Taking after their father, six of the seven offspring of Eddie Foy - who collectively are known as the Seven Little Foys - perform numbers from their vaudeville act. Accompanied by brother Richard on guitar, Madeline and Mary perform a song and dance number, "I Just Roll Along". Moderated by Irving, all six perform a comedy routine, which includes a dance number by Eddie Jr. They all sing "Bye, Bye Pretty Baby" with a few interruptions by Eddie Jr. Accompanied by off screen musicians, they conclude with a dance routine to "Smile" which features solos steps by five of the six. Written by
An early Vitaphone film, this Warner Brothers short apparently was one created using a very complicated system through which an accompanying record was synchronized with a movie camera. There were several serious setbacks for such a system (such as if a film skipped--it became out of sync for the rest of the film plus the records quickly wore out--and 20 showings was the normal life-span of the records) and even though it produced excellent sound, it was eventually replaced. The last of the Vitaphone films were made in 1930, then the studio switched to the standard sound-on-film system.
I was interested in seeing this performance because of the Bob Hope film, "The Seven Little Foys" (1955). It tells the story of a father and his children forming a comedy, song and dance team after the death of his wife. Well, this film was enjoyable..and "Chips of the Old Block" was wretched! The real life Foys were, to put it bluntly, obnoxious and untalented. Why they'd want to dramatize their act is beyond me. They seem to try hard but that might be a lot of the problem--they put so much energy into the act that they come on strong--like Limburger Cheese!! This is definitely NOT one of the shining moments for Vitaphone and their shorts, as it all comes off like some sort of local talent show instead of a showcase for vaudeville talent (which it usually was). I know this film is important historically, but otherwise avoid it--your brain will thank you.
UPDATE: I just re-watched "The Seven Little Foys" and Turner Classic Movies showed this short afterwards. Once again, I found it to be dreadful. The young adults seem to make up for lacks of talent with energy and volume--and they were about as bad as I remembered them.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?