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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule sta TCM Short Subject Schedule starting July 17th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Canada gets more helpings of Crime Does Not Pay… than south of the border, but the TCM Elves heard my belly aching and have promptly added one to Wednesday’s schedule.

       

      Fortunately both sides get two helpings of Robert Ripley. I love my Ripley. I can’t believe some reviewers on the IMDb.com site rate them so poorly when they are ssssooooooo entertaining for ME. Then again, I always had strange tastes. How can you not enjoy little Billy Hayes skip and jump “Oh boy! Mister Ripley!” as they pop into one of his picture books? (By the way, this is the week of the Puffie Fishies, seen both with Ripley and Errol Flynn.)

       

      Thursday the 17th

      5:30 AM (Canada): Women In Hiding (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-June 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. (Followed by a trailer of Gangster films)

      7:30 PM (Canada): Buyer Beware (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-August 17, 1940 

      Somewhat average, but entertaining, entry of this great MGM dramatic series: Charles Arnt stars as a corrupt(ed) pharmicist merchant dealing with questionable product forked over by a seedy distributor of stolen goods. With Hugh Beaumont, Egon Brecher & Charles D. Brown as supporting cast.

      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 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.

      9:42 PM: Believe It Or Not #2-12 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Alfred J. Goulding; narr: Leo Donnelly) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-July 1932

      The final entry of this delightful two season series sadly doesn’t feature Ripley, but announcer Leo Donnelly. Yet all of the great oddities are covered: mostly from the South Seas and the Orient, with Philipines "movable" houses and Japanese roosters with long tails.

      11:50 PM: Believe It Or Not #2-4 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-January 2, 1932

      This is the goofiest (and among my favorites) of all of the Ripleys, reminding me a little of a much later Warner production for the Bell Science series, The Alphabet Conspiracy (1958) with its super-sized books. Billy Hayes can’t stick to his homework and dreams of "Believe It Or Not Land" instead… visiting strange puffer fish and remoras… and a nicotine addict feline with a grin as big as Joe Camel.

       

      Friday the 18th

      1:45 AM: The Making of Cannery Row (1982) is self explanatory.

       

      Saturday the 19th

      3:41 AM (Canada): 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.

      5:41 AM (US): Cruise Of The Zaca (Warner Bros.- Errol Flynn & Owen Crump) c-19m54s-(Special)-December 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. In past blogs I got all “Freudian” in my analysis of this voyage of the In-Like-Flynn Mind, but I will refrained myself this time…

      5:48 AM (Canada): Spade Cooley- King of Western Swing (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl) bw-10m-(Melody Master)-September 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.

       

      Sunday the 20th

      1:11 AM: See how grand MGM was in the seventies when filming Logan’s Run in 1975’s The Lion Roars Again, followed by environmental sci-fi in a Soylant Green “behind the scenes” in 1972.

      5:45 AM: The House In The Middle (National Clean Up-Clean Up Bureau/Federal Civil Defense Administration) c-12m9s-(documentary)-©-May 3, 1954

      Produced a year after the Korean War but with Cold War fears of atomic invasion by the Soviets hot on many minds, we open with our trademark mushroom cloud (Nevada test) and procede to abandoned houses that could be better protected in the case of a blast. It isn’t just an issue of safeguarding your own… a whole community needs to cooperate. Like other artifacts of the era, showing just how spooked many Americans were even with General Eisenhower in the White House, this is one of a number of ephemerials chosen for the National Film Registry (2002).

      11:48 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.

      2:08 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.

      7:37 PM: 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.

      8:00 PM: The Big Five get covered this “Silents for Juniors” hour, but I am not sure which gets shown first.

      The Immigrant (Mutual- Charlie Chaplin) bw/silent-20m-(Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Tom Hardington & Eric Campbell)-June 17, 1917

      If the kids don’t see this one at least once in their lifetime, then you might as well not bother helping them on their history homework. Footage of Ellis Island can be easily found in newsreels stretching way back, but getting the comic point of view adds light to what your great grandparents thought was entertainment in their youth, decades before the invention of Game Boy. See Charlie get seasick and struggle maintaining balance on the big ship. See him try to get a square meal in the Big Apple.

      Coney Island (Comique/Famous Players-Lasky-Paramount- Roscoe Arbuckle) bw/silent-34+m-(Fatty Arbuckle & Buster Keaton)-October 29, 1917

      Fatty and Buster at their early peak with the familiar locales on view. Probably the most “predictable” of this quartet of silent classics with some seen-it-before slapstick, but… hey! These two are the best, so… of course you WILL enjoy it.

      Never Weaken (Rolin Films/Pathé- Fred C. Newmeyer) bw/silent-29+m-(Harold Lloyd)-October 22, 1921

      A suicide comedy that isn’t too too shocking, being Lloyd’s last shortie before going all features. He suffers a broken heart overhearing a conversation his sweetie Mildred Davis has with another man, but instead of doing himself in, he winds up high on a construction site… and fearing for his life. Roy Brooks, Mark Jones and Charles Stevensen round out the cast.

      Two Tars (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrott) bw/synchronized score-20m-(Laurel & Hardy)-November 3, 1928 (completed July 3)

      Ahhh yes… the hot sticky summer of 1928 when all of the tin lizzies get jammed up on the road, in addition to Stan and Oliver having gum-jams with picked-up cuties Thelma Hill and Ruby Blaine. Once again, Edgar Kennedy is the “face-burned” motorist who gets stuck in a mess that the boys are involved with. This and Big Business are often considered the L&H masterpieces… just flip a coin for your favorite. (see blog photo)

      9:47 PM (Canada): The Dream (IMP- Thomas Ince) bw/silent-11m-(Mary Pickford)-January 23, 1911

      With Owen Moore & Charles Arling in support, this is prime early Pickford as the mistreated and neglected wife who escapes into fantasy.

      11:45 PM (after The Gold Rush): His First Tooth (Metro- Sidney Drew; s: Charlotte Wharton Ayers) bw/silent-14+m-(Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew)-©-July 15, 1916

      The Drews, a popular silent era team famous for sophisticated marital comedies, behave like fidgity parents over Little Sammy, fearing he might have "convulsions" over his first tooth.

       

      Monday the 21st

      Midnight: No clue of individual times

      Take A Chance (Rolin Films/Pathé- Hal Roach) bw/silent-11m-(Harold Lloyd, Snub Pollard, Bebe Daniels & others)-December 15, 1918

      Bebe is Harold’s love interest taken on a picnic and winding up part of a chase with cops. This is one of three shorts making the BluRay cut with Safety Last (Criterion).

      Captain Kidd's Kids (Rolin Films/Pathé- Hal Roach & Fred Newmeyer) bw/silent-19+m-(Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Helen Gilmore, Snub Pollard & others)-November 30, 1919

      We are now in Harold’s two-reeler phase as he made the gradual move to features. He’s engaged but his future mother-in-law is not happy with his drinking exploits a.k.a The Hangover. Mom and daughter take a tropical cruise, but the would-be-husband is in hot pursuit aboard the ship… along with buddy Snub. There is even a spicy fantasy involving an all gal pirate clan in this multi-plot spectacular. Gee, where is Ben Turpin when you need him? He’ll want a cut in the action.

      A Submarine Pirate (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Triangle- Mack Sennett) bw/s-35+m-(Syd Chaplin, Wesley Ruggles & Glen Cavender)-November 14, 1915

      Syd is a waiter who intervenes on an inventor and his henchman trying to take command of a submarine by posing as an admiral. Some dated special effects work, but plenty of action. Harold Lloyd has a bit part.

      Look Pleasant, Please (Rolin Films [Pathé]- Hal Roach) bw/silent-10+m-(Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard & others)-March 10, 1918

      Harold just can’t be satisfied being a grocery clerk. He has to be a very clumsy photographer with his own studio as well.

      Court House Crooks (Keystone [Mack Sennett]/Mutual) bw/silent-22+m-(Ford Sterling, Charles Arling & Minta Durfee)-July 5, 1915

      Lesser, but still entertaining Sennett comedy has Sterling as the district attorney and the other two play judge and wife here.

      1:33 AM: Help! (Metro- Sidney Drew; s: Leslie T. Peacock) bw/s-15+m-(Drew Comedy)-Jun 14, 1916

      A popular one on TCM, this is only a moderately funny 2-reel comedy about a Brit-American married couple (Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew) avoiding his wealthy parental scorn by starting a new life as hotel personnel in Manhattan. Nice preservation though.

      1:51 AM: The Moviemakers, part of MGM’s seventies “behind the scenes” trailer series, takes on the 1972 filming of Lolly Madonna XXX

      5:5 AM: The Great Library Misery (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11m28s-(The Grouch Club)-September 10, 1938

      The Grouch Club was a short-lived series of one reel comedies based on a moderately successful radio talk show (host Jack Lescoulie deals with call-in people and assorted radio personalities complaining about their everyday annoyances). This delightful, if not ha-ha-ha funny, sketch features Arthur Q. Ryan (also on the radio show, but more famous today voicing Egghead and Elmer Fudd) going through the struggle of getting a simple library card, with Nancy Evans at the check-out desk.

      3:15 PM (Canada): They're Always Caught (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-July 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.

      4:51 PM: Black Cats And Broomsticks (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-10+m-(Screenliner)-October 4, 1955

      To not show this docu-reel on popular superstitions (like avoiding pavement crack, dark-furred felines and spilt salt… and the Eisenhower Era had plenty of other phobias to add) along with Bell, Book and Candle or I Married A Witch (shown today) would be a TCM felony.

      11:31 PM (Canada): Football Headliners Of 1955 (RKO [Jay Bonafield]) bw-16+m-(Sportscope Special)-©-December 7, 1955

      RKO-Pathé cranked out one of these Specials almost annually starting 1948 and they do have interest for those fans of football history. This one covers 13 games from Georgia Tech vs. Miami through US Army vs. US Navy.

      Winging Around Europe With Will Rogers (Flying Through Europe With Will Rogers) (Pathé- Carl Stearns Clancy) bw-10+m-(travelogue)-November 20, 1927

      Reissued as a talkie (TCM dates it to 1934, a year before Roger’s passing), this European aerial tour heads to Ireland.

       

      Tuesday the 22nd

      3:21 AM: In case you missed it earlier, The Making of Cannery Row (1982)

      5:30 AM (Canada): The Flag Of Humanity (Warner Bros.[Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) c-19m29s-(Technicolor Broadway Brevity)-October 19, 1940

      Nana Bryant, Fay Helm, John Hamilton, Ted Osborne and others partake in this mini-biopic on Clara Barton, the last of a Technicolor series of historical 2-reelers Warner put out since 1936. Footage got recycled in later shorts like My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.

      Music Made Simple (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-8+m-(Robert Benchley)-April 16, 1938

      Benchley fills in for a music critic on a radio show, but his performance is hardly musical.

      11:22 AM: 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])-February 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.

       

      Wednesday the 23rd

      8:00 AM: It May Happen To You (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-June 5, 1937

      … getting sick on grocery store meat. J. Carrol Naish stars in this exposé on stolen food on the market.

       

      Thursday the 24th

      9:18 AM: My Bag O’Trix (Warner Bros.) bw-10m-(Vitaphone Variety)-©-Jan 14, 1929 (Filmed November 1928)

      Trixie Friganza may not have a skinny figure like some of the teenqueens on TV today, but this lady is quite a one woman show of comedy and song sketches. She later made some guest appearances in features like Buster Keaton’s Free And Easy… and another Vitaphone short Strong And Willing (1930) available on the Warner Archive’s Vitaphone Varieties Vol. 2. This 1928 short is part of The Jazz Singer set, eventually making it to BluRay… and a few actual Wal-Mart shelves as a result.

       

      Friday the 25th

      3:41 AM: Early Sports Quiz (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-March 1, 1947

      You have 5 to 10 seconds to guess the answer on each of Pete’s quiz questions. All yee sports fans ready? Questions include roller skates, Olympic ski jumps and baseball.

