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Back Alley Oproar (1948)

Approved  |   |  Family, Animation, Short  |  27 March 1948 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 489 users  
Reviews: 14 user

Sylvester sings opera and popular tunes while standing on a back alley fence; Elmer, who wants to sleep, tries to thwart him.

Director:

(as I. Freleng)

Writers:

(story), (story)
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Title: Back Alley Oproar (1948)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sylvester (voice)
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Storyline

A weary Elmer Fudd retires to bed with hopes for a good night's sleep, but his slumber is disrupted by the incessant singing of Sylvester Cat, who is perched atop a fence beneath Elmer's window. Fudd resorts to increasingly violent methods to try to silence the pesky feline. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Konzertaner Katzenjammer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To silence Sylvester, who is "singing" late at night, Elmer heaves a book at him, which Sylvester promptly throws back. The book Elmer tosses is titled "The Thin Man". The book Sylvester throws back is titled "Return of the Thin Man". See more »

Goofs

After Sylvester puts Elmer to bed after singing him a lullaby only to wake him up again with a loud one-man band display, he escapes out a door with Elmer chasing him. When Sylvester goes out the door, the door knob is on the right side of the door, but when Elmer reaches the door, the door knob is on the left. See more »

Quotes

Elmer Fudd: [has Sylvester at gunpoint] Now I've got you, and I'm gonna wub you out compwetwy.
Sylvester: Now just a minute, my fine feathered friend. Ain't you got no aesthetic sense? No ear for musical appreciation?
Elmer Fudd: No, and I'm gonna bwow you to smitheweens.
Sylvester: [singing] Go to sleep, go to sleep...
Elmer Fudd: [getting sleepy] Stop it.
Sylvester: ...shut your big, blood-shot eyes...
Elmer Fudd: Now you stop that.
[falls asleep]
See more »

Connections

Remake of Notes to You (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Carissima
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur A. Penn
Sung by the Female Cat
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Formulaic cartoon that's all the better for its formula; Sylvester gives his best performance, Elmer is an excellent straight man; plus: a hilarious cameo from an unnamed cat
27 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sylvester the cat is one of the great, underrated performers. He's certainly underrated by Elmer Fudd who only wants a good night's sleep, not a late-night opera from a caterwauling cat. Elmer's shoe to the cat's noggin ends the kitty's Rossini performance. But that unkind gesture makes the red-clown-nosed kitty mad; and for his next performance he clomps up and down the stairs doing Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody."

This means war. Elmer throws books at him, ties him up, feeds him alum and tries to blow him up with dynamite. The kitty retaliates with a greased staircase, a floor full of thumb tacks for Elmer's bare feet and a surprising ability to chase him into the hereafter.

Meanwhile, a tabby cat with an unexpectedly beautiful female singing voice, becomes an unwitting participant in this mess. "You Never Know Where You're Going' Till You Get There" sings Sylvester; and that proves true for him, the tabby and especially Elmer.

Warner Brothers cartoons prove again and again that following a formula does not inhibit success—it creates it. A cat that sings all night and keeps some poor sap awake? It was done before; it was done later. This remake of "Notes to You" (1941), which starred Porky Pig and an anonymous cat, stands out not because of a novel premise. It stands out because it's very, very funny.

As the cartoonist Greg Ford says in his DVD commentary track ("Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two," Disc 4), this is Sylvester's finest hour. Sylvester—meaning Mel Blanc, his director Friz Freleng, and his animators—tops his work with Tweety, Speedy Gonzales and certainly Sylvester Jr. It's a great musical-comedy performance worthy of Danny Kaye (and worthy of Daffy Duck's imitation of Danny Kaye in "Book Revue" (1946)). It's so good that somehow we side with him over Elmer, even though he's completely in the wrong and Elmer is totally in the right.

Elmer is an excellent straight man—a thankless job, as Bud Abbott, Dean Martin and countless others will tell you. We also get a hilarious cameo performance from an unnamed orange cat who looks too stupid to sing like Jeanette MacDonald. But he—she?—does. Thanks for the laugh, unnamed kitty.

NOTE: Beware of censored TV prints that cut out the scene where Elmer walks over the thumbtacks with his bare feet. Why was it cut? Did someone worry that kids would imitate Elmer Fudd and walk over thumbtacks themselves?


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