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  1. Decided to post a few favorites of the 16mm genre that populated schools from the 1930s through '80s, beginning with a few pairings of titles from Encyclopædia Britannica Films ( ) Aesop's "live action" version of THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE (© October 7, 1947) Collaborator is Grace E. Storm, with camera work by Lynwood Chase. The success of this title begot a few follow-ups with the same personnel, such as THREE FOX FABLES (1948) and THE FOX AND THE ROOSTER (1951), neither available online yet. However an animated cartoon version of THREE FOX FABLES was released by Britannica in 1984 and directed by Paul Buchbinder.
  2. Hello, I've been searching for this short documentary film for quite a while and was wondering if anyone can help? It was probably about 2 years ago I saw a WB full color short from the 60's on TCM about about a small sailing sea research exhibition from California, around S. America (or maybe through the Panama Canal), featuring a stopover in Jamaica. From what I can recall it was about 10-15 minutes, it featured fantastic full color underwater views of coral and associated wildlife.
  3. … or at least I would like to see… and, even better, see put out on DVD. Figured I should start a new thread for everybody to join in with their requests. Who knows? Maybe somebody in charge of scheduling actually reads this. Maybe…? Here are TEN Warner Brothers shorties (out of 3900+ released theatrically, both animated and “live action”) that TCM should have no issues airing as long as they can find a good print. (I posted a blog on some of these suggestions a couple years ago on the other forum.) Blaze Busters A Warner-Vitaphone Novelty (sepiatone, 9+ minutes) released December 30, 1950 Robert Youngson; narrator: Dwight Weist The history of fire fighting in the United States as seen in old vintage newsreels, colored in sepia to great effect. Leonard Maltin loved this one enough to mention it in his THE GREAT MOVIE SHORTS (1972), published when prints were still in active circulation. The director, Robert Youngson, became famous for reviving the popularity of Laurel & Hardy shortly after one’s passing with THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY (a rare documentary feature that actually made a substantial profit). Earlier he cranked out a steady stream of nostalgic “scrapbook” docu-shorts for Warner Brothers between 1948 and 1956, along with one feature FIFTY YEARS BEFORE YOUR EYES. Among these were two Oscar winners and four nominees… mostly ignored during TCM’s 21 Days Of February. Nonetheless, I think five of them get shown in rotation on TCM: MAGIC MOVIE MOMENTS, SOME OF THE GREATEST, GADGETS GALORE, WHEN THE TALKIES WERE YOUNG and I NEVER FORGET A FACE. Yet another (curiously not aired) is available on DVD as an “extra” with IT’S A GREAT FEELING (on the TCM Doris Day Collection set). This is the brilliant SPILLS AND CHILLS that showcases dare devil stunts from the 1910s through ‘30s. (I have seen the Doris Day feature once and this “extra” about 30 times.) Apparently most, if not all, of Youngson's shorts were released on VHS in the 1980s through Video Yesteryear, but good luck in finding any of those on ebay. Wild Wings A Pepper Pot (bw, 11+ minutes) released January 24, 1936 Donald R. Dickey; narrator: Gayne Whitman Edited in mid 1935, this vintage "Pepper Pot" highlights rare feathered residents in Layson Island, Hawaii. It was made during a boom period in wildlife documentaries, thanks to the Oscar-winning success of British import THE PRIVATE LIFE OF GANNETS and the Horace & Stacy Woodard's "Battle for Life" and "Struggle to Live" series released by Educational-Fox and Van Beuran-RKO. UCLA has copies of this one; prints were also quite popular as school insructionals in the forties and fifties. Alpine Glory A Warnercolor Scope Gem (CinemaScope, 9+ minutes) released August 3, 1957 Cedric Francis (producer)- André De La Varre; script: Owen Crump; music: Howard Jackson; narrator: Marvin Miller Any widescreen travelogue (and WB produced quite a few starting in 1954) would