      3:45 PM: Shoulder Arms (First National- Charlie Chaplin) bw/silent-24m-(Chaplin Comedy)-October 20, 1918

      In celebration of the WW1 centennial, we get our favorite tramp in the trenches… one of his most frequently documented films.

      10:07 PM (Canada): Edith Head Presents Fashion From “Penelope”… with the star Hollywood stylist from Paramount working for MGM and Natalie Wood in 1966.

       

      Saturday the 26th

      4:15 AM: Practice Shots (Warner Bros.- George Marshall) bw-10+m-("How I Play Golf" with Bobby Jones)-September 27, 1931 (Film Daily review)

      #11 in a 12-part summertime sports-reel series features an all star cast with the biggest golf champ of the Depression Era: James Cagney (at his cockiest), Evalyn Knapp, Anthony Bushell, Louise Fazenda and Donald Cook. Louise crashes a set for the latest Bobby Jones picture as the group is getting some practicing lessons in. These are fun reels even if you have zero inerest in this sport.

      5:30 AM: History Brought To Life (Paramount- Cecil B. DeMille) bw-10m-(Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences Special)-March 13, 1950

      Ever wonder how DeMille’s Samson And Delilah was just so gosh-darn historically accurate in its costumes and authentic biblical dialogue? Here we go behind-the-scenes look at filmmakers maintaining accuracy in their historic films… or not.

      8:02 AM: Capriccio Italien gets repeated from last Sunday

      9:52 AM: Crew Racing (MGM- David Miller; narr: Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Sports Parade)-December 21, 1935

      Snarky Smith narrates a rowing competition with California's University.

      10:33 AM: Vincent Lopez And His Orchestra With Betty Hutton (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-10+m-(Melody Master)-September 30, 1939

      Filmed in March 1939 as the third Melody Master featuring this popular swing band, the big star highlighted is Paramount’s future box-office draw Betty Hutton, hopping around the place belting "Ol' Man Mose". Also featured are Johnny Russell and Fred Lowry with the Four Horseman with additional tunes of "Down with Lola" and "Lola".

       

      Sunday the 27th

      5:30 AM: Time Out For Trouble (Oklahoma Department of State Health- David S. Glidden, story by Dwight V. Swain) bw-19m33s-(documentary)-1961

      Obviously this ephemerial is inspired by The Twilight Zone and many recycled old time radio dramas (I half-expected a Lipton Tea add to intrude since Baird Jones’ organ score sounds enough like ‘40s Inner Sanctum). We have the sinister clock “spirit” hoping there are enough booby-traps in a typical suburban household since “she” loves to watch accidents. Cast includes Alice Spann, Bonnie Hammett, John Nesom, Loren Brown, Nancy Clifton… among others, but none seem to maintain the same hilarity as Donald Duck five years earlier in How To Have An Accident In The Home. Yet they add a full storyline… a humorous marital “road to ruin”.

      9:31 AM: There’ll Always Be An England (Peer Prod.- script: Kent Stevenson; narr: Tom Roddy) bw-20+m-(documentary)-1945

      Modest monochrome travelogue of wartime London, done in much the same style as the FitzPatricks but from a British perspective. A bit on the dry side, compared to the more ambitious travelogues of Jack Cardiff and others preceding it.

      3:44 PM: Teenagers On Trial (RKO- Frances Dinsmoor) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-December 11, 1955

      Of course, no airing of Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without A Cause would be complete without this mini-exposé on crowded high schools and typical teen problems that the Eisenhower Era elders thought were easy to solve. Uh hmmm.

       

      Monday the 28th

      Not on the schedule but prepare for MGM trailers for Mister Buddwing and The Americanization Of Emily.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for July 4-16, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Giddyup! Another round of Claude Rains in Sons Of Liberty… shown twice a year, February’s “21 Days Of Oscar” and, of course, July. That shortie never gets old with me, sporting a storyline that moves like gangbusters.

       

      Unfortunately not enough films have been dusted off the vaults, but Warner Brothers produced many interesting shorts relating to The Great War, celebrated in centennial form this month by TCM. Maybe… if the TCM Elves are reading this, some chestnuts are worth investigating before this year ends. Robert Youngson’s This Was Yesterday was released in July 1954, covering the “eve” of America’s involvement with vintage newsreel footage, while It Happened To You (released the following year) profiled the conflict itself. Some of this footage was recycled again in NBC’s Alexander Scourby narrated Project XX in 1956. Producer E.M. Newman interrupted his normal travelogue schedule for Warner-Vitaphone during the 1934-35 season with a cluster of American history reels combining visits to important landmarks with vintage newsreel footage; The Yanks Are Coming, a June 1935 release, covered WW1. Of course, doughboys and trenches were stock storylines for many comedies and cartoons too… and even canines in MGM’s So Quiet On The Canine Front.

       

      Friday the 4th

      5:30 AM (Canada): The Prisoner Of Swing (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack, Eddie Forman & Cyrus Wood) bw-22m-(Broadway Headliners)-June 11, 1938

      Hal LeRoy, a pre-MGM June Allyson, Al Fields and Eddie Foy Jr. head this wonderful scene-for-scene trashing of the Selznick feature Prisoner Of Zenda, all set to a jazzy beat and with great one-liners. Hal is the visiting “twin” cousin taking over stuffy anti-groove King Rudolf and, as usual, we get plenty of swashbuckling over castle walls.

      Gus Arnheim & His Ambassadors (Coconut Grove Orchestra) (Warner Bros.) bw-9m38s-(Vitaphone Variety)-July 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.

      6:00 AM: Give Me Liberty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- B. Reaves Eason & Forrest Barnes) c-21m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-December 3, 1936 (preview)

      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.

      8:45 AM: Sons Of Liberty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Michael Curtiz & Crane Wilbur) c-20m34s-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-May 20, 1939  

      Claude Rains as Jewish patriot Haym Salomon financing the 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.

      1:00 PM: Declaration Of Independence (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Crane Wilbur & Charles Tedford) c-17+m-(Technicolor 2-Reeler)-October 15, 1938 (previewed by BoxOffice)

      All three of these are Oscar winners. 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.

      7:54 PM (Canada): Houston Post Contest Winners Arrive In Los Angeles is some vintage newsreel fluff showing The Wizard Of Oz in production in 1939.

      10:18 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.

       

      Saturday the 5th

      12:04 AM: Cary Grant is dedicating the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital in 1940.

      2:01 AM: United States Army Air Force Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-11+m-(Melody Master)-September 19, 1942

      Alf Heiber conducts this wartime orchestra as the clever camera work tries to make this a little more cinematic than the usual Washington DC performances of “Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder”.

      7:54 AM: Happy Times And Jolly Moments (Warner Bros.- James Bloodworth) bw-18+m-(Broadway Brevity)-July 10, 1943

      A well crafted 2-reeler saluting the genius of Mack Sennett with footage culled from his Keystone and First National years in addition to a stock shot of Warner’s own 1935’s Keystone Hotel.

      11:37 AM: Slapsie Maxie's (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Noel M. Smith) bw-17+m-(Broadway Brevity)-October 13, 1939

      Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom and Johnnie Davis head the cast in this two-reel boxing comedy with a reluctant waiter getting himself involved in a match set after he accidently knocks out a professional champ at a night club. Not often shown today, this comedy impressed the critics at BoxOffice magazine back in 1939 as a knock-out… certainly more than 1958’s feature Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman that follows it.

       

      Sunday the 6th

      11:50 AM: Romantic Nevada (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Snyder) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 24, 1943

      A fun reel... but hardly romantic with the Divorce Capital highlighted here. In addition to dude ranches and desert scenery, we get a nice vintage chrome infested Reno (what rubber shortage?) and the ladies filing for their divorces, while sporting high heels and big hats.

      7:45 PM: The Camera Caught It (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-October 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.

      11:37 PM: Love My Dog (Hal Roach/Pathé- Robert McGowan) bw/silent-20+m-(Our Gang)-Apr 17, 1927

      Made during the Joe Cobb/Jackie Condon/Clifton Young period (filmed December 1926-January 1927) and an interesting precursor to the later Our Gang masterpiece The Pooch (1932. with my all-time favorite star Stymie): Farina’s pooch here is rescued from the dogcatcher (Charles McMurray).

       

      Monday the 7th

      1:41 AM: Giuseppe De Luca (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio) bw-6+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-©-May 6, 1927

      Classical performance of "The Barber of Seville" predating Bugs Bunny and made when “talkies” were still a great novelty.

      5:33 AM (Canada): A Criminal Is Born (MGM- Leslie Fenton) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-June 5, 1938

      One of my favorite CDNPs profiles a trio of juvenile delinquents whom Andy Hardy would never hang out with… nor the boy whose dad takes him fishing. Lots of folks in this one: George Breakston, David Durand, Norman Phillips, Warren McCollum, Joseph Crehan, Dorothy Vaughn, Eddy Waller, Ben Taggart, Harry Strang, Rex Lease and all-familiar Tom Kennedy. Them hoods in the Roosevelt Era had no idea what would come later with the Marlon Brando and James Dean brat pack.

      5:46 AM (US): Hollywood: Style Center Of The World (MGM- Oliver Garver) bw-11+m-(Romance Of Celluloid)-©-April 23, 1940 

      Promoting Adrian at MGM… and a nifty period look at the studio’s wardrobe department in action. A clip or two was recycled in the That’s Entertainment! features.

       

      Tuesday the 8th

      2:13 PM: Magic On A Stick (MGM- Cyril Endfield) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-January 19, 1946 (completed ‘45)

      This above-average docu-short traces how English chemist John Walker invented the wooden friction match in the early 19th century. Paul Langton and Jacqueline White have non-speaking roles in this historical recreation.

       

      Wednesday the 9th

      1:50 PM: The Rock is a vintage 1967 promotional for MGM’s Point Blank.

       

      Thursday the 10th

      Sorry Canadians… I didn’t catch the TCM Elves adding Gus Arnheim & His Ambassadors (Coconut Grove Orchestra) (1928), Around The World Under The Sea (1966 trailer), Visiting Italy (1951), The Marx Brothers Hollywood Hist-O-Rama (1961) & How To Beave (Robert Benchley, 1936)

      2:13 AM: Friend Indeed (MGM- Fred Zinnemann) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-January 1, 1938 (Filmed ‘37)

      A doggie reel for the day, essentially a docu-drama involving a blind man aided by his pooch. Pete Smith made one or two canine reels per season, his earliest narration work even included Dogville Comedies.

      5:36 AM: The Great Library Misery (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11m28s-(The Grouch Club)-September 10, 1938

      The Grouch Club was a short-lived series of one reel comedies based on a moderately successful radio talk show (host Jack Lescoulie deals with call-in people and assorted radio personalities complaining about their everyday annoyances). This delightful, if not ha-ha-ha funny, sketch features Arthur Q. Ryan (also on the radio show, but more famous today voicing Egghead and Elmer Fudd) going through the struggle of getting a simple library card, with Nancy Evans at the check-out desk.

      7:50 AM: The United States Army Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-April 17, 1943

      Thomas Darcy Jr. conducts in November 1942, but we don’t just see the orchestra here. There are also vintage clips of the Jefferson Memorial in DC showcased.

      1:07 PM: 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.

      7:07 PM: Spills For Thrills (Warner Bros.- DeLeon Anthony) bw-18m39s-(Broadway Brevity)-June 15, 1940

      This is a topnotch documentary on movie stunt work that doesn’t get shown enough. Harvey Parry, Allen Pomeroy and Mary Wiggins show off some of their skills, but even more interesting is the vintage film footage stretching to the Mac sennett and Rin Tin Tin era. Prepare for plenty of plane and vehicle collisions here.

       

      Friday the 11th

      1:13 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.

      5:15 AM: Columbia’s The Blue Lagoon gets an “informercial” in 1980. No clue why they are showing this in a nightful of classy documentaries, but I guess this film was educational for some.

