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Painful and tragic

Author: westernone
7 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The sad circumstances of the filming of this short outweigh any of the qualities of the entertainment offered, but even without them, this is really bad, and even in it's day it was too. It's a plot less revue, showing British emcee Harry McNaughton sharing banter with alleged comedians Si Wills and Bob Carney who join him on stage and heckle him with imbecilic jokes, between intermittent cut aways to a chorus line, lead by blonde Thelma White, minor Broadway star. The jokes that are tossed out are mainly centered on death, like some morbid in-joke. On 10 December 1929, at the Pathé studio in the Bronx, N.Y., a huge curtain above the sound stage caught fire and fell on the set and the people working below. Ten people died, most of them dancing girls. They are still in the completed film. So is the huge black curtain that would kill them within the hour. What Pathé did seems unconscionable, they took the shot footage and re-staged another chorus segment days later in Fort Lee, N.J., and blended it in.(At Ft. Lee they noticeably have a white curtain.) They shot the McNaughton & co. footage separately, and as he doesn't actually introduce Miss White or any of the numbers, it would seem they filmed it without being sure of what they would do with it. When the funny men put on a costume song and dance, McNaughton has suddenly been replaced, as though they couldn't wait another day for filming, and just wanted to get this project over, sloppy or not. One could say it's literally a deadly film, and actually more people died making this dreary bit of trivia than any other American film.

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So tasteless and unfunny

Author: Regina Wolfe ( from United States
30 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Long, drawn out and with unfunny jokes. The thing that makes the jokes even worse is that they do death jokes. The backstory behind this short as the previous poster wrote is that a fire broke out in the studio and killed numerous people, including four of the dancers seen in the short. When the short reconvened to finish filming numerous "death jokes" were added in. Nice finishing touch. Really respectful to the poor people who lost their lives. Even if there hadn't been lives lost, this short would still be unfunny. There's a scene where one of the actors dresses up as Jesse James and does several tasteless gay jokes. Thelma White (of Reefer Madness fame) does a dancing number which is palatable. Avoid this one at all costs.

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