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Pete Smith comedy shorts

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Are the Pete Smith comedy shorts available on DVD?  Particularly interested in those with Dave O'Brien.  Tried to search the internet and TCM Store.

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I'd like that.  O'Brien's appeared in so many of those and TCM has shown so many of those Pete Smith shorts featuring O'Brien I'd think it's high time TCM gave him his own day of different films from his widely diverse filmography.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

I'd like that.  O'Brien's appeared in so many of those and TCM has shown so many of those Pete Smith shorts featuring O'Brien I'd think it's high time TCM gave him his own day of different films from his widely diverse filmography.

Sepiatone

HEY! Now THAT'S kind of a cool idea here, Sepia!

Now, the only problem I can with this thing would be if some people decided to get high and smoke a little of the ol' wacky weed while watching these Dave O'Brien films.

And because THAT of course might lead them to begin getting all worked up and manic like Dave did in that one notable cautionary tale he starred in about smokin' the stuff.

Uh-huh, kind'a just like Dave here...

Faster.JPG

...they could begin to yell out somethin' like, "TCM! Play the movie FASTER...FASTER!!!"

(...and we certainly wouldn't want THAT to happen, now would we?!...and so, perhaps some kind'a "parental advisory" might be in order before they show his movies in this tribute?...just sayin')

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Dargo said:

HEY! Now THAT'S kind of a cool idea here, Sepia!

Now, the only problem I can with this thing would be if some people decided to get high and smoke a little of the ol' wacky weed while watching these Dave O'Brien films.

And because THAT of course might lead them to begin getting all worked up and manic like Dave did in that one notable cautionary tale he starred in about smokin' the stuff.

Uh-huh, kind'a just like Dave here...

Faster.JPG

...they could begin to yell out somethin' like, "TCM! Play the movie FASTER...FASTER!!!"

(...and we certainly wouldn't want THAT to happen, now would we?!)

 

 

It was quite the eye-opener for me when I realized that it was the same bloke in that cautionary tale as was in the many short films. I've always suspected that more people might have been turned from the demon drug, if they'd gotten A Smith Named Pete to narrate that movie as well...

;)

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I'd like that.  O'Brien's appeared in so many of those and TCM has shown so many of those Pete Smith shorts featuring O'Brien I'd think it's high time TCM gave him his own day of different films from his widely diverse filmography.

I'm sorry, Dave.  I'm afraid I can't do that.

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Here is a DVD inventory along with some pre-"Specialties" Smith (like the Goofy Movies series), all "extras" to features unfortunately. No, there is no Pete Smith Collection put out by the Warner Archive yet. However the feature movies are often included in many Spotlight Collections with other titles and other short subject "extras".

Ain’t It Aggravatin’ (w/ O'Brien) / The Long, Long Trailer

Audioscopiks  / A Tale Of Two Cities (Flat Version, not 3-D)

Crashing The Movies  / Nancy Goes To Rio & Two Weeks With Love

Curious Contests  / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 2 (& TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends - Esther Williams Vol 2) with Pagan Love Song

Did'ja Know?: Have You Ever Wondered #3 (w/ O'Brien) / Summer Stock

Fala  / Lassie Come Home

The Fall Guy (w/ O'Brien) / Hit The Deck & Kismet

La Fiesta De Santa Barbara / Classic Musical Shorts From The Dream Factory (Warner Archive) & For Me And My Gal

Flicker Memories  / The Big Store

Goofy Movies  / Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume Three

Goofy Movies #2  / Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection

Goofy Movies #3  / Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection

Goofy Movies #4  / Sadie Mckee

Hollywood Daredevils  / The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (& TCM Greatest Classic Legends) with Girl Crazy

Hollywood Scout  / The Clock

How To Hold Your Husband Back  / The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (& TCM Greatest Classic Legends) with Babes On Broadway

I Love My Husband, But! (w/ O'Brien) / Without Reservations

Let's Cogitate (w/ O’Brien) / Battleground

Marines In The Making / Random Harvest

Menu / Morning Glory (Katharine Hepburn Collection)

Movie Pests (w/ O’Brien) / Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

Musiquiz  / Royal Wedding & Belle Of New York

Now You See It / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 2 with This Time For Keeps