      5:30 AM: God Respects Us When We Work But Loves Us When We Dance (Les Blank & Skip Gerson) c-20m-(documentary)-1968

      Finishing off a Thursday-Friday “Classic Documentaries” night, this hippy artifact was filmed in Los Angeles, Easter 1967 at a Sunday Love-In. You can read more about it here: http://www.lesblank.com/?portfolio=god-respects-us-when-we-work-but-loves-us-when-we-dance-1968

       

      Saturday the 12th

      10:33 AM: Come Back, Miss Pipps (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10m52s-(Our Gang)-October 25, 1941 (filmed January)

      Darla, Spanky and Buckwheat are practically in Junior High by this stage but Mickey (a.k.a. Robert Blake) and Froggy are here too. No Crabtree, but a Pipps… and she (Sarah Haden) gets canned by school board brat Pratt (Clarence Wilson) because she is giving the kids a sugar high during school hours. Yet her job gets saved with a bit of parental help. Yup, that is Billy Bletcher (Disney’s Big Bad Wolf) and Christian Rub (Disney’s Geppetto) having bit roles here... in case the voices sound familiar.

       

      Sunday the 13th

      3:34 AM: 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).

      5:15 AM: 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?

      When You Grow Up (Films West Inc.- Jerry Kurtz; writer: Ingvar Grimsgaard) c-11m22s-(documentary)-1973

      This one is widely available on youtube and the Internet Archive site in case you miss it. Al about elementary children deciding what occupation they ant a they get older. At this time, women’s liberation was gathering storm, so “houemaker” was ot the top profession for little girls anymore.

      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.

      11:51 AM: Visiting Italy (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Howard P. Nelson) c-8+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-August 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.

      3:46 PM: White Peril (RKO- Don Horter) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-©-December 9. 1956

      The Cascades in Washington form the backdrop of this above average reel of the U.S. Geological Survey investigating snow and water availability… with a touch of adventure thrown in.

      9:47 PM: Baby Blues (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-9m18s-(Our Gang)-February 15, 1941 (filmed October 1940)

      Well… it has social history interest. Mickey Gubitosi (pre-Robert Blake) learns that one in four babies is Chinese and thinks the family baby on the way will be too. Actually this is a positive film educating us that we are all the same regardless of our facial features… and gives Edward Soo Hoo a starring appearance. Spanky, Froggy and Buckwheat also star.

       

      Monday the 14th

      1:46 AM: 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.

      6:30 AM (Canada): La Fiesta De Santa Barbara (MGM- Louis Lewyn; narrator: Pete Smith) c-19+m-(Galaxy of Stars)-December 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.

      12:48 PM: The Car That Became A Star is The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964)

      7:30 PM: The Costume Designer (RKO- Tholen Gladden) bw-9+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)-July 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.

      The Soilers (Hal Roach/MGM- George Marshall) bw-18+m-(Thelma Todd & Zasu Pitts)-October 29, 1932

      The girls try selling magazines with a bit of "sex appeal" with the fellas at City Hall, but wind up in a series of slapstick pratfalls (complete with banana peels). A few good lauighs here. James C. Morton and Bud Jamison have featured roles.

       

      Tuesday the 15th … nuttin’

       

      Wednesday the 16th

      5:49 AM: The Night Court (Warner Bros.- Bryan Foy; s: Murray Roth) bw-9m27s-(Vitaphone Variety)-©-November 28, 1927

      Filmed in August 1927, while The Jazz Singer was still in production, this comedy courtroom sketch gives William Demarest (of the famous Preston Sturges comedies of the 1940s and later My Three Sons) a key early talkie role as a lawyer defending "black bottom stomp" dancers.

      11:30 AM (Canada): MGM On The Move! Covers 1964’s MGM line-up.

      Respect The Law (MGM- Joe Newman) sepiatone (initially)-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-January 4, 1941 (Filmed ‘40)

      One of the chattier CDNPs covers "minor" lawbreakers doing as much damage to our society structure as the FBI’s most wanted. Moroni Olsen, Richard Lane, Frank Orth & William Forrest are featured in the cast.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule sta TCM Short Subject Schedule starting June 23rd through July 3rd, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Too bad only Canada gets one of my all time favorite shorties this week, Buried Loot with Robert Taylor (*hint hint* TCM Elves… you think you can plop it down south soon?) Traveltalk fans should be happy with a few titles not seen since… last summer at least. I do believe there is a must-be-aired-in-July list on the Elves’ bulletin board.

       

      Monday the 23rd

      10:38 AM (Canada): Fred MacMurray goes Hollywood Hist-O-Rama (1961 TV spot)

      7:00 PM: MGM On The Move! Is a 1964 “coming attractions” trailer.

      Calling All Girls (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Lloyd Bacon; narr: Owen Crump) bw-19+m-(Broadway Brevity)-January 24, 1942

      Part of this documentary covers how dancers learn the ropes at the Warner studio. The rest is a montage of Busby Berkeley numbers from the 1930s that need no introduction, including several Gold Diggers titles.

       

      Tuesday the 24th

      12:38 AM (Canada): Buried Loot (MGM- George Seitz) bw-19+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-January 19, 1935 (filmed '34)

      The very first CDNP entry is a two-reel masterpiece of sorts, certainly one of the best mini-dramas of its period. A young Robert Taylor plays a bank embezzler who agrees to go to prison, escape bail, change identity in Canada and make out with the loot. The formula was ahead of its time, being quite similar to many popular radio shows of the ‘40s like Suspense and The Whistler with that “didn’t see that coming” ending. Robert Livingston, Brooks Benedict, Al Hill, James Ellison & George Irving also appear here. (see blog photo)

      3:36 AM: Gym College (RKO- Howard Winner) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-October 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.

      5:55 AM (Canada): Presenting The Queen Of Taps: Eleanor Powell is a 1960 promotional for older films

      4:12 PM: Quebec In Summertime (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Paul Rogalli) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-April 9, 1949 (Filmed ’48)

      This one gets shown more often north-of-the border, showcasing the Chateau Frontenac Hotel in the city and scenic Montmorency Falls.

      9:30 PM: A Wee Bit of Scotland (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller & S.D. Onions) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-December 7, 1949

      Visiting Inverness and Saint Andrews, but Nessie refuses to cooperate at Loch Ness for our Dear Jimmy.

       

      Wednesday the 25th

      1:02 AM: Annie Laurie (MGM- Joseph Sherman & Jean Plannette) bw-10+m-(Tabloid Musical)-October 31, 1936

      Fluffy musical romance set in ol' 18th century Scotland showcasing a trio of familiar faces: Anne Rutherford, Dennis Morgan and David Torrence. The ending is not a happy one… I should forewarn MGM shortie fans used to the usual.

      7:47 PM: Poet And Peasant Overture (MGM- George Sidney & Alfred Wallenstein) c/CinemaScope-9+m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-March 26, 1954

      Wide screen, stereophonic sound and the MGM orchestra.

       

      Thursday the 26th

      9:20 PM: Victory Quiz (MGM- Will Jason & Dave O’Brien) sepiatone (initially)-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 9, 1942

      How much do you know about our wartime armed forces? Allow Petie to pop some questions… and snarky jokes in between… for you.

       

      Friday the 27th

      2:04 AM: San Sebastian 1746 In 1968 covers Guns For San Sebastian, filmed in ’67.

      5:38 AM: Hollywood Party (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Roy Rowland) c-19+m-(Galaxy Of Stars/Musical Revue)-April 3, 1937

      One of two Technicolor shorties featuring Clark Gable as a walk-in cameo, but featuring Charley Chase (rarely seen in color) and Elissa Landi as host at a Chinese-oriented get-together that borderlines slightly stereotypical, but not too-too questionable for modern tastes. Of course, Anna May Wong gets to show up. Also Joan Bennett, Joe E. Brown and Leon Carroll, among many others.

      12:21 PM: Historic Maryland (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-December 26, 1941

      A pre-Pearl Harbor (filmed, that is) tour of Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy. These types of Traveltalks have intriguing historical value on account of the timely-ness.

      4:17 PM: Master Will Shakespeare (MGM- Jacques Tourneur & Richard Goldstone; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-June 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.

      7:36 PM: The Gem Of The Ocean (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-22+m-(Broadway Brevity)-©-December 4, 1934 (filmed August)

      Jeanne Aubert headlines this musical two-reeler as she romances a questionable blackmailer. Ralph Riggs, Sheldon Leonard & Four Eton Boys are he featured supporting cast wih plenty of musical numbers interrupting the “plot”.

       

      Saturday the 28th

      4:19 AM: 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.

      5:50 AM: Goin' Fishin' (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-10+m-(Our Gang)-October 26, 1940 (filmed March)

      One of the better latter-day entries with Spanky, Buckwheat and Alfalfa getting quite old with Mickey and Leonard, but some amusing gags on a bus bound to the wrong destination.

      7:33 AM: The Backyard Broadcast (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-22+m-(Broadway Brevity)-August 14, 1936 (preview)

      Major Edward “Bones” (Lloyd Barry), spoofing Depression Era’s version of American Idol… sort of, showcases an array of talented youngsters.

      11:51 AM: Happy Times And Jolly Moments (Warner Bros.- James Bloodworth) bw-18+m-(Broadway Brevity)-July 10, 1943

      A well crafted 2-reeler saluting the genius of Mack Sennett with footage culled from his Keystone and First National years in addition to a stock shot of Warner’s own 1935’s Keystone Hotel.

      12:03 PM (Canada): Film Antics (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-January 2, 1954

      An amusing look at human and animal babies, culled from some previous and new Pete Smith footage. Highlight includes kids watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon.

      1:34 PM: Stop, Look And Listen (MGM- Len Janson & Chuck Menville) c-11+m-(Comedy)-December 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).

      9:42 PM (Canada): Two Hearts In Wax Time (MGM- Ray Rennahan & William Skall) c-17+m-(Colortone Musical)-March 23, 1935

      A drunk stock-worker imagines department store mannequins coming to life, including Frankenstein’s monster. Gus Shy, Shirley Ross and Frank Hayes are featured in the cast but the real star is Technicolor. This would make a nice mid-thirties animated cartoon of the Silly Symphony kind.

      9:53 PM: Cary Grant promotes the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital (1940)

      11:44 PM: Radio Bugs (MGM- Cyril Endfield) bw-10+m-(Our Gang)-April 1, 1944 (filmed September ’43)

      OK end-of-the-line Our Gang comedy with Froggy heading a sponsorless radio company… and this allows some putting-on-a-show skits.

       

      Sunday the 29th

      1:32 AM: Gym College gets repeated from Tuesday

      Canoeman's Holiday (RKO- Douglas Sinclair) bw-8+m-(Sportscope)-October 4, 1956

      Here’s a rare one that hasn’t been shown in some years. Director Sinclair provided a cluster of Canadian reels for both Warner Brothers (in color) and RKO (in black & white), all showcasing outdoor recreation. This visit covers Loon Bay Lodge in St. Stephen, New Brunswick and St. Croix River.

      3:19 AM: The Hurrying Kind (United States Army) c-24m-(docu-drama)-December 10, 1962 (brief review in the Bakersfield Californian)

      Michael Bell and Olan Soule star in this “stay in school or join the military” piece. Which reminds me… has TCM ever aired Chuck Jones’ cartoons with Ralph Phillips, 90 Day Wondering and Drafty, Isn't It?

      5:30 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.

      8:09 AM: 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.

      10:14 AM: So You Want To Be A Salesman (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-10m24s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-September 13, 1947

      This is a nice average-but-funny entry with our bumbling star a vacuum salesman working for a company run like the US military. Jane Harker plays wife Alice here and she’s fed up with his klutzy demonstrations… which he insists on giving even when a rare prospect agrees to buy one and would rather not have her house destroyed in the process.

      5:50 PM: 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.

      7:50 PM: Kingdom Of The Saguenay (Warner Bros.- Douglas Sinclair; narr: Rod Warren & Joel Aldred) c-9+m-(World Wide Adventure)-February 8, 1964 (edited ’63)

      Gorgeous Quebec in all of its early ‘60s vibrancy, relaxed fishing, sailboating, marching soldiers and delightfully dated bee hive hairdos.

