Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Meet the Champ (1933)
Great start for the initial entry
Meet the Champ is the first of six Paramount comedy shorts starring Walter Catlett and Eugene Palette.
Phil L. Ryan produced this series for the 1933-34 season.
Del Lord directs a great cast which includes beautiful Dorothy Granger and future Oscar winner Walter Brennan as a stuttering announcer.
Brennan would repeat his stuttering bit in this series second short Sailors Beware.
The plot: Carrying a suitcase marked the Champ, Eugene goes to the fair to compete in a cow milking contest. Side show barker Walter and his protégé Dorothy mistakenly think he is a fighter and want to manage him all the way to Madison Square Garden.
Alpha Video has released the first two shorts on DVD. This series is a must see for comedy fans. Hopefully the other four will soon be found and made available.
Wedding Belles (1931)
Fun with Lloyd Hamilton in his last starring role
Erroneously dated as 1931, this Lloyd Hamilton 1934 poverty row budget comedy may be his last starring role. He died January 19, 1935.
The newspaper shown in the film is the LA Evening Herald. It has an NRA seal with the headline 3 LA KIDNAPPERS GET LIFE. May 28, 1934 is the date published.
Plot has Lloyd in pursuit of his girl aboard ship. Dad wants her to marry a different suitor. There are some classic Hamilton moments especially with Arthur Housman and Gertrude Astor.
The question arises if WEDDING BELLES was ever released theatrically.
In the early 1940s, 16mm prints were struck for rental on this evasive title.
Don't miss an opportunity to see this film.
Note: The Museum of Modern Art list this title in their inventory, but are unable to locate the print when asked to view it.
The Diplomats (1929)
A 1929 Review of a lost Fox short.
This 1929 review on a lost Fox sound short contains SPOILER info.
The Diplomats are Clark and McCullough in a Fox two-reel talking comedy. Aboard an ocean liner bound for furrin* parts, these two funny fellers become involved in a political situation having to do with one of those mythical kingdoms. There is a beautiful Princess-in-distress played by Margaret Churchill, a new and very personable Fox find. There is a Menace played by Andre Siguerola with a hefty beard and his usual suavity. And there is a Grand Duchess capered through by Cissy Fitzgerald, who is too grand for words. Clark twirls his agitated cigar and wisecracks his way into the secret service of the little kingdom. His curious and censorable* mission is to extract a political document from the very grand bosom of the Grand Duchess. In order to achieve this scoop, Clark makes overtures to the G.D., during which process he dances the Brooklyn Shake with her. You'll shake when you see that bit if you have any reflex action. It's a riot. He likewise induces her to shinny a chandelier and other gymnastic feats. The coy Grand Duchess thinks she is reducing. She is amorous and skittish. She does reduce, by one document. The Kingdom is saved.
NOTE: Most of the early Fox negatives were lost in a fire and modern reviews are impossible to do. Only 16mm prints of THE BELLE OF SAMOA and WALTZING AROUND are known to exist in private collections at this time.
* These words appear here as spelled in the original review.
Toot Sweet! (1929)
Early Ham audience pleasing talkie.
The Lloyd Hamilton Talking Comedies was Educational Pictures A series that had higher budgets than any of their other 1929-1931 productions.
Since the other reviewer detailed the plot, I won't repeat it here.
Judging recent audience reaction, Ham carries his silent bag of tricks successfully in spite of the primitive sound transition.
His temperamental date is effectively played by Lena Malena. Charley Chase fans may recognize her as the doctor who wrestles him in the 1931 Hal Roach comedy "Thundering Tenors".
Ham's car purchase; the date pick-up; trying to dance before the music stops are three of many highlights.
"Toot Sweet!" is a fun short that is worth viewing.
The Bath Between (1928)
LOST film was distinctly good comedy short.
In the December 1928 Moving Picture Review and Theater Management, I found this review of a LOST Fox Movietone talking short. SPOILER ALERT.
Distinctly good comedy short, based on Clark and McCullough's act originally done in the New York Music Box, and than nationalized in Vaudeville. Twenty minutes' watching of the screen prove once again - remembering the original use of this playlet - how highly variete in America ranks, as purposive intelligence of construction goes, above the average offered on the legitimate stage.
Bobby and Paul act the parts of two hams who are swept out of a vaudeville house. In search of a night's lodging, they worm their way into a hotel room and trick the occupant out of room and bed. Clark takes the bed and McCullough retires into the tub of the adjoining bathroom which also has a door to the next hotel room. Paul departs snoring into slumber land, while Carmel Myers enters the "bawthroom" and melodiously arouses Clark's curiosity or what have you. Hence, as soon as she goes back to her room, Clark nobly wakes Paul and puts him into bed, planning to take the tub himself. The sudden arrival of the lady's husband, who is a vaud. "strong man," gives rise to many truly comical incidents. The upshot of which is that the married couple are locked in the bath between, while the two actors are safe at least for a night.