Penny Wisdom / Prisoner Of Zenda

Pest Control (w/ O’Brien) / The Stratton Story

Quicker Than A Wink (Quicker 'N A Wink)  / Go West & The Big Store

Reducing / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 2 (& TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends - Esther Williams Vol 2)

Seeing Hands / Du Barry Was A Lady

Sports Oddities  / That Midnight Kiss & Toast On New Orleans

Strikes And Spares  / Treasure Island (1934)

Sure Cures (w/ O’Brien) / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 1 with Easy To Wed

Swing High  / Night Flight

This Is A Living?  / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 2 (& TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends - Esther Williams Vol 2) with Dangerous When Wet

Those Good Old Days (w/ O’Brien) / Madame Bovary

Water Trix  / TCM Spotlight Esther Williams Vol 1 (& TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends - Esther Williams Vol 1) with Neptune's Daughter

Wedding Bills  / The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (& TCM Greatest Classic Legends) with Strike Up The Band

Wrong Way Butch (w/ O’Brien) / Nancy Goes To Rio & Two Weeks With Love

You Can't Win (w/ O’Brien) / The Pirate

 

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My favorite O'Brien bit has him showing how he puts on his hair piece. Very carefully glues and hooks it on. Then he goes out of his apartment, gets into an elevator. Next stop, door opens and a woman gets in. Dave goes to tip his hat and....."Oh no," says Pete, "no corny gag like that in one of my pictures!"  Next a kid comes in with a fishing rod and a line with a hook. The hook dangles perilously close to the end of Dave's divot. But no snare. Then the elevator door opens, another lady gets in and Dave tips his...TOUPEE! Wonderful.

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

HEY! Now THAT'S kind of a cool idea here, Sepia!

Now, the only problem I can with this thing would be if some people decided to get high and smoke a little of the ol' wacky weed while watching these Dave O'Brien films.

And because THAT of course might lead them to begin getting all worked up and manic like Dave did in that one notable cautionary tale he starred in about smokin' the stuff.

Uh-huh, kind'a just like Dave here...

Faster.JPG

...they could begin to yell out somethin' like, "TCM! Play the movie FASTER...FASTER!!!"

(...and we certainly wouldn't want THAT to happen, now would we?!...and so, perhaps some kind'a "parental advisory" might be in order before they show his movies in this tribute?...just sayin')

 

 

This harks back to my senior year in college. Reefer Madness was all the rage for midnight showings. The fuzz would actually show up hoping to bust somebody. Boy, it was really fun watching this with a full house.

After that I started noticing Dave O'Brien in these Pete Smith Specialties. I own one on a DVD-'can't remember which one;  it was about a young couple getting engaged and getting married and having all these modern Gadgets in the kitchen.

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It would be a tough choice for me between throwing myself out the window of the top floor of a skyscraper or watching an entire DVD's worth of Pete Smith shorts.

G'bye now!

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14 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

 I'd think it's high time TCM gave him his own day 

 

HMMmmm.....

With all the following reference to O'Brien and his appearance in "Reefer Madness"  one would have thought this line would have gotten more focus.   HMMmmmmm....

Mention of "reefer" followed by loss of focus.........    :o  Ah-HA!   B)

Sepiatone

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32 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

HMMmmm.....

With all the following reference to O'Brien and his appearance in "Reefer Madness"  one would have thought this line would have gotten more focus.   HMMmmmmm....

Mention of "reefer" followed by loss of focus.........    :o  Ah-HA!   B)

Sepiatone

So that's what you meant by...

14 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

...it's high time TCM gave him his own day of different films from his widely diverse filmography.

Sepiatone

Could make for an interesting addition to the TCM stores - Turn on (your telly), tune in (to a classic movie) & drop out (with a selection of mellow blends from the Counterculture Club)...

Actually, if you go by the filmography page for O'Brien, you probably could make a day of his stuff - I hadn't realized that he'd done so many features in addition to the Pete Smith shorts. And going by Pete's page, he's probably got enough material to run his stuff end-to-end for an entire day as well.