      9:33 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.)

      11:40 PM (US): A Small Town Idol (Warner Bros.- Mack Sennett) bw-19+m-(Broadway Brevity)-February 11, 1939

      Back in 1921, this was a Mack Sennett feature. 18 years later, the Warner editors issued a 2-reel cut-down with comic narration added. Its success prompted a cluster of Warner-Sennett compilations in the forties, paving the way to the Robert Youngson Era of more serious retrospectives on the king of comedy.

      11:54 PM (Canada): Noble Sissle And Eubie Blake (DeForest Phonofilms-Lee DeForest) bw (early talkie)-4m-(Phonofilm)-April 15, 1923

      A great relic both in the history of “black entertainment” (when the races were segregated in America) and twenties jazz, this talkie predated all of the Warner Bros.-Vitaphone by three years, being a product of pioneering Lee DeForest. (By the way, Warner also signed them for a pair of shorties in 1927.)

       

      Monday the 30th

      1:23 AM: MGM On The Move! gets repeaed from last Monday.

      5:30 AM (Canada): Kissing Time (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-23+m-(Broadway Brevity)-December 16, 1933 (Filmed August)

      Light-hearted musical nonsense set pretty far south of the border (some undisclosed South American country) with a lady tourist attending San Marcos festivities and confronting El Toro and a handsome lieutenant. Jane Froman and George Metaxa are the stars here with Ralph Stanford, Novia and Philip Ryder in support. 

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

      Canada gets this one so frequently, it needs no introduction.

      8:48 AM: Wandering Here And There (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-December 9, 1944

      Sort of a “cheater” FitzPatrick… or, to make it sound better, a “best of” the great hotspots in the good ol’ USA that were profiled in previous Traveltalks. Includes Crater Lake (Oregon), Brigham Canyon (Utah), Mark Twain country in Missouri and Arlington Cemetary (Washington DC)… all footage lifted from earlier shorts.

      10:04 PM: The Background Beat (1965) is a musical salute to Once A Thief, showcasing sexy Ann-Margret and Alain Delon in their leather jacket prime

       

      Tuesday, July 1st

      Nuttin’ yet…

       

      Wednesday the 2nd

      12:17 AM: Wandering Through Wales (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-October 16, 1948

      A week without a quota of FitzPatrick is like a week without sunshine. His post-war UK stone-buildings-mostly-tour journeys through Gwynedd and Conwy including Craven Castle and the frequent sheep traffic impacting railroad travel.

      11:08 AM (Canada): Tyrone Power gets the “Hollywood Hist-O-Rama” treatment (1961)

      7:15 PM (Canada): Beyond The Line Of Duty (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Lewis Seiler & Edwin Gilbert; narr: Ronald Reagan) bw-24m-(Broadway Brevity)-November 7, 1942

      An Oscar 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.

      La Fiesta De Santa Barbara (MGM- Louis Lewyn; narrator: Pete Smith) c-19+m-(Galaxy of Stars)-December 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.

      7:41 PM: The Future Is Now (RKO- Larry O'Reilly) bw-15+m-(Special)-September 4, 1955

      One of the first film discussions of videotape here, allowing TV networks to delay live broadcasts in a better quality and faster turnaround than those previous 35mm formats, although it would be another two years before the stuff got demonstrated publically and used by the networks. Other novelties highlighted in this info-packed 2-reeler include computerized assembly lines, the dawn of the nuclear age and solar power batteries. Automated kitchens are also featured, but theatrical audiences saw plenty of those a decade earlier in many Popular Science shorts for Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount.

       

      Thursday the 3rd

      4:18 AM: Look Back At Crossbow…the movie Operation Crossbow (filmed 1964) that is.

      5:30 PM (Canada): A repeat of So You Want To Keep Your Hair from Sunday.

      So You Want To Build A House (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-May 15, 1948 (Filmed June ‘47)

      A delightful homage to the Buster Keaton classic One Week and the contemporary Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House with Jane Harker, Clifton Young, Ralph Peters, Donald Kerr and Ralph Littlefield all providing their usual comic roles in support.

      William Powell gets the Hollywood Hist-O-Rama treatment (TV spot 1961)

      5:30 PM (US): London Can Take It! (Crown Film Unit/Ministry Of Information- Humphrey Jennings) bw-9m-(documentary special)-October 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.

      10:54 PM: Taxi Barons (Hal Roach/MGM- Gus Meins) bw-20+m-(The Taxi Boys)-April 1, 1933 (filmed December '32)

      Billy Gilbert and Ben Blue co-starred in this often forgotten Roach series, here avoiding trouble with the law by pretending to be business tycoons on a cruise ship and crashing a high society party.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for June 7th through 22nd, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      Yawwwnn… getting a bit bored with all of these MGM movie promotionals, even though they are often more entertaining than the features they promote. Yet we get some vintage Sennett on the next weekend and some of the lesser kown Traveltalks.

       

      Saturday the 7th

      1:44 AM: Calling On Costa Rica (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-March 5, 1947

      Part of FitzPatrick’s tour of Central America in 1945-46, also covering during that period El Salvador, Land of the Mayas, Guatemala and Vera Cruz, Mexico before he refocused on the UK.

      1:36 PM: Striper Time (RKO- Van Campen Heilner; narr: Andre Baruch) bw-9+m-(Sportscope)-April 2, 1956

      Some of these later fishing reels on the RKO program are a trifle dull… you half expect the striped bass to gulp the humans. The director did many fishing and camping reels for three different studios at this time.

      3:22 PM: A promotonal for The Moonshine War (1970)

       

      Sunday the 8th

      7:48 PM: The Screen Writer (20th Century Fox- Jerry Webb) bw-10+m-(Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)-September 13, 1950

      Did you know Fox boss Darryl F. Zanuck and co-MGM boss Dore Schary were at one time? Yup.

      9:49 PM: Moments In Music (MGM- Carey Wilson) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Special)-November 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.

       

      Monday the 9th

      5:38 AM: Sing, Sister, Sing (Hal Roach [MGM]- James Parrott) bw-20+m-(Thelma Todd & Patsy Kelly)-March 2, 1935

      Hal Roach’s pre-Laverne & Shirley duo are room-mates at a hotel, deciding to curb their usual arguments and battles for closet space by simply… singing. Some good gags on a thin premise. Harry Bowen also stars.

      7:10 PM (US): 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.

      7:30 PM (Canada): Seein' Red (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-19m-(Broadway Brevity)-August 26, 1939

      Great early Red Skelton, made when he was a rising star on radio, pantomiming a finicky lady with her make-up and other soon-to-be classic routines. Accompanied by A. Robbins (banana act), the Merry Macs, Harris & Shore and Louis Da Pron.

      Night Descends On Treasure Island (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-Janary 20, 1940

      The 1939 San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition is showcased in lavish Technicolor light displays, great architecture and art museum collections.

       

      Tuesday the 10th

      9:33 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.

      1:22 PM: Bubbles (Warner Bros.- Roy Mack) bw [originally 2-color Technicolor]-7m5s-(Technicolor Vitaphone Variety)-January 1930

      More of early Judy with the Gumm Sisters and an assortment of “Vitaphone Kiddies” performing on a surreal stage of wacky set decorations. Sadly we just have monochrome TV prints of this once Technicolor short. (see blog photo)

      9:45 PM: Return From Nowhere (MGM- Paul Burnford) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-October 28, 1944

      All of these Nesbitt diocu-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.

       

      Wednesday the 11th

      7:13 AM: So Quiet On The Canine Front (MGM- Zion Meyers & Jules White) bw-15+m-(Dogville)-© November 28, 1930

      Bulldog, pug, dachshund and every other hound spoof on Universal’s feature All Quiet on The Western Front with homages to The Big Parade and Wings mixed in for good measure… and one mutt getting behind enemy lines on a suicide mission of sorts. Probably this and Trader Hound are my favorites of these All-Barkies.

      9:51 PM: H.M.S. Bounty Sails Again!... and again… more times on TCM than the 1962 movie it promotes.

      11:45 PM: 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.

       

      Thursday the 12th

      4:29 AM: The Movie Makers profiles Lolly Madonna XXX (1972 MGM promotional)

      6:40 AM: Football Headliners Of 1955 (RKO [Jay Bonafield]) bw-16+m-(Sportscope Special)-©-December 7, 1955

      RKO-Pathé cranked out one of these Specials almost annually starting 1948 and they do have interest for those fans of football history. This one covers 13 games from Georgia Tech vs. Miami through US Army vs. US Navy.

      8:50 AM: Glen Gray And The Casa Loma Orchestra (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-9m-(Melody Master)-August 12, 1941

      Better-than-average Melody Master (actually all are quite good in a way) with a boppy rendition of "Darktown Strutters Ball", one of the best pre-rock jazz numbers of the mid-thirties… being done here in the forties) and some impressive use of mirrors for “cinematic” appeal.

       

      Happy Friday the 13th

      12:15 PM: Goofy Movies No. 3 (MGM- narrator: Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(MGM Oddity)-March 24, 1934

      FitzPatrick Fanatics will chuckle over this one since the vintage travelogues get some trademark Smithie commentary.

      11:49 PM: Captain Kidd's Treasure (MGM- Leslie Fenton) bw-10+m-(Historical Mystery)-January 22, 1938 (edited ’37) 

      Not as exciting as other “Historical Mysteries”, but still fun with Stanley Andrews having a non-speaking role as the title character in this “In Search Of…” expose on the buried treasure nobody can find.

       

      Saturday the 14th

      Nutti’ yet.

       

      Sunday the 15th

      1:24 AM: A pair of 1970-71 productions get pomoted: Wild Rovers and The Last Run (Portrait Of An Actor)

      5:30 AM: Age 13 (Sid Davis Prod.- Arthur Swerdloff) c-27m-(docu-drama)-1955

      From the proloific instructional filmmaker Sid Davis, comes this mini drama with Michael Keslin as a teen struggling over mom’s death and the usual adolescence angst. A “case history” made in cahoots with the Deliquency Control Institute and various police departments of Inglewood (CA) which, despite its low budget and gawdy color, boasts some striking camera compositions not unlike fifties noir dramas of the period.

      7:33 AM: Martin Block's Musical Merry-Go-Round #3 (MGM- Jack Scholl) bw-11+m-(musical)-June 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.)

      1:14 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.

      3:32 PM: So You're Going To Be A Father (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-May 10, 1947

      Filmed in December 1946 when the Baby Boom was in full swing, Joe is the expecting daddy with Alice (Jane Harker) having a veracious appetite for rutabaga in the middle of the night… but at least “bobby soxer baby” does wind up taking after Daddy.

      5:48 PM: Wedding Worries (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-12+m-(Our Gang)-December 13, 1941 (filmed September-October)

      Darla is getting a new stepmommy, but Spanky, Froggy, Mickey and Buckwheat have read too many Cinderella tales of evil stepmommies and decide to cause trouble-trouble at her pop’s wedding ceremony. Obviously this series was losing steam during the days shortly before Pearl Harbor.

      7:51 PM: The Horse With The Human Mind (MGM- Harry Loud) bw-8+m-(Miniature)-October 24, 1946

      A visit with a leading Hollywood horse star. This vintage critter reel used to be a popular upload on the main site here.

       

      Monday the 16th

      5:48 AM: Night Intruder (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery; narr: Floyd Gibbons) bw-14+m-(Your True Adventure)-July 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

       

      Tuesday the 17th

      5:12 AM: A Look At The World Of “Soylent Green”, sci fi made at a time (1972) when environmentalism was taken more seriously than today

      4:31 PM: A Look Back At CrossbowOperation Crossbow (filmed 1964), that is.

      7:52 PM: Greer Garson gets us to donate for the cure for intantile paralysis in 1944.