be well-worth dusting off in this era of bigger screen home-viewing, especially one by Andre de la Varré. I picked this one since it features the some of the same Austrian terrain covered in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and am a bit curious how it compares with Robert Wise. Also it features, as narrator, the Mighty Marvin Miller of radio and UPA cartoon fame. Thunder Beach A Warnercolor Scope Gem (CinemaScope, 9+m) released June 23, 1956 Cedric Francis (producer)- Jack Glenn; narrator: Joe King Another of a series of "Scope Gems" Warner produced. Unlike the others, this one is not a travelogue... but a visit to Daytona, Florida. Credited to Jack Glenn and narrated by Joe King, I'm quite curious to see if any cameras were destroyed in this effort to bring drag-racing to the anamorphic screen. Berlin Today E.M. Newman Traveltalk (bw, 9+ minutes) released August 31, 1932 Malayan Jungles E.M. Newman Colortour (Cinecolor, 9+m) released February 5, 1938 Edited by Ira Genet; narrator: Howard Claney It is fair to say that the E.M. Newman travelogues edited at Warner’s Vitaphone facilities in Brooklyn were not quite in the same league as MGM’s glossy Technicolor offerings with Jimmy FitzPatrick, since these were exclusively in black and white until 1936 before switching to cheap Cinecolor. Yet the few titles shown on TCM (LITTLE JOURNEYS TO GREAT MASTERS, HIGH SPOTS OF THE FAR EAST and a few of the “See America First” entries) are still highly entertaining and educational. The entry on Germany shot just before Hitler took over should have considerable historical interest. Ever the animal lover, Newman makes sure that not just the human residents are profiled. We get to see German Shepherds learn police work with their masters. Among the “Colortours” is a jungle adventure featuring cute critters like the Malayan Chevrotain (Bambi in miniature) and some native sports in action. King of the Everglades A Technicolor Sports Parade (9+ minutes) released September 14, 1946 André De La Varre & Ross Allen; music: Rex Dunn Good ol’ Ross Allen… you know I just can’t ignore him here. TCM features him in one of FitzPatrick’s more (unintentionally) humorous MGM Traveltalks, GLIMPSES OF FLORIDA (1941), in which he milks the rattlers and wrestles his pet gator. (You know… the one usually shown before or after WHERE THE BOYS ARE?) Yet several studios covered either his Reptile Institute or his wilderness bobcat ropings in Coral Springs and the Everglades. Three Paramount “Grantland Rice Sportlights” (sometimes with Ted Husing narrating) were released previously: one also titled KING OF THE EVERGLADES (but released in glorious black & white in 1935), CATCHING TROUBLE (1936, spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000) and A FASCINATING ADVENTURE (1938). André De La Varre made many trips to Florida to keep Warner Brothers well-stocked with Technicolor Spanish moss and palm trees on screen; it was inevitable that he would profile the state’s most popular tourist attraction before Mickey transformed Orlando into a Magic Kingdom. Follow-up to this first WB effort in 1946 was DANGER IS MY BUSINESS (shot in the Everglades, 1950) and a 45 minute featurette with Ross “acting” in DEEP ADVENTURE (1957). All three are worth dusting off just in case TCM decides to salute Birthday Boy on any particular January 2nd. Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd in Sweden A Technicolor Special (20 minutes) released September 27, 1950 Larry Lansburgh, with Edgar Bergen & company Robert Osborne claimed in one TV spot that this one gets shown from time to time and I believe him. Just not in… what?... ten years? It is possible that all of the earlier Edgar Bergen Vitaphone shorties (filmed from December 1929 through May 1937, with Mortimer only in the last one A NECKIN’ PARTY) have aired over the decades, with a few (but not all) making the DVD cut. This color travelogue / comedy was directed by Larry Lansburgh who alternated back and forth between Warner Brothers and their Burbank rival Walt Disney... providing Oscar nominees and winners in the shortie categories for both. (TCM