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Lambchops (1929) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
October 1929 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
George and Gracie enter an elegant drawing room, looking everywhere for something. Turns out, they're looking for the audience... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
The Jazz Singer – Blu-ray
 (From Scorecard Review. 8 January 2013, 8:34 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Gracie warns George: "I have brains I haven't even used yet!" See more (7 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Murray Roth (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Burns and Allen in Lambchops" - USA (copyright title)
See more »
Runtime:
8 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Burns and Allen received $1,700 for starring in this film. "I'd never heard of $1,700 in my life, especially for nine minutes' work," George Burns wrote in his 1955 autobiography. With dollar signs in his eyes, Burns actively sought out more film work for the comedy duo.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Do You Believe Me?See more »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Gracie warns George: "I have brains I haven't even used yet!", 17 August 2008
Author: wmorrow59 from Westchester County, NY

This delightful Vitaphone short captures George Burns & Gracie Allen in the first bloom of their stage success in vaudeville. The duo made their screen debut in 'Lambchops,' but based on their calm self-assurance before the camera you'd never guess it was their first film. In 1929 they were still young, the act was fresh and the jokes were new—well, fairly new, anyway. The highlight of the routine as performed here is a charming song and dance punctuated with punch-lines, beautifully executed with apparent effortlessness. George & Gracie are sweet and funny throughout, and their comic rapport is a joy to behold.

One of the trademarks of the Burns & Allen TV show of the '50s was George's special relationship with the viewer, i.e. the way he could step out of the action, turn to the camera and address us. It's interesting to find that even here in his screen debut, Burns is aware of the audience, and is already breaking through the fourth wall. The setting for the sketch is a drawing room decorated in high Art Deco style, and the short begins as George and Gracie enter without fanfare and begin to look under chairs and tables, seemingly for some missing item. They're looking for the audience! It's George who first "sees" us, and calls his discovery to Gracie's attention. Once the audience has been acknowledged the team launch into their act, a series of jokes, puns, and similar verbal acrobatics on a wide array of unrelated topics: family, cars, boats, crossword puzzles, and what to do when you jump from a plane and your parachute doesn't open. Gracie drives the routine with her characteristic dizzy dame act—though her genuine intelligence shines through, as it also would for Judy Holliday—while George acts as the calm, sane master of ceremonies, perennially irritated yet strangely drawn to this crazy woman. When they first teamed up George intended to be the comedian while Gracie was merely supposed to feed him the straight lines, but they soon found that her delivery was getting all the laughs. At one point in 'Lambchops' the duo seem to be making an ironic reference to this, when George attempts to tell a few jokes and Gracie keeps stepping on his laughs by jumping ahead to the punch-lines.

Most of the jokes are pretty corny, but the duo punch 'em across anyhow, and then wrap up the act with "Do You Believe Me," a cute song they later recorded. Gracie's dancing is surprisingly graceful, and her singing voice is quite nice; George sounds just like the George Burns we recall from TV talk shows of decades later. When the song is over we expect a quick fade-out, but the team remain on stage with the camera still rolling and no finale prepared, or so they pretend. Once more it's Mr. Burns who first becomes aware of the situation. He calls "us" (i.e. those unseen viewers) to his partner's attention, and eventually manages to ease their way off stage with one more gag. This final bit reveals that comic shtick involving a performer seemingly lacking material and nervously aware of being watched, i.e. the Actor's Nightmare routine, has been around longer than we might think. In any case, 'Lambchops' is a must for fans of Burns & Allen, vaudeville, Vitaphone shorts, and anyone who enjoys seeing a solid comedy routine handled by a pair of pros.

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