A wacky newsreel shows us a beauty pageant gone wrong, a Jimmy Durante-like judo expert, two victims of the machine age, the horror of preserving beauty, Professor Baggysacks's gyro-copter hat, a push-button-age card sharp and more.





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A newsreel parody. Among the scenes: The champagne spilled christening liberty ships makes the fish drunk; a professor shows us how simple self-defense with judo is by drawing a very complicated diagram; a riveter leaving work in shaky condition; the agricultural college huddles at their football game to plan a victory garden; a skier in Sun Valley skis into a pack of wolves (perusing a centerfold) ; an elaborate set of machinery for cheating at cards works mainly because the victim keeps getting bonked on the head. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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27 April 1945 (USA)  »

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Professor Cracklebone, the judo expert, is a caricature of Jimmy Durante. See more »

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Blackout Gags
18 September 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I have a weakness for the phony newsreel, from the GOODY MOVIES series at MGM with their "Wottafony Newsreels" in the early 1930s through the cartoon versions from Schlesinger in the late 1930s and early 1940s to... well, this one. Their structure was simple: an educated narrator and blackout gags, and on to the next. It's a series of gags and if one doesn't please you, then there will be one along shortly.

There are ten here and some care has been taken to their structure: short ones at the beginning, with longer and longer ones as you go along, ending in a short capper. The modern viewer may have some issues with changes in the past seventy years. Concepts such as victory gardens and the references to Esquire magazine may not be clear without some thought. However, the gags are well executed and another will be along in a few seconds.

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