often shows DESERT KILLER and BEAUTY AND THE BULL.) Another memorable color shortie with Bergen & company used to air on AMC long before MAD MEN and BREAKING BAD. This is a Jerry Fairbanks produced short for Paramount called UNUSUAL OCCUPATIONS L8-2 (October 7, 1938 release). Sometime TCM should hook up with Shields Pictures ( ) and start airing some of these, along with “Popular Science” and “Speaking of Animals”. Heck, TCM should get Paramount to dust off their shorties vaults as well. Maybe even Ross Allen can also be saved from vault deterioration. Jungle Terror A Technicolor Special (20 minutes) released November 5, 1949 (reissued to theaters in September 1959) Gordon Hollingshead (producer)- Hassoldt Davis; script & co-director: Owen Crump; music: William Lava; narration: Martin Gabel Filmed mostly in 1947, the reviews in BoxOffice and other periodicals suggest this is a successor to the Depression era adventures of Martin and Osa Johnson, Frank Buck & company and, sort of, a fore-runner to MONDO CANE. Furry and scaly residents of the rain forest are profiled, along with "wild natives" living where "no white man has visited"… also a stop at Devil’s Island, where PAPILLON with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman was set. Hassoldt Davis was a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and loved traipsing through "untouched" jungles and mountains in search of excitement and danger... a bit like KING KONG's Merian C. Cooper, but with a slightly more veracious thrills 'n' chills appetite. One of his books, THE JUNGLE AND THE DAMNED, covers this adventure into French Guiana with Boni guides and meeting a tribe that practices painful "wasp torture". Egad! His second wife, Ruth Staudinger, was the lady-behind-the-camera and, allegedly, she wasn't too happy with the way WB marketed this documentary as a "shockomentary". Later on, she divorced her husband on account of his hardly subtle lifestyle. Not only did he love the usual heavy drinking, but also liked questionable cuisine (i.e. he may have been a little too curious about cannibalism… not that we are certain if he actually tried it in his travels) and tempted "Papa Death" a few too many times for comfort. The Smithsonian Institute reportedly has copies on video cassette as well as much unused footage. UCLA has a nitrate Technicolor print, but theirs is listed as damaged in the second reel. Maybe the wasps got to it? Somebody may need to do some digital "wizardry" here, but I'm betting that there's more than one copy floating around. Perils of the Jungle A Broadway Brevity (bw, 21 minutes) released October 3, 1941 Gordon Hollingshead (producer)- Attilio Gatti; script: Herald Medford; music: William Lava; narrator: Knox Manning Another jungle tale that may (or may not) have been aired on TCM in the past but was eventually forgotten… this "Broadway Brevity" covers a Frank Buck-ish search for the elusive Okapi in the Belgian Congo. Atillo Gatti is the explorer profiled here, out to bring this rare cousin of the giraffe "back alive". The first in a US zoo, Bronx in New York, arrived in August 1937, less than a year after the first giant panda imported from China. Unfortunately "okapi-mania" didn't catch fire as "panda-mania" (a.k.a. swimwear and Walter Lantz cartoons). Gatti boasted a camping bus that provided many comforts of home in the jungles. Like Martin and Osa Johnson’s delightful BABOONA, made a few years earlier, we also get to visit the “happy” pygmies. ***** Five more that CAN be found online (youtube and elsewhere) if you google the titles. (Difficult to upload here.) TCM really hasn’t shown them though… and I bet they would have gorgeous prints to use. Keystone Hotel (murky print) (Big V Comedy, Ralph Staub; 1935) Task Force (murky print) (Technicolor Special, 1943) Beachhead To Berlin (a really nice print floating about) (Technicolor Special, Charles Tedford, 1944) Continental Holiday (Technicolor Special, André De La Varre, April 9, 1954 release, but sometimes dated online 1952) The John Glenn Story (Featurette, William L. Hendricks, 1962)

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