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She Was an Acrobat's Daughter (1937)

An evening at the local movie theater, including a sing-along led by Maestro Stickoutski at he Mighty "Fertilizer" organ, a "Goofy-Tone" newsreel, and the feature, "Petrified Florist," a ... See full summary »

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(as I. Freleng)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Dave Barry ...
Lester Coward (voice) (uncredited)
Sara Berner ...
Bette Savis / Little Oscar / Barking Woman / Duckling (voice) (uncredited)
...
Dole Promise / Hippo / Who Dehr / Stickoutski (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

An evening at the local movie theater, including a sing-along led by Maestro Stickoutski at he Mighty "Fertilizer" organ, a "Goofy-Tone" newsreel, and the feature, "Petrified Florist," a spoof of 'The Petrified Forest (1936)' featuring caricatures of Bette Davis and 'Leslie Howard'. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

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Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

10 April 1937 (USA)  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The list of "Cast Off Characters" for the movie "The Petrified Florist," which goes by too fast to see, reads as so: The Hero... Lester Coward; The Shero... Bettie Savis; Rich Man... John P. Sockefeller; Poor Man... John Dough; Begger Man... Kismet; Thief... Oph Bagdad; Doctor... Jekyll; Lawyer... Ima Shyster (the last five names then repeat endlessly). See more »

Connections

Spoofs Applause (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

A Life on the Ocean Wave
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Russell
Briefly played during the shot of the ocean liner intertitle
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bette Davis & Leslie Howard wander into this Looney Tune and steal the show
11 October 2006 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This cartoon will provide a real nostalgia trip for middle-aged Baby Boomers. Back when old Looney Tunes were routinely shown on daytime television, this one was in heavy rotation. I must have seen it a dozen times as a kid and found the gags funny every time, but then it seemed to vanish into one of those mysterious cartoon vaults someplace for decades until just recently, when it re-emerged on DVD in the third volume of Warner Bros.' superb Looney Tunes Golden Collection. Seeing 'She Was an Acrobat's Daughter' again after all this time is kind of like having a happy reunion with an old friend from grade school who, oddly enough, looks exactly the same and can still make you laugh.

This cartoon doesn't feature a familiar star such as Porky Pig or Daffy Duck, but instead offers a mixed group of animal characters as they attend a matinée at the local movie theater. The humans seen on screen are all caricatures of then-famous personalities such as Lowell Thomas, Leopold Stokowski, and comic Lew Lehr. (As a kid I recognized Lowell Thomas from current news programs and Stokowski from Disney's Fantasia, but Lehr's fame didn't last long after his death in 1950. His caricature pops up in several vintage cartoons but I think he just bewilders most people now.) There are puns galore, and the gags fly thick and fast: theater patrons scramble to change seats to get a better view; a hippo annoys everyone around him by repeatedly getting up and moving back and forth down the aisle; and everyone joins in the singalong and dutifully follows the lyrics that flash on the screen, even when the operator accidentally inserts a slide instructing patrons not to spit on the floor. The highlight is a brief but devastating parody of the Warner Studio's recent hit release The Petrified Forest, featuring cartoon versions of stars Leslie Howard and Bette Davis which, I'll wager, did not amuse the subjects if they saw this short. (Humphrey Bogart was in the original too, but wasn't yet considered a big enough star to be spoofed.) In the end a young duck invades the projection booth, commandeers the projector and turns the cinematic experience into chaos.

The DVD includes a commentary track by animation historian Greg Ford who makes the case that this cartoon marked a turning point for the Termite Terrace guys, the first genuinely loony "Looney Tune" to break the mold of the staid mini-musicals they'd been compelled to produce up to this time. And it's true, this one feels like a full-fledged Warner Bros. cartoon classic, wild and anarchic, fast-paced and full of great gags. I'm glad this little gem finally busted out of the vault and is on the loose again!


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