      9:59 PM (Canada): Mirrors (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-12m-(Melody Master)-©-September 8, 1934 (Filmed February)

      Nice optical effects highlight this performance of Freddie Rich’s Orchestra. Most of the Melody Masters were mini-cinema nuggets, not just for jazz fans but for movie buffs with their clever camera work.

       

      Wednesday the 18th

      7:45 AM (Canada): Did'ja Know?: Have You Ever Wondered #3 (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-May 6, 1950 (filmed August 1949)

      How expectant fathers behave? Why radiators are so noisy? Let Dave and Pete tell you.

      12:02 PM (Canada): Believe It Or Not #2-6 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-March 13, 1932 (Film Daily review)

      I love these little shorts even if many modern viewers simply moan “oh bruthah”. Among the oddities are a merry-go-round restaurant with revolving counters and rare footage of a sand spider attacking a lizard. (A bit nasty to watch since you know the two were stuck in a tank together.)

      1:29 PM (Canada): Lambchops (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Murray Roth) bw-8m-(Vitaphone Variety)-October 14, 1929

      Why is Canada getting the goods today? George Burns and Gracie Allen make their film debut, presenting a vaudeville act that might be slightly dated but they are still the same Burns & Allen we lovefrom radio and TV… and, yeah, you still laugh.

      2:49 PM (Canada): You Can't Win (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-8+m-(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.

      7:46 PM (Canada): Curious Contests (MGM- credits unavailable) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-November 11, 1950

      An engaging collection of newsreel clips involving a Diaper Derby (the daddy who changes ‘em fastest wins), fireman and basket race “sports”, among others.

      11:22 PM (Canada): Daily Beauty Rituals (Educational- Constance Bennett) Cinecolor-5+m-(documentary)-1937

      Back by popular demand, this vintage make-up Hollywood style informercial in color.

       

      Thursday the 19th

      4:48 AM (Canada): The Yacht Party (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-©-September 29, 1932

      This is included on the Warner Archive’s Warner Bros. Big Band, Jazz & Swing Shorts collection. Aboard a ship with Roger Wolf Kahn, Gertrude Niesen and Melissa Mason.

      5:35 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.

      6:00 AM (both sides): Goodbye, Mr. Chips! (filmed 1968-69) features Greer Garson and Pete O’Toole “behind the scenes”.

      7:48 PM: Let's Sing A Song From The Movies (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl; narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Memories From Melody Lane)-July 17, 1947

      Montage documentary on key songs from Warner features from On With The Show (1929) through The Time, The Place And The Girl (1946)

      9:46 PM: Every Girl’s Dream has Nancy Bernard pauy a studio visit that also promotes Glass Bottom Boat (January 1966) for Doris Day Day

       

      Friday the 20th

      5:51 AM: Madagascar And Seychelles (Colorful Islands) (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-©-November 17, 1936

      Documentaries on this region were often scarce before the war, let alone in full color… so maybe this is one FitzPatrick goodie to get up early for.

      4:48 PM: Operation Dirty Dozen gives us snippets of swinging London of 1966 as the big war blockbuster goes into production.

      7:15 PM (Canada): Masks And Memories (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-32m10s-(Broadway Brevity)-May 12, 1934

      Lillian Roth, Queenie Smith, George Huston and Weldon Heyburn are showcased in this musical two-reeler (with a simple plot of mistaken identity romance during Mardi Gras time), highlighted by Smith’s “I Can Do Most Anything” with Jack Good.

      The Sound Man (Columbia- Aaron Stell) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)-December 24, 1949

      One of a series of ’48-51 shorts put out by all of the studios in conjunction with the Academy, this one spotlighting the art of sound recording in movies from early talkies to today.

      7:41 PM (US):Nostradamus Says So! (MGM- Richard H. Landau) bw-11+m-(Special 1-reeler)-January 31, 1953 (edited '52)

      In an attempt to keep short production afloat in the later years, MGM stitched together their mini-biopics on the famous psychic released back in 1938-44 with new stock newsreel footage and “updates” for a trio of 1952 releases.

      11:34 PM: Those south of the border can see Night Descends On Treasure Island (see Monday above)

       

      Saturday the 21st

      8:20 AM: Beautiful Bali (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-November 23, 1940

      One of the better entries of the series, with more people shots than usual, as well as some talented local dancing.

      12:03 PM (Canada): 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.

      7:45 PM: The Law And The Lab (RKO [Jay Bonafield]- Frances Dinsmoor; narr: Bob Hite) bw-9+m-(Screenliner)-July 7, 1956

      CSI in the fifties: "Murder is an ugly business".

      9:49 PM: Italy's In Season is a Thomas Craven produced part-travelogue, part promotional for The Venetian Affair (1966)

      11:49 PM: All Eyes On Sharon Tate promotes Eye Of The Devil in 1965.

       

      Sunday the 22nd

      5:30 AM: Shake Hands With Danger (Centron/National Safety Council- Herk Harvey) c-23m8s-(diocumentary)-1970

      Construction site safety around Caterpillars is the topic of this talky-walky documentary… I used to laugh at safety. Now they call me Three Finger Joe.

      9:33 PM: Glimpses Of Morocco And Algiers (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Howard P. Nelson) c-10+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-August 4, 1951

      The umbrella title looks different, but it is still our all-too-familiar Fitz and this one hasn’t been shown in a while. In addition to Algiers, we get Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakesh

      11:24 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?

      Ten Dollars Or Ten Days (Sennett Comedies/Pathé- Del Lord) bw/s-20+m-(Ben Turpin, Harry Gribbon, Billy Armstrong & others)-January 6, 1924 (filmed ’23)

      Our favorite cross-eyed funny man at his peak, with some gags involving kitties early on, causing trouble at the pharmacy and sleepwalking through a robbery.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule May TCM Short Subject Schedule May 26th through June 6th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

      Looks like the TCM Elves are gradually building up our schedule this week…

       

      Monday the 26th

      3:35 AM (Canada): Carnival In Paris (MGM- Wilhelm Thiele) bw-22+m-(Special)-June 21, 1937

      A girl (an early role of Ann Rutherford) is aided by a museum janitor to hide out in museum costumes attending a parade…. and even wins in a costume contest. Ferdinand Gottschalk plays the Egyptian museum director. Also stars Henry Brandon and Harry Burns.

      5:48 AM: The Blue And The Gray (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- E.M. Newman; narr: John B. Kennedy) bw-11m2s-(See America First)-March 2, 1935 (Completed August ‘34)

      High time they show some E. M. Newmans. FitzPatrick is not the only travelogue guru, y’know. This one was part of a series “See America First” which traveled coast to coast examining all of the landmarks where American history was made… this, of course, covers the Civil War. At the time, many veterans were still alive and we see newsreel footage of one of their parades.

      7:10 AM: Winning Your Wings (First Motion Picture Unit/Warner Bros.- Owen Crump) bw-18m-(Broadway Brevity)-May 28, 1942

      Leading star James 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.

      9:51 AM: Glimpses Of Western Germany (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendinning) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-February 13, 1954 (filmed ’53)

      The highlight here in this very last FitzPatrick released through MGM (before moving to Paramount and the glories of VistaVision) is the Berlin zoo and its furry residents.

      2:40 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.

       

      Tuesday the 27th

      3:34 AM: Marines In The Making (MGM- Herbert Polesie) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-December 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.

      5:48 AM: United States Army Air Force Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-11+m-(Melody Master)-September 19, 1942

      Alf Heiber conducts this wartime orchestra as the clever camera work tries to make this a little more cinematic than the usual Washington DC performances of “Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder”.

      7:32 AM: Picturesque Udaipur (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-May 13, 1939

      The glories of India in spectacular thirties color, looking even better than the postwar (1951) trips to the subcontinent.

      9:02 AM: Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-October 22, 1938

      Straightforward nightclub performances of "Beebe" and "Dusk in Upper Sandusky" (among others) with Bob Eberle and Evelyn Oakes in support.

      7:14 PM: La Gazza Ladra Overture (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10+m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-September 16, 1954

      Johnny Green conducts the MGM orchestra is glorious wide-screen and stereophonic sound.

      7:30 PM (Canada): Easy Life (MGM- Walter Hart) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-May 20, 1944

      Bernard Thomas plays a high school drop-out who joins the hoodlums… uh oh. Them kids gotta learn better! Steve Geray and William Phillips co-star in this “true life” Bowery Boys gone bad saga.

      A Cinderella Named Elizabeth covers the MGM feature release A Patch Of Blue, with Sydney Poitier, Shelley Winters and Elizabeth Hartman.

       

      Wednesday the 28th

      4:45 AM: The Metro-Goldwyn-Story (1950) is actually a feature compilation.

      5:44 AM: Hot Dog (MGM- Zion Myers & Jules White) bw-15+m-(Dogville All-Barkie)-July 1929

      Jazz Age marital infidelities among pooches. They say peanut butter helps make a canine talk on screen… and wires propping up their paws. Well… at least the actors look happy if tortured by the future Three Stooges director. (see blog photo)

      9:12 AM: The Rummy (Hal Roach/MGM- Del Lord) bw-20+m-(The Taxi Boys)-June 10, 1933

      This series featuring Ben Blue and Billy Gilbert is one of Hal Raoch’s lesser known and not often seen series. Few of these are “classic”… and probably too routine for most modern viewers’ tastes, but there are some good gags. This one is set in a taxidermy shop at night-time, including a situation with a “stuffed” flea. Gladys Blake supports.

      4:04 PM: The Seesaw And The Shoes (Moments That Made History) (MGM- Douglas Foster) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-May 5, 1945

      A tale of two unrelated items that lead to the invention of the stethoscope and rubber manufacturing. This history lesson features Arthur Space as Charles Goodyear, along with Feodor Chaliapin and Gregory Golubeff in unbilled roles.

      11:46 PM: 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.

       

      Thursday the 29th

      3:31 AM: MGM Gangster Film Festival… haven’t seen this 1982 promotional

      7:16 AM: Cash Stashers (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-August 29, 1953

      Dave O’Brien burns away his hard earned money in the docu-comedy that teaches us to use banks instead of mattresses. Yeah… as if somebody can’t blow up that “guarded” safe as easily as a kitchen jar.

       

      Friday the 30th

      6:22 AM (Canada): Impressions Of The Merriest Musical Of 1938 happens to be Warner’s Gold Diggers In Paris.

      9:06 AM: Water Sports (MGM- Ray McCarey) bw-8+m-(Pete Smith Sports Parade)-October 26, 1935

      Our favorite gee-whizz narrator takes on aquatic recreation of the Depression years, highlighted by vintage scenes of champion surfer Christian Peterson.

      1:49 PM: The Cinematographer (MGM- Jerry Hopper; narr: Warner Anderson) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Special)-January 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).

      4:30 PM: Glimpses Of Western Germany… in case you missed it Monday.

      8:00 PM: no short, but a great Australian feature Newsfront (1978) about newsreel cameramen in the 1940s and ‘50s… and the impact that television would have on their careers. Haven’t seen this one since the 1980s on VHS. Newsreels are shorties too, y’know.

       

      Saturday the 31st

      3:50 AM: Vintage promotional The Making Of Cannery Row (1982)

      5:46 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.

      8:07 AM: Hotel Anchovy (Educational [Arthur L. Jarrett]/Fox- William Watson) bw-18+m-(The Ritz Brothers Comedy)-April 13, 1934

      Right after the feature Hotel, we switch from drama to slapstick. Educational comedy (not comic documentary but a comedy from Educational Pictures) has the Ritz Brothers causing chaos in a bankrupt hotel.

      12:03 PM: 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.

       

      Sunday, June 1st

      2:17 AM: The Capital City: Washington D.C. (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-September 7, 1940

      After some glimpses in Born Yesterday shown right before, we get the Technicolor tour

      5:50 AM: Duck And Cover (Archer- Anthony Rizzo; script: Raymond J. Mauer; narrator: Robert Middleton) bw-11m-(part animated)-1951

      Allow Bert the turtle and his silly monkey companion to teach us to… in case of nuclear attack. This ranks pretty high as the Harry Potter of civil defense kiddie films. Practically everybody under the age of 12 was forced to watch this during the Truman and Eisenhower years.