*steps left to dodge a rapidly descending sewhite2000*

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3 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Pete Smith is good but I still prefer Joe McDoakes behind the Eight Ball shorts. Lol

All the way. I like the Pete Smith shorts well enough (if they are featuring Dave O'Brien).

But the Joe McDoakes shorts were, for my money, the funniest series put out by any of the studios. The humour could be pretty broad, at times, but the shorts were good natured and sometimes had the fun of spoofing a film genre, such as So You Want To Be A Detective.

George O'Hanlon was a lot of fun in the lead, and I had a bit of a thing for Phyllis Coates, one of the three actresses who played wife Alice in the series (the series director/creator Richard Bare was briefly married to Coates - they parted amicably and still continued working together). Clifton Young (remember him trying to blackmail Bogie in Dark Passage?) was also a hoot as various obnoxious characters in poor Joe's life.

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Count me in as another Joe McDoakes junkie. I especially love the ones with Frank Nelson "ooooohhhhhhhh" and "yyyyyyeeeeezzzz". I can't help it, but every one of those makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, even when they aren't out and out funny. Everybody is so lovable.

The O'Briens are fun too, if less innovative. What I find interesting is that he started dominating the Pete Smith Specialties right around 1944 or so, when Movie Pests was Oscar nominated. The 1943-44 MGM season saw the final crop of Robert Benchley one-reelers and "Our Gang" shorts with Froggy and Buckwheat, so it was now Dave's turn to be the studio's short subject laugh-getter, competing with the animated Tom & Jerry, Barney Bear and Droopy.

Speaking of cartoons, the McDoakes had to compete with Bugs, Daffy, Porky & the gang over at Warner. Even Elmer's "voice" Arthur Q. Bryan appeared in a couple. That may have helped them maintain their high quality.

I also like the Columbia comedies, the Stooges both with Curly and Shemp included, and RKO's Leon Errol and Edgar Kennedy shorts of the 1940s as well even though many plots tended to be recycled. I am more partial to the Leon ones since he is constantly getting into trouble with women.

 

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1 hour ago, Jlewis said:

Count me in as another Joe McDoakes junkie. I especially love the ones with Frank Nelson "ooooohhhhhhhh" and "yyyyyyeeeeezzzz". I can't help it, but every one of those makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, even when they aren't out and out funny. Everybody is so lovable.

The O'Briens are fun too, if less innovative. What I find interesting is that he started dominating the Pete Smith Specialties right around 1944 or so, when Movie Pests was Oscar nominated. The 1943-44 MGM season saw the final crop of Robert Benchley one-reelers and "Our Gang" shorts with Froggy and Buckwheat, so it was now Dave's turn to be the studio's short subject laugh-getter, competing with the animated Tom & Jerry, Barney Bear and Droopy.

Speaking of cartoons, the McDoakes had to compete with Bugs, Daffy, Porky & the gang over at Warner. Even Elmer's "voice" Arthur Q. Bryan appeared in a couple. That may have helped them maintain their high quality.

I also like the Columbia comedies, the Stooges both with Curly and Shemp included, and RKO's Leon Errol and Edgar Kennedy shorts of the 1940s as well even though many plots tended to be recycled. I am more partial to the Leon ones since he is constantly getting into trouble with women.

 

Since we're now talking about comedy shorts, in general, may I put out a big plug for those produced in the early '30s at the Hal Roach Studios. Now, as opposed to the Pete Smiths and Joe McDoakes, these shorts were two reelers (approximately 20 minutes, perhaps a little less).

Laurel and Hardy were the "kings' of Roach, of course, in both popularity and lasting fame. They made 40 for that studio during the talkie era before Roach decided to put them into feature films which I, for one, think began their gradual decline as a great comedy team (with a few of their features as exceptions). The most legendary of their shorts has to be The Music Box, depicting the boys efforts to push a wooden box with a music box inside up a giant flight of stairs. (Those stairs still exist today, by the way).

