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William A. Wellman
George K. Arthur,
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A small boy in a tuxedo, using a comic voice imitating Jack Benny, introduces several numbers performed by children. The curtain parts for each act, the stage behind the curtain is deep and narrow: a couple doing an adagio dance, with touches of ballet; three girls singing and tap dancing; a soprano singing light opera; an acrobatic tap dancer; and, a parade of preschoolers. Gus Edwards wrote most of the music; Waggner and Cobb wrote the lyrics.Written by
There is a gimmick to this film that is not at all obvious unless you know something about early sound films. The whole purpose of this short film was to spoof the Hollywood Revue of 1929 made a few months before this short. That film had Jack Benny - he wasn't even 39 yet - introducing various acts in the style of a vaudeville show to prove that MGM had the talent that could perform in talking pictures. The kid emceeing this short is supposed to be imitating Jack Benny as he performed in that film. That is the reason for his strange speech and behavior. Even the art deco style of the Hollywood Revue is being copied.
The film has all child actors, and I'm not sure what the reason is for the sepia tone. They had two strip Technicolor at the time. Maybe they were aiming for something between the high cost of Technicolor and plain old black and white. At any rate, if you love the experimental nature of those old shorts, I'd say give this one a try. It certainly is not boring.
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