Freddie Rich wordlessly conducts his orchestra. They start with an up-tempo "China Boy," with a clarinet and trumpet solo. Then Vera Van sings "I Wanna Be Loved" as a ballad as she sits at her dressing table. Mirrors add to the mood. Two maids help her don an evening gown as she sings. In the next scene, she's with the orchestra, joining the Eton Boys to sing "Little Grass Shack." Halfway through the number, the scene switches to the beach, and she's wearing a grass skirt in place of her gown. The Eton Boys continue with "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," Vera returns to sing "Chlo-e," and the orchestra finishes with "Mardi Gras." Written by
Oops! I can't believe I'm taking the time and trouble to actually comment about a 12-minute, black and white, musical short from 1934 titled "Mirrors." But I am! Some 60-odd years ago, there was a type of music video put out for general public consumption called "Soundies." Once upon a time, I used to believe that the "Soundie" was the progenitor of the "modern" (the last 20+ years or so) music video. I now know, with "Mirrors" and a few others of its ancestral relatives, that there were music videos which predated even the ancient "Soundies." I know that these earliest of M/V's go back to at least the early 1930s and back, probably, to the late 1920s, approximately coinciding with the introduction of sound into movies. Uncovering one of these rare gems has to be much akin to making a rare archaeological discovery. ("Look at what I have unearthed, Dr. Leakey! It's a Freddie Rich M/V from the Musicalzoa Era!" "Fine digging, Tommy. Allow me to reward your hard and productive work with this rock-solid American dime." "Gee, thanks, Doc." But I digress.)
Anyone who can handle this kind of music -- and I most certainly can! -- is in for two surprise treats should they happen to catch "Mirrors": the great Jimmy Dorsey on clarinet and the equally great, albeit tragically flawed, Bunny Berigan on trumpet. Those two gents -- alone! -- made the expenditure of 12 minutes out of my life to watch this M/V well worthwhile.
Now, let's see. Let me name all the people whom I expect to read these comments on "Mirrors." Me. One friend in California. The IMDb "User Comments" censor. And .......... Which is perfectly fine with me. As long as "EYE" know that this little hidden jewel exists, that is all that really matters. To me.
One last thought. A VERY BIG THANK YOU to Turner Classic Movies for retaining, maintaining and occasionally showing half-buried gems such as "Mirrors." TCM really does an old nostalgia buff's heart good.
"Oops! Look what I have just found, Dr. Leakey!"
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