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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Elmer is "weally sleepy" and quickly heads to bed. Seconds later,
Sylvester is climbing the fence, sets up a music stand, works on his
pitch with a harmonica....and then starts his opera singing in front of
a beautiful, full moon.
Elmer is quickly at the window, telling the cat to scram. Sylvester continues to literally spit out "Figaro," while dodging objects thrown at him. Each time the cat's singing is interrupted, he comes back with a different kind of song (he has a full repertoire) and torments Elmer from outside and later inside the house. I never realized Sylvester had such a good singing voice! (Mel Blanc, the voice of all these Looney Tunes characters, was unbelievably talented.)
This was terrific; much funnier than I expected.
Best cartoon ever. Has my children in stitches every time they see it,
and they've seen it hundreds of times. Who hasn't been interrupted when
they want to sleep by someone being very annoying?
Great line up of old songs. That's partly why I love these vintage Looney Tunes cartoons, it keeps these great old songs like "You're Just An Angel In Disquise" and "Some Sunday Morning" alive for new generations to discover.
As usual the voices are great. Mel Blanc was a phenomena. Too bad they don't have the intelligence to make cartoons like this anymore. The cartoons today are so vapid and devoid of real charm and humor. This one delivers in droves.
In what seems to have been the only pairing of Elmer Fudd and Sylvester
the Cat, the former tries to get some sleep, but the latter keeps
singing and keeping him awake. While Elmer keeps trying to go after
Sylvester - often pretty violently - Sylvester is always ahead of him.
"Back Alley Oproar" is, if nothing else, an example of the great
results when certain characters co-star. Those guys behind the Looney
Tunes cartoons were never afraid to come up with any wacky thing that
they wanted. I'll admit that I figured out what was going to happen at
the very end before it came, but the rest of the cartoon more than made
up for that. Really funny.
Grease and nails...what a combo.
This is a prime example of a cartoon that is superior to its original
inspiration. This is a remake of Friz Freling's "Notes To You" (with
Porky Pig in Elmer's spot). Warners spent a good amount of their
releases in the 1940's updating and colorizing old B & W classics in
their catalog. Also, they often re-used old gags from other releases,
of which this possesses several 'redone' bits.
However, what raises this cartoon to the level of classic is the inspiration that surrounds the reused material. Virtually all sung dialog drives the action as Sylvester leads a backyard cat concert for the suffering Elmer. The ultimate push for genius status goes to the sequence where Sylvester--fleeing Elmer--hands off his songbook to a strange tabby, who appears for all intents to be a chubby male. His transformation into an operatic soprano (just by flipping the songbook over!)is as inspired as any classic moment in the Warner canon.
The tragedy is that this cartoon missed out on TV immortality by just a few months. The TV deal that Warners struck made for all their cartoons produced before June 1948 to be sold into syndication ("Oproar" came out in March), and reserved the rest for what would become that Saturday morning staple, "The Bugs Bunny Show". Still, it has become a constant presence on the BOOMERANG network, so we should be grateful.
Elmer Fudd is settling in for the night when he's constantly disrupted
by Sylvester cat's singing. Fudd will go to any lengths to get a good
night sleep, which makes the ending all the more funny. This is just
simply a cute cartoon with all the singing and commotion and what not.
It's a remake though which I can't help but hold against this short,
but it's still good for what it is. That being a musical centric
cartoon. This animated short can be seen on Disc 4 of the Looney Tunes
Golden Collection Volume 2 and also features an optional commentary by
My Grade: B-
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Back Alley Oproar" is a hilarious Elmer Fudd/Sylvester pairing
directed by Friz Freleng (who curiously did not seem to care for Elmer
Fudd, at least in his pairings with Bugs Bunny).
Here are some of my favorite highlights from this wonderful cartoon (and if you haven't seen this cartoon yet, DO NOT read any further): Sylvester is very funny in his opening scene as he warms up his voice and sings/spits "Largo al factotum" from "The Barber of Seville" (which was used in other Warner Bros. cartoons such as "One Froggy Evening" , "You Ought to Be in Pictures" , and "Long-Haired Hare" ). He finishes one song by telephoning Elmer, who is just trying to get some peace and quiet, and singing the last two words. The disgruntled Elmer then tries to chase after Sylvester, only to slip down some greasy stairs and run his bare feet on a bunch of tacks. (Without the rapid percussion sound effects during Elmer's slipping down the stairs, the humor of this scene would be much less effective.) And finally, Sylvester ends the short with a sudden jazzy version of "You're Just an Angel in Disguise" (also prominently heard in the Porky Pig cartoon "Kitty Kornered" ), complete with guns, bottles, dynamite and bricks!
Overall, "Back Alley Oproar" is an enjoyable cartoon, proving that the men and women who worked on the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies had put their heart and souls into these films and just had fun doing it.
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
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 successit 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. Sylvestermeaning Mel Blanc, his director Friz Freleng, and his animatorstops 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 mana 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 heshe?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?
I love opera and I love Looney Tunes, so when I heard of Back Alley Oproar, I thought after the wonderful What's Opera Doc and Rabbit of Seville, this is yet another perfect match made in heaven. And so it was. The animation is very good, with lovely backgrounds and the characters are well drawn. The story may be formulaic at first glance but it works really well. Where Back Alley Oproar really works though is in the music, it is outstanding and put to hilarious use. It is not everyday you hear Sylvester singing "Largo Al Factotum", Elmer getting increasingly tormented by Sylvester, and all those cats in heaven singing the Lucia Di Lamermoor sextet. The latter was hilarious especially. Sylvester is on top form here, one of my favourite performances of his, while Elmer is a perfect match for him. And as usual, Mel Blanc is absolutely fantastic, his singing voice here is brilliant. Overall, a complete delight and hilarious. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Friz Freleng's 'Back Alley Oproar' is a fine cartoon with a few flaws. A musical short in which Sylvester keeps Elmer Fudd awake with his singing, 'Back Alley Oproar' features an energetic performance from Mel Blanc as Sylvester, running through a barrage of different songs. For a while it's funny but the cartoon seems to outstay its welcome by a couple of minutes. The song and dance routines begin to grate towards the end. There are also a couple of pacing problems with gags that go on longer than they should, such as the falsetto cat and the final 9 lives revelation. All in all, 'Back Alley Oproar' is a fun but only partially successful cartoon which wobbles along the line between amusing and annoying.
I like it, I thought it was enjoyable film; Sylvester gave us all a
great musical performance; and I should tell you all that this cartoon
is a remake of an early Friz Freleng cartoon "Notes to You" starring
Porky Pig and an unkonwn cat; But in this short,Elmer Fudd is the
I do remember having "Notes to You" on VHS as a kid; but sadly it has been lost over the years; but after watching this short, I found it even better than the other one.The one thing that disturb me, was that dumb-lookin' tabby sang like a GIRL! (like OMG! What the F*** was that all about).
*NOTE* 9/10 Stars for a mediocre storyline and one disturbing sight; but a wonderful performance by Sylvester
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