It's hard to know under which short I should have posted this review. The exact same title is listed twice--once for 1928 and once for 1929 on IMDb. I think they somehow inputted the information twice and gave it two different copyright dates. My first inclination was to assume the 1928 date was the correct one since Talkies had already been around for a year. However, when I noticed it was a film by MGM (the last of the studios to switch to sound), I realized that the 1929 date could just as well be correct.
This short, like so many experimental early shorts, consists of no dialog--just musical performances. In this case, the duo of Gus Van and Joe Schenck perform individually and together. Together, they worked really well and their songs were most agreeable. A few of the songs seemed very ethnic in nature and might offend those easily offended--but you have to respect Van and Schenck's skills. I assume they were a vaudeville act that would be long forgotten had it not been for this film.
Overall, typical and very pleasant...but certainly NOT a must-see film for anyone but film historians and nuts like me!
UPDATE: I bought a DVD set of early MGM shorts and there are indeed two different Gus Van and Joe Schenck films...with the exact same title and it's impossible to figure out which is supposed to be which! One features them singing "Pasta Vazoola" and "Hungry Women" and the other "Chinese Firecracker" and "Way Down South in Heaven". The film featuring "Pasta Vazoola" is missing about the first 20 seconds of sound. The "Chinese Firecracker" film is very scratchy-- especially the title card. I still have no idea WHICH film is which as neither carries a copyright date, but they are VERY similar...very, very similar.
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