leon Ames, a regular on the “Crime Does Not Pay” series and features like Meet Me In St. Louis, co-stars with Clinton Sundberg in this amusing mini-biopic on a famous counterfeit artist.

      4:00 PM: So Your Wife Wants To Work (Warner Bros.- Richard L. Bare) bw-8m58s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-Jul 14, 1956 

      Again… a good ol’ favorite of mine… if shown a bit too frequently. This is the last and one of the funniest of all McDoakes comedies: Alice (Phyllis Coates) goes to work at Joe's office (with boss Emory Parnell) and, surprisingly, winds up vice-president (this being before women’s lib and ahead of its time). Up-to-date jokes spotlighting the Davy Crockett craze are an added plus.

      5:51 PM: The Law And The Lab (RKO [Jay Bonafield]- Frances Dinsmoor; narr: Bob Hite) bw-9+m-(Screenliner)-Jul 7, 1956

      CSI in the fifties: "Murder is an ugly business"… showing the NYC police investigate the tiniest clues.

      7:42 PM: A Dream Of Love (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick ) bw-37+m-(featurette)-Jan 1938 (UK) (Filmed ’37)

      Directed by our favorite travel guide and starring Ian Colin, Sylvia Marriott, Cathleen Nesbitt and Julie Suedo, this is a romanticized biopic on composer Franz Liszt, shown in flashbacks as he spends his waning years in an abbey. The featured item of interest here is a flower representing a lost love. Initially planned as feature, but cut back in length.

       

      Saturday the 9th

      11:50 AM: On Location With Westworld, that curious (but interesting) blend of sci fi and western (1973).

      11:41 PM: Calgary Stampede (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Saul Elkins & Herman Boxer; narr: Art Gilmore) c-18m-(Special)-May 29, 1948

      This Oscar nominee spotlights Stampede Week in Alberta held July 1947, with rodeo competitions and a stage coach race not unlike Ben Hur’s chariot race. In 1954, two rival studios also hit the festival: RKO covered this as a monochrome quickie Canadian Stampede and 20th Century Fox in CinemaScope as Stampede City.


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