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That pirates used to sail off the coast of California around Catalina is a good excuse to hold a pirate themed party on the island. The centerpiece of the party, which is attended by a cavalcade of Hollywood luminaries, is a musical comedy revue emceed by Pirate Captain Chester Morris, and backed up musically by Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and his California Cavaliers. The party guests are wearing pirate costumes, and all the acts in the revue have a pirate and/or nautical theme. Written by
If you're a fan of Catalina Island as i am, you'll really enjoy this MGM short. Buddy Rogers' band is set up on the front of the late, great Hotel St. Catherine, which burned to the ground decades ago, and is now the Descanso Beach area and campgrounds. The great song, AVALON (Catalina's main tourist village), plays in the background. An earlier review already mentioned some of the mid 30s most famous stars, supposedly sitting near the water taking in all this entertainment, who squeeze out a smile for their day's wages. Chester Morris is rather annoying and way overdone as the blustery captain, but Becky Burgess is leggy and delectable as she and Johnny Long sing a nice little ditty, SMOOTH SAILING. The humor is 30s corn, but this is a time capsule, so that's forgiven. I always take this to Catalina with me to watch in my room at the Hotel Atwater (not shown here, but was in business at this time) and get a good feeling knowing this whole short was shot within two blocks of my snug little room. If you're going to Catalina this summer, first check out MURDER ON A HONEYMOON w/ Edna May Oliver, a splendid comedy/ mystery (also shot on the Island) and YOU'RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE, the second ANDY HARDY movie where the Judge's family head to Catalina for vacation. Over and out!
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