On a desktop with many books, familiar characters in literature (such as Captain Kidd, Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe, and Rip Van Winkle) come out of their books after dark. When the ... See full summary »
On a desktop with many books, familiar characters in literature (such as Captain Kidd, Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe, and Rip Van Winkle) come out of their books after dark. When the book "Minstrel Days" is placed on the desk, the people who emerge from this book put on an old fashioned minstrel show, with comedians, an orchestra, chorus, and dancing girls. Written by
David Glagovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I came across this short one morning on TCM and I was excited to see something of Betty Hutton's I hadn't seen before. The initial premise looked interesting: characters from stories (Cinderella, Huckleberry Finn, Count of Monte Cristo, etc.) interacting and singing. Sort of like a cartoon from the 30s. Unfortunately there isn't much done with this premise. It seems pointless and irrelevant to the story that these people are characters from books. Anyway, the bulk of this short is old corny vaudeville jokes and offensive minstrel schtick. However after the midway point Betty Hutton has two musical numbers that are great and totally steal the show. Not that stealing the show from old fat white guys in blackface doing jokes that were out of date even in 1940 is exactly hard. So see it for Betty but be prepared to fast-forward through the rest.
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