Todd and Pitts and their singing monkey are out-of-work vaudevillians eating an apple for dinner, when they get a call from their agent telling them to be at the train station in an hour - they have a gig. At the station, they get in a tiff with an egocentric woman who turns out to be the show's star, Anita Garvin. Once on board, they're the victims of a practical joke, and again, Miss Garvin is their bête noire. When it's finally time to turn in, our gals (and their monkey) cause havoc in the sleeping car. Written by
Oh, Miss Garvin, I've something to show to you. Just look at that beautiful ad!
It's terrible! Look at the size of that print. Why you can't even read my name. That sort of thing is alright for Ethel Barrymore or Gloria Swanson. But not for Garvin!
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Here is a rare combination: Jules White and Hal Roach. White, of course, produced and directed comedy shorts for Columbia from 1934 to 1958. Leading Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard, and Joe Besser through over 100 shorts, White's films moved fast and were loaded with violent sight gags. Roach's films were slower paced, relied heavily on sight gags, but were generally warmer and more creative than the Columbia product. This short contains many of White's trademark gags, but misses its mark because of gender. ZaSu Pitts is in Stan Laurel's role and Oliver Hardy's is played by Thelma Todd. With Stan and Oliver, this film could have been hilarious. However, White's gags are less effective when played by women. White's Columbia films with Vera Vague suffer from the same problem. Monte Collins, a favorite of White, has a small supporting role in the film. Here he is before his nose job. It is disconcerting, but still fascinating to see White gags performed on the familiar Roach sets, with Leroy Shield's background music and the darker lighting of the Roach product.
White did not work for Roach. He was, at this time, under contract to MGM, where he made the dreadful Dogville comedies, some droll Pete Smith sports shorts and the Keaton feature, "Sidewalks of New York". Roach, who distributed his product through MGM, must have borrowed White. White was about a year away from his long tenure at Columbia.
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