      8:13 AM: Operation Dirty Dozen gives us snippets of swinging London of 1966 as the big war blockbuster goes into production.

      11:50 AM: Voices Of Venice (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick) c-10+m-(Traveltalk "People On Parade")-February 3, 1951

      FitzPatrick figured we might be getting bored with just his voice so we are blessed with additional vocal snippets in this sub-series of Traveltalks.

      3:50 PM: Glacier Park And Waterton Lakes (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: William Steiner) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 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.

      7:49 PM: Adventures In South America (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Lewis N. Cotlow; narr: Knox Manning) c-10m-(Technicolor Adventure)-August 10, 1946 (completed ’45)

      It’s nice to get a WB travelogue for a change, although there are some better ones. Here we tour the Andes from cosmopolitan Lima through Lake Titicaca and the historical districts of La Paz and Cuzco. Too bad the trip ends before we get into Amazon headhunter territory when all of the excitement starts to unfold.

      9:45 PM: How To Raise A Baby (MGM- Roy Rowland) bw-10+m-(Robert Benchley)-July 2, 1938

      Our 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.

      11:56 PM (Canada): Cary Grant promotes the Will Rogers Hospital in 1940.

       

      Monday the 2nd

      1:36 AM: Come To Dinner (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-22m-(Broadway Brevity)-©-April 24, 1934 (filmed November 1933)

      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).

      5:46 AM: The Naughty Twenties (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jack Scholl; narr: Art Gilmore) bw-10+m-(Warner Novelty)-February 10, 1951 (Completed ’50)

      Showcasing vintage Vitaphone material (Elsie Janice / Van & Schenck / Willie & Eugene Howard) intermixed with newsreels of the decade. Nice crash course on the Calvin-and-Coolidge-put-together and Hoover Heever periods.

      7:48 AM: Vaudeville Reel #4- All Star Vaudeville (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-10+m-(Pepper Pot)-April 27, 1935 (filmed October 1934)

      Engaging hodgepodge of acts, featuring the On-Wah Troupe, a really talented acrobatic act, along with the team of Blossom Seeley & Benny Fields (seen in previous Vitaphone shorts of the twenties), Pat Rooney Jr. & Sr. and the Runaway Four.

      9:49 AM: The Great American Mug (MGM- Cyril Endfield) bw-10+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-October 6, 1945

      An excellent… no-nonsense and nostalgic… look at the barbershops pre-WW1, with unlisted actors dressed up.

      5:20 PM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s World Famous Musical Hits promotes a reissue of several in 1960 that were favorites in the less cynical 1940s.

      7:53 PM: The Background Beat (1965) is a musical salute to Once A Thief, showcasing sexy Ann-Margret and Alain Delon in their leather jacket prime.

      11:05 PM: The Big Sur covers the filming of Burton-Taylor’s The Sandpiper in 1964.

       

      Tuesday the 3rd

      12:50 AM: From Paris – Your Reporter Richard Crenna covers Ann-Margret’s 1965 fashions used in Made In Paris.

      2:31 AM: All Eyes On Sharon Tate shows Polanski’s future wife on the set of Eye Of The Devil in 1965.

      6:19 AM (Canada): They're Always Caught (MGM- Harold Bucquet) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-July 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.

      6:27 AM: Hitler Lives? (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Don Siegel & Saul Elkins; narr: Knox Manning) bw-17m-(Special)-December 23, 1945 (preview)

      Ham-fisted look at all that Germany wrought, including some of the earliest (fleeting) Holocaust footage shown in a mainstream Hollywood production. A unique relic of its times (scoring an Oscar), but may be viewed too propagandist today.

      Nuit Et Brouillard (Night And Fog) (Argos Films- Alain Resnais; script: Jean Cayrol) part c-32m-(documentary)-December 1955

      The most famous documentary on the death camps at Auschwitz, combining modern day views of the vicinity (shot in September-October 1955) with newsreel footage. A major shortie of the burgeoning French New Wave.

      1:45 PM: The Fall Guy (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-June 4, 1955

      The very last of the Smithies… and the last regular series short that MGM shorts put out. 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.

      6:00 PM: Far From The Maddening Crowd gets the “behind the scenes” look in 1967.

      10:33 PM: Logan’s Run (1975-76) gets covered in A Look Into The 23rd Century.

       

      Wednesday the 4th

      12:50 AM: Corvair In Action is a nifty automobile commercial cranked out by the Jam Handy company in Detroit (1959)

      7:48 AM: Hollywood Daredevils (MGM- Louis Lewyn) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-March 20, 1943

      All about stunt-work, mostly with cars… quite entrtaining if less ambitious than Warner’s 1940 Spills For Thrills.

      6:11 PM: Cary Grant returns in this 1940 informercial for the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital.

       

      Thursday the 5th

      2:15 AM: Stop, Look And Listen (MGM- Len Janson & Chuck Menville) c-11+m-(Comedy)-December 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).

      7:45 PM: Cave Explorers (RKO- Heinz Schneiderbauer) bw-8+m-(Screenliner)-January 1957

      An Austrian expedition through a prehistoric cave is given a National Geographic type treatment.

       

      Friday the 6th

      6:32 AM: Forecast is a 21 minute promotional for vintage 1946 MGM features

      12:50 PM: In case you missed it Sunday, Adventures In South America

      7:39 PM: His Marriage Wow (Sennett Comedies/Pathé- Harry Edwards) bw/s-21+m-(Harry Langdon with Natalie Kingston, Vernon Dent & William McCall)-March 1, 1925

      Fun silent two-reeler from the great under-rated comedy star. Poor babyface Harry oopsies going to the wrong church for his wedding day... then has a wild and crazy dash to the correct one. Of course, he practically loses the ring while Professor "Mc-Glum" (Vernon Dent) plays the pessimist with the bride during the long wait.

      9:58 PM (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.

       

      11:49 PM: Sportsman’s Memories (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-April 22, 1944 

      Compilation of footage culled from Smith-narrated shorts made a decade earlier like Flying Hunters and Roping Wild Bears.

       

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule for TCM Short Subject Schedule for May 13th-26th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      I’m gonna go off topic this blog (but relating to the topic of shorties). Finished up the remaining series of Wikipedia articles for the Warner Brothers studio two weeks ago. (See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_short_subjects_by_Hollywood_studio#Warner_Brothers ) Feel free to make corrections. A few have already, since this is a group effort by a multitude of Eagle Eyes. Of course, the imdb.com is the best site for individual title documentation, but these “lists” on Wikipedia will include many titles not covered yet on the other site.

       

      I guess that was my “point”… nerdy and sique-sique-sique that I am. If nothing else, maybe… just maybe… one of the bigwigs at the Warner Archive will stumble on them and be curious enough to unleash more of these long lost goodies to DVD and TCM. Haven’t done MGM (the best documented studio on imdb.com), RKO, Paramount, Fox, Columbia (whose comedies are well covered, but not the rest of their shortie output), Educational and Universal short film series. (United Artists and Republic also distributed some shorties of interest too.) Alas… I will wait a while to see if any real interest develops with the posted stuff first. After all, Melody Masters is not a hot topic that the masses online are googling right now.

       

      Tuesday the 13th

      5:47 AM: MGM’s March On In 1934-35 is a rarely seen, if boring, promotional of the Chicago Convention of June 21-27, 1934. Interesting as a portrait of how movie sales were done back-in-the-day.

      7:13 AM: The Great Library Misery (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Lloyd French) bw-11m28s-(The Grouch Club)-September 10, 1938

      The Grouch Club was a short-lived series of one reel comedies based on a moderately successful radio talk show (host Jack Lescoulie deals with call-in people and assorted radio personalities complaining about their everyday annoyances). This delightful, if not ha-ha-ha funny, sketch features Arthur Q. Ryan (also on the radio show, but more famous today voicing Egghead and Elmer Fudd) going through the struggle of getting a simple library card, with Nancy Evans at the check-out desk. (see blog photo)

      11:19 AM: The United States Army Band (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Jean Negulesco) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-April 17, 1943

      Thomas Darcy Jr. conducts in November 1942, but we don’t just see the orchestra here. There are also vintage clips of the Jefferson Memorial in DC here.

      5:50 PM: Desert Killer (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Larry Lansburgh; narr: Art Gilmore) c-10m-(Sports Parade)-December 25, 1952 (preview date) 

      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 professional puma wrestlers Marvin Glenn and his teen son Warner (who later wrote Eyes of Fire, covering another Arizona kitty: http://www.jaguarbook.com/jaguarbook/index.html ). Fortunately, no cougars were injured in the making of this docu-reel, but the studio’s sound effects department somehow got their tiger roars mixed up. (They did the same boo-boo with the concurrent Cruise of the Zaca, dubbing an elephant seal with a California sea lion.)

      7:50 PM: Studio Highlights is a rather intriguing 6 minute promotional for Warner’s Footlight Parade (1933). The Busby Berkeley stuff got plenty of push by its studio.

       

      Wednesday the 14th

      5:30 AM (Canada): Buyer Beware (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-August 17, 1940 

      Somewhat average, but entertaining, entry of this great MGM dramatic series: Charles Arnt stars as a corrupt(ed) pharmicist merchant dealing with questionable product forked over by a seedy distributor of stolen goods. With Hugh Beaumont, Egon Brecher & Charles D. Brown as supporting cast.

      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 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.

      11:48 AM: The Amazing Mr. Nordill (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt’s "Passing Parade")-August 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.

       

      Thursday the 15th

      3:34 AM: 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?

      9:51 AM: A Great Lady Has An Interview (1954) happens to be Lana Turner in this MGM trailer.

      10:00 AM (Canada): The Luckiest Guy In The World (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-21+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-December 26, 1946

      This Oscar nominee was 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.

      Gus Arnheim & His Ambassadors (Coconut Grove Orchestra) (Warner Bros.) bw-9m38s-(Vitaphone Variety)-July 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.

      3:47 PM: The Movie Makers is an informercial/extended trailer for The Wild Rovers (1971).

      7:39 PM: Shootin' Injuns (Hal Roach/Pathé- Robert McGowan) bw/silent-21+m-(Our Gang)-May 3, 1925

      They don’t show the Our Gang comedies often, least of all the silent crop. Mary Kornman, Harry Bowen and Jack Gavin are key standouts here in this western “let’s play cowboys” vs, “let’s get spooked in the haunted house” comedy.

       

      Friday the 16th

      11:45 AM: 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.

      4:20 PM: Frances Carroll And The Coquettes (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-9+m-(Melody Master)-February 12, 1940 (filmed March 1939)

      Don’t think this one made the DVD cut yet. Viola Smith and Eunice Healy highlight this all-female band number.

      7:45 PM: Spotlight On The World We Live In (MGM/Gordon Films- Ronald Haines) bw-14+m-(Special)-December 1950

      The first of a series of human interest newsreels imported from Canada focuses on monks and their canine companions, helping as FBI agents for missing people.

      9:44 PM (Canada): 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.

      9:44 PM (US): On Location With: Fame (1980) is covered US-side.

      11:39 PM: 2010: The Odyssey Continues gets aired more often than the 1984 “sequel” it promotes on TCM.

       

      Saturday the 17th

      1:48 PM: Nostradamus Says So! (MGM- Richard H. Landau) bw-11+m-(Special 1-reeler)-January 31, 1953 (edited '52)

      In an attempt to keep short production afloat in the later years, MGM stitched together their mini-biopics on the famous psychic released back in 1938-44 with new stock newsreel footage and “updates” for a trio of 1952 releases.

      5:41 PM: 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.

      7:48 PM: San Sebastian 1746 In 1968 covers Guns For San Sebastian, filmed in ’67.

