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Blind Date (1953)

5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 13 users  
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Heckle and Jeckle read in the newspaper about a reward offered by a millionaire for the finder of his childhood sweetheart. Since they have a storehouse filled with any kind of costume, ... See full summary »

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Title: Blind Date (1953)

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Storyline

Heckle and Jeckle read in the newspaper about a reward offered by a millionaire for the finder of his childhood sweetheart. Since they have a storehouse filled with any kind of costume, they decide to collect the money by convincing the millionaire that Jackle is his lost love, so Jeckle shows up disguised as a woman---or female of whatever species applied. JUst as Jeckle has about convinced the millionaire that he is a she and his long-lost sweetheart, a slew of impostors walk in with the same claim. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 November 1953 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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What were they thinking?
6 December 2003 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Cross-dressing is a fertile subject for comedy, but I tend to cringe when it happens in a cartoon intended for children. Bugs Bunny's penchant for transvestism is strange enough ... but here in 'Blind Date', a cartoon starring Heckle and Jeckle, we have something even more bizarre: forced public feminisation in a context that's clearly sexual. Didn't anyone at Terrytoons realise that children would be watching this thing?

Heckle reads a newspaper story about a millionaire dog named Horace who is offering a reward for the return of his long-lost girlfriend Dimples. The newspaper has a photo of Dimples, in blonde curls and a frock. Heckle looks at Jeckle, and we see a subjective shot of Jeckle in drag as Heckle imagines him disguised as Dimples. 'Oh, no you don't!' protests Jeckle, but Heckle chases him into a room where Heckle just happens to keep a female disguise handy. (Hmm, no comment.)

Heckle puts a blonde wig on Jeckle's feathered head. Jeckle angrily throws the wig onto the floor, but then Heckle quickly binds Jeckle into a corset which constricts him into a (vaguely) female shape and prevents him from struggling. Next, Heckle puts the wig back on Jeckle, then adds a dress, high heels and lipstick. It's not a very convincing disguise, but Heckle brings Jeckle to Horace's mansion and then turns 'her' in for the reward.

Horace is an anthropomorphised dog, vaguely similar to the Dimwit character of other Terrytoons. Horace is too stupid to notice that 'Dimples' is actually a male magpie, and he keeps trying to kiss this 'girlfriend'. Jeckle clearly doesn't want to play this girly game; he keeps trying to escape or take off his female disguise, but Heckle keeps conniving him into 'dating' Horace. So, here we have one male cartoon character feminising another male cartoon character against his will, and then pimping him to a third male cartoon character. Jeckle obviously doesn't want to be a girl, and he doesn't want to be Horace's girlfriend, but Heckle is forcing him to comply ... and Heckle is clearly pimping Jeckle's 'female charms' for money. This might be a fit subject for an adult comedy, but is this really something that children should be watching?

I'm a Heckle and Jeckle fan, but this is definitely one of their most unpleasant films. Quite a few male-buddy comedies (animated or otherwise) imply a whiff of homosexuality in the buddies' friendship. (Think of those rumours about Bert and Ernie.) 'Blind Date' raises some questions about Heckle and Jeckle, and also puts their friendship on very curious terms. Why would a male cartoon character maintain a relationship with a male roommate who forces him to wear female clothes in public?

I did laugh at one clever and unexpected musical gag. While Horace is pursuing the feminised Jeckle, the soundtrack plays an unnamed marching tune that is often heard in American cartoons during military sequences. Here, the tune was appropriate because of its title: 'The Girl I Left Behind Me'.

Most of 'Blind Date' isn't funny, but the final gag is very funny indeed ... even though it was much funnier when Buster Keaton used it in 'Seven Chances' back in 1925. I'll rate 'Blind Date' 5 out of 10, for its crisp animation (better than usual for Terrytoons) and its good layouts. The scene in which Jeckle morphs into a girl is well done. But, really: what were they thinking at Paul Terry's studio? 'Blind Date' isn't quite as bizarrely transgendered as the forced public feminisation in Bob Clampett's notorious 'The Big Snooze' - in which Bugs Bunny liquefies Elmer Fudd, moulds him into female proportions, and then transports the sex-changed Elmer to the crossroads of Hollywood and Vine - but 'Blind Date' is quite weird. I don't recommend this cartoon for children.


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