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First Two in the Series
Michael_Elliott27 February 2008
Believe It or Not #1 (1930)

*** (out of 4)

Robert L. Ripley shows off various strange items from a man with eight inch horns coming out of his head to a woman who can read eight words a second. This is the first I've seen from this Warner series and it was pretty interesting, although Ripley's not the best host a film could have.

Believe It or Not #2 (1930)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Robert L. Ripley gets pulled into court to testify that what he says is actually true. Inside the fake courtroom we hear Ripley questioned about various stories including a man in India who held his hands over his head for ten years and the story of a man eating plant. This second short doesn't work as well as the first since we're not shown too much but instead we're just hearing the stories.
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A capsule review of Ripley Short #1 in 1930 from Warner Bros....
Neil Doyle6 May 2009
Not much can be said for the delivery of Mr. Ripley, who comes across as a very shy man not at all comfortable before the cameras with absolutely no presence at all.

He talks first about how his "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" cartoon series in the newspapers got started with the first of his sketches. He shows us a huge framed copy of the first published drawings that appeared in a newspaper under his name which he has on display in his office as a keepsake.

He shows how it's possible to put a living room into a bottle--the kind usually used for ship-maker models and tells how the whole thing had to be done carefully with tweezers and other handmade objects to create the miniature display in a bottle.

A drawing of Albert Einstein bears the caption that he flunked math in school. Amazing.

A fast talking woman reads from a lengthy memo very rapidly (and reads from it equally rapidly) to make the point that she can say hundreds of words in something like eight seconds. You have to hear her to believe it.

A whale that attempts to swallow a "porcupine fish" has trouble getting it down his gullet for obvious reasons. Ripley doesn't show the actual event but does show us his graphic pictures of the poor whale.

A little Chinese boy demonstrates his singing talent with "Hello, My Baby" and also demonstrates that he's no threat to Shirley Temple.

And that's it for the day's oddities.

A shabby little short subject from the Vitaphone people at Warner Bros. which makes you wonder what kind of entertainment audiences expected in the early '30s.

Summing up: Quirky enough but short on real entertainment value.
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