       

      Sunday the 18th

      1:48 AM: Poltergeist spooks the Sunday morning early risers with a vintage 1982 “making of”

      5:00 AM: The Relaxed Wife (J.B. Roerig & Co./On Film Inc. [of Princeton U]- Coni Johnston, Mel London, Joseph Cole, Bert Spielvogel, Tracy Ward & others) c-13m28s-(informercial)-1957

      Happy housewife is happy thanks to proper medication. Now it is time to get frustrated hubbie pumped up with pills too, although this actor has a hilarious rubbery face when angry. Also it is amusing to see this married couple with screaming kids sleeping in twin beds to avoid… well… producing additional screaming kids.

      Wonderful World Of Tupperware (United Film Prod.- George Yarbrough) c-29m-(informercial)-1964

      Often dated 1959, but the music selection and automobiles on display are clearly Lyndon Johnson era. (Cue “Hello Dolly” on the soundtrack… my guess is that the New York World’s Fair was open when this was shot.) This is a well executed survey of the plastic empire with some brief musical scenes with Anita Bryant and Johnny Desmond, but mostly about the factories and salesmanship.

      The House In The Middle (National Clean Up-Clean Up Bureau/Federal Civil Defense Administration) c-12m9s-(documentary)-©-May 3, 1954

      Produced a year after the Korean War but with Cold War fears of atomic invasion by the Soviets hot on many minds, we open with our trademark mushroom cloud (Nevada test) and procede to abandoned houses that could be better protected in the case of a blast. It isn’t just an issue of safeguarding your own… a whole community needs to cooperate. Like other artifacts of the era, showing just how spooked many Americans were even with General Eisenhower in the White House, this is one of a number of ephemerials chosen for the National Film Registry (2002).

      9:42 AM: Somebody can correct me, but I think the newsreel exerpt of L.B. Mayer Ceremony (with the MGM chief accepting an award in 1950) was used in the TV series MGM: When The Lion Roars and Moguls And Movie Stars.

      11:49 AM: Strauss Fantasy (MGM- Johnny Green) c/CinemaScope-10m-(CinemaScope Special [Musical Gem])-June 15, 1954

      Much like the equally popular Merry Wives Of Windsor Ovrture, this widescreen stereophonic orchestra performance showcased the trendy technology of the times. It was released initially with Mario Lanza’s CinemaScope debut The Student Prince.

       

      Monday the 19th

      The Divine Woman, shown just after midnight, is not a short but a partial feature of Greta Garbo that is missing much of its footage.

      3:53 AM: 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”.

      9:48 & 11:58 PM: More theatrical promotionals: Cannery Row (’82) and The Blue Lagoon (’80)

       

      Tuesday the 20th

      Nuttin’…

       

      Wednesday the 21st

      5:51 AM (Canada): The Hard Guy (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Arthur Hurley) bw-6m25s-(Vitaphone Act)-September 6, 1930

      Shot at the Brooklyn studios in May 1930 when Spencer Tracy was a newbie to the screen. He’s unemployed and sporting a rod trying to make ends meet for his wife (Katherine Alexander) and child. Nice dramatic one-act performance.

      10:05 AM: Suva, Pride Of Fiji (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-June 8, 1940

      This one hasn’t been shown in ages, but apparently was popular on TCM years ago. Ahhh… yes. The tropical isles sure look perty and Jimmy gives us the no-nonsense overview of native customs.

      5:45 PM: Stuff For Stuff (MGM- Paul Hoffman & John Nesbitt) bw-11+m-(Special)-©-March 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. This is one of a series of Cold War era promote-democracy shorties MGM made during the conflicted Mayer vs. Schary period.

       

      Thursday the 22nd

      6:50 AM: Spreadin' The Jam (MGM- Charles Walters & Sid Kuller) bw-10+m-(Miniature)-October 27, 1945

      A hip-hopping delight with the dialogue all in jive talk and constant dancing. Jan Clayton can’t pay the rent, but her neighbors all chip in with a jam party... and even the landlady’s got that beat a-goin’. Ben Lessey and Helen Boyce also star in this DVD inclusion on Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory Volume 2.

      11:31 AM: The Naggers At Breakfast (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio-  Roy Mack) bw-10+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-September 5, 1930

      The comic duo Jack Norworth and Dorothy Adelphi battle it out over the kitchen table as all happily married couples do. Fun dialogue here (discussing what time it is with all of the clocks available) if not quite as funny as the TV sitcoms it pedates.

      7:48 PM: So You Think You're Allergic (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11m6s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-December 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.

      5:41 PM (Canada): Cary Grant gives us a tribute to The Will Rogers Memorial Hospital (1940)

       

      Friday the 23rd

      5:52 AM: St. Helena And Its Man Of Destiny (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-8+m-(Traveltalk)-©-July 8, 1936

      It would have been fun had TCM aired this along with the “Historical Mystery” narrated by Carey Wilson and titled The Man On The Rock (1938) with its recreations of Napoleon’s final days. This is the Technicolor tour two years earlier

      1:34 PM: Sitka And Juneau, A Tale Of Two Cities (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Robert Carney) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 13, 1940

      Robert Carney was busy in 1939 traipsing up the Pacific coastline from Oregon through Alaska in a series worthy of feature status… kinda… sorta, I guess. Humorously, comedy star Barbara Joe Allen covered Alaska too in Columbia’s Sitka Sue post-war; her two or three “Laff Tours” would be fun companion pieces to the Traveltalks despite being shot in black and white.

      11:22 PM: The Lion Roars Again profiles what MGM had in production in 1975… Logan’s Run anyone?

       

      Saturday the 24th

      5:20 AM: Fashion’s Mirror (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio) bw-15+m-(Vitaphone Variety)-October 19, 1930 (preview date)

      Sonny boy wants to increase sales for pop's clothing business with fashionable musical numbers like "You Can Tell a Lady by the Way She Wears her Clothes". Hey… It works! Jack Thompson and Barbara Newberry head the cast.

      5:30 AM: Thundering Fleas (Hal Roach/Pathé- Robert McGowan & Richard Jones) bw/silent-20+m-(Our Gang)-July 18, 1926

      Charley Chase and Oliver Hardy have bit roles with Joe Cobb, Farina, Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman, Johnny Downs & the gang. The insect invasion occurs at a wedding, so prepare plenty of bending, winding and a-scratchin’.

      11:04 AM: So You Want To Be A Salesman (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-10m24s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-September 13, 1947

      Finally! A McDoakes that is never shown on TCM (if available on DVD)… a nice average-but-funny entry with our bumbling star a vacuum salesman working for a company run like the US military. Jane Harker plays wife Alice here and she’s fed up with his klutzy demonstrations… which he insists on giving even when a rare prospect agrees to buy one and would rather not have her house destroyed in the process.

      1:33 PM: The Fall Guy (MGM- Pete Smith) bw-9+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-June 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.

       

      Sunday the 25th

      4:04 PM: Beautiful Banff And Lake Louise (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Benjamin Sharpe & Winton Hoch) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-October 5, 1935

      North of the border’s biggest tourist traps are showcased in their rainbow hues.

       

      Monday the 26th

      3:35 AM (Canada): Carnival In Paris (MGM- Wilhelm Thiele) bw-22+m-(Special)-June 21, 1937

      A girl (an early role of Ann Rutherford) is aided by a museum janitor to hide out in museum costumes attending a parade…. and even wins in a costume contest. Ferdinand Gottschalk plays the Egyptian museum director. Also stars Henry Brandon and Harry Burns.

      5:48 AM: The Blue And The Gray (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- E.M. Newman; narr: John B. Kennedy) bw-11m2s-(See America First)-March 2, 1935 (Completed August ‘34)

      High time they show some E. M. Newmans. FitzPatrick is not the only travelogue guru, y’know. This one was part of a series “See America First” which traveled coast to coast examining all of the landmarks where American history was made… this, of course, covers the Civil War. At the time, many veterans were still alive and we see newsreel footage of one of their parades.

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  • TCM Short Subject Schedule Apr TCM Short Subject Schedule April 28th through May 12th, 2014

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      A double dose of Stan and Ollie this week, while Canada gets some vintage Broadway Brevity material, including my all time favorite The Prisoner Of Swing. Yet the FitzPatrick Fanatics will really suffer from tooth decay this week with the oncoming onslaught of Technicolor Travel Treats (albeit mostly recent repeats). Enjoy the platter while it lasts. As they sang in Camelot, It's May! It's May! The lusty month of May! That lovely month when ev'ryone goes blissfully astray…

       

      Monday the 28th

      1:38 AM: Angora Love (Hal Roach/MGM- Lewis Foster) bw/synchronized score-21+m-(Laurel & Hardy)-December 14, 1929 (filmed March)

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

      4:35 AM: The Sound Man (Columbia- Aaron Stell) bw-10+m-(Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)-December 24, 1949

      One of a series of ’48-51 shorts put out by all of the studios in conjunction with the Academy, this one spotlighting the art of sound recording in movies from early talkies to today.

      7:21 AM: Habeas Corpus (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrott & Leo McCarey) bw/synchronized score-20m-(Laurel & Hardy)-December 1, 1928

      Filmed in July 1928, close to their superior Two Tars, this is an adequate precursor to the Frankenstein series with an evil scientist (Richard Carle) getting Stan and Ollie to find “bodies” for his experiments. Charley Rogers also appears here.

      10:17 PM: Glimpses Of Australia (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-April 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.

       

      Tuesday the 29th

      1:52 AM: Ryan’s Daughter (1970), David Lean’s underappreciated bomb, gets the “making of” promotional.

       

      Wednesday the 30th

      12:42 AM: Grand Prix: Challenge Of Champions both promotes the ’66 flick but also boasts some groovy Monaco travelogue footage

      5:00 AM (Canada): The Prisoner Of Swing (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack, Eddie Forman & Cyrus Wood) bw-22m-(Broadway Headliners)-June 11, 1938

      Hal LeRoy, a pre-MGM June Allyson, Al Fields and Eddie Foy Jr. head this wonderful scene-for-scene trashing of the Selznick feature Prisoner Of Zenda, all set to a jazzy beat and with great one-liners. Hal is the visiting “twin” cousin taking over stuffy anti-groove King Rudolf and, as usual, we get plenty of swashbuckling over castle walls.

      3:06 PM: Beautiful Brazil (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Keith Covey) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-February 29, 1952

      The title of this 1951 travelogue is an accurate one with spectacular aerial footage foreshadowing the Cinerama and CinemaScope revolution. You can see how eager FitzPatrick would be to take advantage of VistaVision when Paramount called him in 1953.

      9:39 PM: Singapore And Jahore (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Hone M. Glendining) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-December 31, 1938

      The Asiatic FitzPatricks are among the best of the lot since these landscapes were still retaining a bit of their Far East luster in the late thirties, looking vivid in the rainbow palette. Today you have all of the fast food joints dotting the landscape.

      11:50 PM: Mexican Police On Parade (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Wilfred Cline) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-February 27, 1943

      Wilfred Cline shot a cluster of these south-of-the-border reels for Jimmy’s Traveltalks during the months of February and March of 1942, since Europe and the Pacific were closed off, making enough material to keep him stocked for the following year. Mexico City itself is the hot-spot with a marching band and professional pistol team on display.

       

      Thursday the 1st

      4:03 AM: If I Forget You (MGM, May 1940 release) has Judy Garland singing a salute to Will Rogers.

      5:30 AM (Canada): Wash Your Step (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Joseph Henabery) bw-22+m-(Broadway Brevity)-March 7, 1936

      Hal LeRoy is a singing washing machine salesman in this delightful all-dancing musical fluff, with June Cherry Preisset, the Eton Boys, Nanette Flack and Harry Lang in support.

      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.

      9:41 AM: Cinema Circus (MGM [Louis Lewyn]- Roy Rowland) c-19+m-(Galaxy Of Stars)-January 23, 1937

      Louis Lewyn produced a couple candy-Technicolored meet-the-stars shorties for mighty Metro starting 1934, often giving its many actors their first all-color debuts. This is essentially a big get-together with a circus parade in 1936, with such familiar faces as Mickey Mouse (looking different than he did at Disneyland two decades later), Boris Karloff, Cliff Edwards, Alice Faye, among others.