The action moves with admirable precision every second. Both acting and gags provide a vast amount of laughter for the audience. Direction fine. This short can't fail you, if the projectionist can handle a good sound film properly. Under these circumstances, the picture will make money in any community with a population of two or more bipeds.
NOTE: Fire destroyed the early negatives in the Fox vaults. C&M's WALTZING AROUND and THE BELLE OF SAMOA are known to exist in 16mm.
Giuseppe Verdi (1925)
Interesting short enhanced with 1929 music and sound effects.
Travelogue Producer James A. FitzPatrick started making short films in 1925. Giuseppi Verdi is from his first series - Famous Music Masters.
In 1930, FitzPatrick reissued these shorts with music and sound effects. Nathaniel Shilkret and his Victor Concert Orchestra provide a great score which enhances this documentary of Verdi's life.
The actors were not billed in the 1934 tinted print viewed.
The title is simply "VERDI", not GIUSEPPI VERDI.
This rarely seen series would interest those who enjoy classical music as well as film buffs who would like to view James A. FitzPatrick's earlier film work.
The Newlyweds' Pests (1929)
Amusing final entry
The Newlyweds' Pest is the final entry in the 2 reel silent 1926-1929 Universal-Stern "Newlyweds and Their Baby" series based on George McManus' comic strip.
Gus Meins directs the basic plot of the kid raising mischief wherever he goes.
Raymond Ganly's 7-20-1929 Motion Picture News review states: "Snookums and the Newlyweds should amuse the average movie-goer who passes through the doors of the neighborhood theater."
The main cast includes: Joe Young (Robert's older brother) as Mr. Newlywed; Molly Malone (who worked in several Arbuckle-Keaton comedies) as Mrs. Newlywed in her last known film appearance; and Sunny "Jim" McKeen as Snookums.
When Stern quit making this popular series, Universal decided to produce a new group of 10 sound Sunny Jim shorts featuring the youngster. Check out my review on the first one "Baby Talks".
A tragic note: Sunny McKeen died of Blood Poisoning at the age of 8 on April 2nd 1933.
Sailors Beware! (1933)
A Precode Slapstick Gem
Dorothy Granger with her group of thieves are out to get a winning lottery ticket at any cost from two sailors (Eugene Palette & Walter Catlett).
From pick-up to Eugene's near seduction to a riot on the Hollenbeck Park Lake is a slapstick gem that hits all the marks for hilarity.
Del Lord directs this Phil L. Ryan produced Paramount short, spiced with precode dialog and visuals.
Look for future Oscar winner Walter Brennan as a stuttering chauffeur in the gang.
Note: 1. Hollenbeck Park is the same location that Laurel & Hardy's MEN O'WAR was filmed 4 years earlier.
2. The Laurel & Hardy Cuckoo theme is used in the opening scene.
There were 6 Palette-Catlett Paramount shorts made and this is the only one I have been able to locate and screen.
The Cape (2011)
Great cast in a dark comic book crime drama
Family man Vince Faraday(David Lyons) is a cop framed for a murder by master criminal Chess(James Frain). With the law in pursuit, he is believed dead after an explosion.
A group of Carnival people find and train him to become his son's favorite super hero. As THE CAPE, he tries to reclaim his identity and his world.
Great casting down to the smallest part.
Bear McCreary's excellent music score reminds me of the 90's series "The Flash".
"The Cape" is a great show with future potential in up coming episodes.
I hope the network gives it a full season to prove it.
Baby Talks (1929)
Interesting Curio from the Dawn of Sound
Baby Talks is the 1st of 10 sound on disk Sunny Jim 2 reel comedy shorts. Universal released it on September 11, 1929.
I had Reel 2 restored to DVD from a 1930s show at home print to check out this obscure series. Unfortunately, Reel 1 (picture only) has yet to be found.
The plot: A young couple have an argument on the way to a party. A Magician played by Charles King entertains but the tricks are duplicated/exposed by Sunny Jim.
From an early talkie perspective, I found it interesting to see the editing of actual sound film being matched mid sentence with sped up dubbed silent footage.
Both head and end titles use baby sounds. The dancing music cues used are "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" and "Kansas City Kitty".
Five year old Mckeen has some funny moments, but this was to be his only sound series. He died at the age of 8 on April 2, 1933 in Los Angeles from Blood Poisoning.