533518482_2a15639dd9.jpg

But also at Roach was another comedy great, less celebrated than Stan and Ollie, in Charley Chase, who produced some very strong comedy shorts for the studio, with such titles as Manhattan Monkey Business (a very funny short set in a night club), Four Parts (in which Charley played four different roles) and Poker at Eight. After leaving Roach Chase would move over to Columbia for a series of pretty good comedy shorts there, as well, though not quite up to the same level as the Roach short subjects. While at Columbia Chase would also direct the Three Stooges in a few of their comedies.

manhattan_monkey_business__still_2___ric

Also at Roach, during the early talkies were the Boy Friend comedies, the Taxi Boys (Ben Blue and Billy Gilbert), as well as 38 shorts featuring funny, sexy Thelma Todd (who had co-starred well with Charley Chase previously, not to mention Laurel and Hardy and, of course, Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers and Monkey Business), 17 of those shorts co-starring her with ZaSu Pitts and the later 21 with Patsy Kelly. I think the ones with Kelly might have a little more bite due to Patsy's loud mouth comic delivery. The Todd and Pitts and later Todd and Kelly shorts were an attempt by Roach to make a female Laurel and Hardy team, so to speak. While they can't compare to Stan and Ollie the best of them still have their entertaining moments.

C1vUFH7XUAACi_8.jpg

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I was watching some vintage early 30s Laurel & Hardy just two days ago. My heart was taken by the "Our Gang" series, but I have seen virtually all of theirs as well.

Of course, my above post involved the "declining years" of the comedy short subject, just before either the passings or retirements of Leon Errol (1951), Gil Lamb (RKO's final star, 1952), Pete Smith/Dave O'Brien (1955), Joe McDoakes (1956) and the Stooges (Flying Saucer Daffy shot December 1957). (Virtually all of the theatrical shorts put out by the major studios between the late '50s through early '70s were in three categories: sports reel, travelogue and animated cartoon.) Of course, television killed off these series, along with the 13 chapter serials, for good and Hal Roach had the last laugh as a prolific producer of a great many small screen sitcoms "circa" 1948-1960 that were roughly the same 20-25 running time as his pre-1938 efforts thanks to TV commercials.

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I have often wondered why the Warner Archive did not put the Pete Smith specialties together on disc. Is there any collection of the talking shorts from Roach studios? That would be a blast!

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52 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

I have often wondered why the Warner Archive did not put the Pete Smith specialties together on disc. Is there any collection of the talking shorts from Roach studios? That would be a blast!

The 40 talkie shorts of Laurel and Hardy have been wonderfully brought to DVD, along with some foreign language versions of the shorts which can have extra bits in them unavailable in the English versions, in the 10 disc Laurel and Hardy: The Essential Collection. All of their Roach feature films are included as well (Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, etc.). It's pricey but well worth it for fans of Stan and Ollie. The only thing missing, unfortunately, are their silent shorts from this impressive collection.

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To the best of my knowledge, though, there are no Roach DVD collections available of either Charley Chase (although all 20 of his Columbia shorts are available) or Thelma Todd/Zasu Pitts/Patsy Kelly.

By the way, Robert Benchley's shorts have been released by Warners Archives. I'm not certain if the Pete Smith shorts have been, though.

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15 minutes ago, TomJH said:

The 40 talkie shorts of Laurel and Hardy have been wonderfully brought to DVD, along with some foreign language versions of the shorts which can have extra bits in them unavailable in the English versions, in the 10 disc Laurel and Hardy: The Essential Collection. All of their Roach feature films are included as well (Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, etc.). It's pricey but well worth it for fans of Stan and Ollie. The only thing missing, unfortunately, are their silent shorts from this impressive collection.

$_35.JPG?set_id=8800005007

To the best of my knowledge, though, there are no Roach DVD collections available of either Charley Chase (although all 20 of his Columbia shorts are available) or Thelma Todd/Zasu Pitts/Patsy Kelly.

By the way, Robert Benchley's shorts have been released by Warners Archives. I'm not certain if the Pete Smith shorts have been, though.

I have the Laurel and Hardy set. I was looking for the ones with Charlie Chase, Zasu Pitts, Patsy Kelly, and Thelma Todd that were made by Roach. I do not think such a set exists.  I also have the Benchley shorts. I am fairly certain the Pete Smith shorts are not in a single collection. Thanks for the info though, TomJH.

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