An old-fashioned "Burlesk" variety show includes the Watson Sisters (live-action, comedy and singing 'I'm Playing With Fire' with the Bouncing Ball) and culminating in a free-for-all of snapping garters. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
I'm Playing with Fire
Written by Irving Berlin
Played during the opening credits
Performed by Kitty Watson and Fanny Watson (as the Watson Sisters)
Also danced by the chorus girls after the Watson Sisters performance See more »
A year before the Production Code enforcement really began, there were lots of sexy movies being produced and the Fleischer Brothers, working for Paramount, did a lot of cartoons with overt sexual content: just think of Betty Boop. So this Screen Song, showing an abbreviated cartoon burlesque show, is right in there, with its black-out gags, its pneumatic chorines -- typified as hippopotami -- and even a stripper. The gags are spot on and the cartoon variations are spot on. There is, of course, a stripper, even though she never gets much nakeder than her Merry Widows.
The live section is the Watson Sisters -- I'm unfamiliar with them outside this effort. They sing the title song, the pretty one as a ballad, the older one as a burlesque in which she is rescued from a literal fire by a fireman named MacGuire.
All in all, a hoot. If you have any interest in cartoons, burlesque or pre-code movies, this is a wonderful short.
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