       

      Friday the 2nd

      5:30 AM (Canada): Women In Hiding (MGM- Joe Newman) bw-22+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-June 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. (see blog photo)

      Daily Beauty Rituals… what? Again?

      7:35 AM: MGM’s March On In 1934-35 is a rarely seen, if boring, promotional of the Chicago Convention of June 21-27, 1934.

      9:04 AM: Fine Feathers (MGM- Jules White; narr: Pete Smith) c (2-color Technicolor)-9+m-(MGM Oddity)-November 18, 1933

      Petie gives us funny commentary on birds in and out of cages at a zoo (not sure which one off-hand), all presented in ravishing two-strip Technicolor (lots of red and green here… and no blue jays or magpies, just cardinals… and crowned cranes, owls, hornbills, etc.)

      9:44 PM (Canada): Canada gets a repeat of Grand Prix: Challenge Of Champions

       

      Saturday the 3rd

      3:34 AM: two 1980 films get promoted: Fame and The Blue Lagoon

      6:23 AM (Canada): The Glass Bottom Boat In Catelina details th 1965 filming of MGM’s latest Doris Day feature.

      9:50 AM: The Fabulous Fraud (MGM- Edward Cahn) bw-11+m-(John Nesbitt's "Passing Parade")-August 28, 1948

      One of Nesbitt’s slickest and most handsome productions, this is an elaborate biography on the infamous mystic Dr. Anton Mesmer, who just might have “discovered” hypnotism. Paul Vogel is credited on the quite stylish camera work; the cast includes John Baragrey, Phyllis Morris, Marcia Mae Jones and Morris Ankrum.

      3:41 PM: Stopover In Hollywood (Will Williams [Paramount]; narrator: Walter Kray) bw-16m-(travelogue)-1963

      Modestly budgeted tour of Tinsel Town, interesting mostly for nostalgia

      7:47 PM: So You Think You're Allergic (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11m6s-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-December 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.

       

      Sunday the 4th

      2:08 AM (Canada): Edith Head Presents Fashion From “Penelope”… with the star Hollywood stylist from Paramount working for MGM and Natalie Wood in 1966.

      3:50 AM: Match Your Mood (Jam Handy/Westinghouse) c-6m-30s-(promotional)-April 1968

      A must-see for fans of Mad Men and collectors of old Modern Housekeeping magazines, this promotional for Westinghouse hasn’t much on refrigerators, but quite a bit on late sixties “house wife” fashions, along with retro wooden cabinets and accessories. Watching one green mini-skirted wifie jiggling her behind to That Beat as she measures her panels on the kitchen table is one highlight you won’t forget. Let’s not forget that you can “match your apparel” to your home furniture since much of your socializing involves bridge and Tupperware parties. Actually… the “match your hobbies” shot of movie star pop art all over your freezer door isn’t a bad idea. (The TCM Elves were mighty cute to follow this with the B-flick Ten Violent Women, released a decade and a half later when moods were quite different.)

      5:40 AM: Time Out For Trouble (Oklahoma Department of State Health- David S. Glidden, story by Dwight V. Swain) bw-19m33s-(documentary)-1961

      Obviously this ephemerial is inspired by The Twilight Zone and many recycled old time radio dramas (I half-expected a Lipton Tea add to intrude since Baird Jones’ organ score sounds enough like ‘40s Inner Sanctum). We have the sinister clock “spirit” hoping there are enough booby-traps in a typical suburban household since “she” loves to watch accidents. Cast includes Alice Spann, Bonnie Hammett, John Nesom, Loren Brown, Nancy Clifton… among others, but none seem to maintain the same hilarity as Donald Duck five years earlier in How To Have An Accident In The Home. Yet they add a full storyline… a humorous marital “road to ruin”.

      9:40 AM: The Count Takes The Count (Hal Roach/MGM- Charles Parrott & Harold Law) bw-17+m-(Charley Chase)-February 22, 1936

      From his final year with the Roach studio, this is one of the best Chase comedies… and with plenty of “chase” towards the end. He’s an insurance agent torn between aiding and stopping an heiress from marrying a count. (Her daddy wants “royalty” in the family, but the insurance firm doesn’t want the set-up.) Andrea Leeds, Harry Bowen and Kewpie Morgan (as the sleepwalking sheriff handcuffing Chuck to a drugstore at one point) are the supporting cast here.

      11:34 AM: Easy Life (MGM- Walter Hart) bw-20+m-(Crime Does Not Pay)-May 20, 1944

      Bernard Thomas plays a high school drop-out who joins the hoodlums… uh oh. Them kids gotta learn better! Steve Geray and William Phillips co-star in this “true life” Bowery Boys gone bad saga.

       

      Monday the 5th

      1:35 AM: The Flag: A Story Inspired By The Tradition Of Betsy Ross (MGM [Herbert T. Kalmus]- Arthur Meade) c (2-color Technicolor)/silent-20+m-(Great Events w/ Francis X. Bushman, Doris Kenyon & Enid Bennett])-August 14, 1927 (previewed by Film Daily)

      Enid Bennett plays Betsy Ross, but this early Technicolor 2-reeler is not so much about her but George Washington (Bushman). Herbert Kalmus co-produced two seasons worth of these color costumers in early color with Buffalo Bill, Cleopatra and other famous figures bought to life through mid-1929.

      3:17 AM: Goodbye Mr. Chips! (the 1969 version) gets the MGM “behind-the-scenes”.

      4:08 AM (Canada): The Story Of A Dress… Debbie Reynold’s in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1963-64)

      6:04 AM (Canada): Third Dimensional Murder (MGM- George Sidney) bw/3D-7+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-March 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.

      Not a short, but worth mentioning. At 6:15 AM, both US and Canada get an airing of a nice retro documentary from 1956, titled Unidentified Flying Objects.

      1:39 PM: Army Champions (MGM- Paul Vogel) sepiatone-11+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-October 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.

       

      Tuesday the 6th

      7:39 AM: Mixed Nuts (Hal Roach/MGM- James Parrott) bw-19+m-(All-Star Comedy)-February 6, 1934

      One of the rarely shown “ensemble pieces” that Roach producd for the musical market, featuring Douglas Wakefield, Billy Nelson, Jack Barty, among others. A zany finishing school is set up for chorus girls.

      7:18 PM (US): The Man Around The House (MGM- David Barclay [Dave O’Brien]) bw-10+m-(Pete Smith Specialty)-December 31, 1954

      This Smithie profiles the typical troubles with “fix it” Dave O’Brien. Basically an excuse to showcase his painfully funny stunts with furniture gone wrong.

      7:53 PM (Canada): Operation Raintree covers the 1956 filming of Raintree County, Dore Schary’s attempt to top Gone With The Wind.

       

      Wednesday the 7th

      8:56 AM: Fate’s Fathead (Hal Roach/MGM- Charles Parrott) bw-20+m-(Charley Chase)-November 17, 1934

      Similar to one of RKO’s Leon Errol comedies (just getting started about this time)… a comedy about potential philandering. Charley is a married man in trouble of flirting with wifie’s gal pal. He stills finds time to belt out a tune "How About Another Cup Of Coffee?" With Dorothy Appleby, Dorothy Granger and Richard Alexander in support.

      5:30 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.

       

      Thursday the 8th

      7:38 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.

       

      Friday the 9th

      2:20 AM: Pat Neal Is Back… in The Subject Was Roses (1968)

      5:00 AM (Canada): A repeat of the Goobye Mr. Chips! promo, followed by…

      Believe It Or Not #2-3 (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- Roy Mack) bw-7+m-(Robert L. Ripley)-December 1931

      A visit with  Tennesee’s backwoods folk, a 128-year old ex-slave in Mississippi and a four-legged duck.

      11:49 AM: So You're Going To Be A Father (Warner Bros. [Gordon Hollingshead]- Richard L. Bare; co-narr: Art Gilmore) bw-11+m-(Joe McDoakes [George O’Hanlon])-May 10, 1947

      Filmed in December 1946 when the Baby Boom was in full swing, Joe is the expecting daddy with Alice (Jane Harker) having a veracious appetite for rutabaga in the middle of the night… but at least “bobby soxer baby” does wind up taking after Daddy.

       

      Saturday the 10th

      1:32 AM: Paris On Parade (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Jack Cardiff) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-July 9, 1938

      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.

      3:33 AM: See Holland Before It Gets Too Big (Netherlands National Tourist Office/Warner Bros.-Seven Arts- Norman Weissman) c-11+m-(World Wide Adventures)-April 5 1969

      Pantomime tale of an artist, his sketchbook, a guitar and his female “muse” visiting the rural side of the country. This follow-up travelogue was released after Warner Brothers-Seven Arts successfully distributed Ciels De Haollande (Sky Over Holland), John Fernhout’s 70mm Cannes festival favorite, in the United States. Robert Klinkert photographed this with groovy music by Dan Barrie.

      5:35 AM: Glimpses Of Java And Ceylon (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-9+m-(Traveltalk)-March 6, 1937

      … modern day Sri Lanka, that is. They don’t show the ‘30s trips through Asia often and these are better filmed that the post-war ‘40s/50s stuff. Just imagine Winton Hoch hauling that expensive and bulky Technicolor equipment at a time when India’s not-too-far-away “Bollywood” (in its early stages) was only experimenting with two-color systems (their first color feature was made about this time, but very few others were released before the ‘50s).

       

      Sunday the 11th

      1:09 AM: Some Of The Best is a 42 minute featurette covering MGM history (1924-49)

      5:20 AM: Delicious Dishes (1950, with Arnold Morris) is a theatrical commercial spotlighting kitchen accessories.

      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.

       

      Monday the 12th

      12:24 AM: A Visit With Debbie Reynolds is a 3-minute commercial for the Jimmy Fund.

      1:55 AM: The Cracked Iceman (Hal Roach/MGM- Eddie Dunn) bw-19+m-(Charley Chase)-January 27, 1934

      The title applies more to Harry Bowen’s character in a delightful musically-timed sequence with Charley, who later spends much of the film’s duration as a school teacher for... surprise!... Roach’s “Our Gang” (i.e. Spanky, Stymie, Tommy, etc.). Also with Betty Mack and Billy Gilbert.

      Lolly Madonna XXX gets the 1972 MGM promotional treatment.

      11:56 AM: Katharine Hepburn gets Joe Juliano’s “Hollywood Hist-O-Rama” treatment (TV spot, 1961)

      1:40 PM: Chile: Land Of Charm (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Winton Hoch) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-October 30, 1937

      Another Technicolor Treat for the FitzPatrick Fanatics. Santiago sure looked different then.

      3:44 PM: Vitaphone Pictorial Revue #18 (Series 2-10) (Warner Bros./Vitaphone Studio- narrators: Maida Severn, Clem McCarthy & Ben Grauer) part c (Cinecolor)-10+m-(newsreel)-June 4, 1938

      Highlights in this human interest news item include beavers (not as pets but pelts), polo and wool manufacture

      7:43 PM: Merry Mirthquakes is a rare, seldom documented, 1953 short featuring Liberace

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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… 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… 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.

      8:07 AM: Master Will Shakespeare (MGM- Jacques Tourneur & Richard Goldstone; narr: Carey Wilson) bw-11+m-(Miniature)-June 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. Followed by a quickie “Hollywood Hist-O-Rama” on Norma Shearer (1961)

      11:52 AM: another Metro promotional for Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) and

      1:55 PM: Debbie Reynaolds gets us to back the Jimmy Fund in 1959

      6:04 PM: Looking At London (MGM- James A. FitzPatrick; camera: Virgil Miller & S.D. Onions) c-10+m-(Traveltalk)-Jun 1, 1946

      Taking a color tour around the wartime rubble by St. Paul’s and the still buoyant Piccadilly Circus.

      11:05 PM: Some Of The Best is a 1944 “featurette” salute to MGM of the last two decades.

       

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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

    • From: Jlewis
    • Description:

       

      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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