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snatchngrabster

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  1. Looks like Hal Roach was ribbing his distributor Louis B. Meyer by giving Billy Gilbert's Schmaltz character the first names Louis and Meyer. Meyer was very sentimental and often associated with the "schmaltz" in MGM's films.
  2. I am sure there are good reasons for the recent dearth of Charlie Chase. First, I don't think any of his films were nominated for AAs, hence none were shown during Oscar month. Next, several silent CCs are scheduled for an upcoming Sunday night. So, perhaps the schedulers think he's well represented in the near future (plus the On Demand film for Comcast viewers).
  3. Another web link I found said that by 1937, sound technology in films had improved a lot over 1930 and audiences expected better quality sound than these early films had. That was another reason for updating the musical tracks. That still left the same sound quality on the spoken parts. I don't know if L&H re-recorded any of their dialogue, but it's certainly a possibility. Other changes in these films on re-release may be related to the enforcement of the Production Code starting in 1934. From what I've read, the code existed before then, but compliance by the studios was volun
  4. Looks like I managed to answer my own question. I see on the Vitaphone Project web site that the two versions of the film have completely different background music. My guess would be that the 1937 re-release had an optical film soundtrack, while the original release, naturally, had the sound on disc. Apparently a collector found some original discs from the 1930 issue and these were synched up with the film about 10 years ago.
  5. There must be a story behind the soundtrack to BRATS. First off, how did the original track become lost? How was it found? Finally, what changes were made for the 1937 re-release? Did this have something to do with censorship, or was it the addition of music, or something else entirely? If the film airs in the future on TCM, which soundtrack will be used?
  6. Well, if footage is missing, that could explain my disappointment with the ending. Benchley does not get enough credit nowadays. He was a pioneer in many respects.
  7. I found the Robert Benchley short A Night At the Movies interesting. This was nominated for an AA but by 1937 there was no competition in the shorts category coming from Roach anymore. Otherwise, the nomination would be hard to understand, although Benchley's How To Sleep did win the Oscar the year before (and thus inspired a bunch of "How To" films in his series). There didn't seem to be much of a plot, just a series of disconnected gags. The ending, I thought, was weak and somewhat unexpected- RB wanders outside through the emergency exit, can't get back in that way, then wanders onst
  8. This thread has 550 posts, the great majority on-topic or close enough; the nearest total I see in the Shorts section is 18. People look here and post here and in general stay pretty close to the matter at hand, which is Upcoming Shorts on TCM. Chances are these new threads one person is suggesting would be read by few, replied to seldom if at all. I would like to see a new area where people can post images, as the ones posted here recently really slowed down my browser when loading this thread. Once posted, they continue to do so as long as that page in the thread is accessed- and I
  9. Well, it's still been 35 years or more since I've seen **** For Tat. When I set up my DVR to record it, I failed to notice that the most recent listing was in Central Time format, unlike the previous ones that were listed in Eastern Time. So even though I am in the Central Time zone, I made a one hour correction and thus recorded part of some Gary Cooper movie instead. Boy, do I feel stupid. Looking to see if this film is available on DVD, I see that on Amazon I can buy a 19 minute DVD not formatted to play in the US for just $26.95- such a deal! Looks like it could be another 35 ye
  10. In the Roach shorts, the only problem is he kept trying to replicate the phenomenon of Laurel and Hardy, which of course was not possible. So, in the case of Keg O' My Heart, Billy Gilbert (the fat one) is paired with a skinny actor, even though they don't really have much chemistry together. As to how they were filmed, it's possible they had only a rough sketch of an idea and fleshed it out as they were shooting. If something unexpected happened and it was funny, it stayed in. Maybe some of the dialogue was improvised. The modern equivalent, of course, would be Curb Your Enthusiasm
  11. I love watching the Roach shorts, even when they aren't the greatest. It's illuminating to see a "family resemblance" in all of them. Laurel and Hardy were able to take the same basic building blocks of comedy to another level (often with many of the same actors). Billy Gilbert and Leon Errol had their moments, but cannot carry a whole short in a starring role. So the interest in Service With a Smile is mainly in the chorus girls and the gorgeous period Technicolor. I wish color looked this good in real life!
  12. I watched An All-American Toothache with a twinge of sadness, knowing it was Thelma Todd's last starring short. She really wasn't given all that much to do, and it seemed more a vehicle for her loud and brash co-star Patsy Kelly. Far too much screen time was given to Mickey Daniels and his idiotic Elmer character. It was interesting to see a couple actors who also appeared in Three Stooges shorts- Bud Jamison (uncredited) and Duke York. I read the IMDB entry for the latter and learned he died a gunshot suicide at age 43... how sad. Too bad Charley Chase didn't have his part- they
  13. It's the Mound City Blue Blowers. Here's a page with excellent information, including a discography and audio files: http://www.redhotjazz.com/mound.html
  14. I thought Luncheon At Twelve was a pretty good Charley Chase vehicle, despite the lack of much in the way of a plot. CC and Betty Mack clinch and the film ends abruptly along with the song. CC appeared on the verge of going blackface with white paint on his lips, and actually said "Mammy" at one point in a nod to Jolson. I kept waiting for the guy with the coal ashes to dump a bucket on CC's head, which would have completed the effect. Fortunately, this did not happen, as it would have made the film racially offensive. The song he sang ("Desdemona") seemed ok but not on a par wit
  15. From that link cited below, I was able to deduce that Estelle Etterre/Belle Hare's real name was Eleanor J. Frederick, and she later took on the last name Clough through marriage. At the time of her death (at age 95) she was divorced. Death was listed as due to heart failure caused in part by coronary artery disease, but contributing factors included a stroke, malnutrition, and dementia. It's possible she suffered from Alzheimer's. Based on this it looks like the IMDB entry could be updated with additional information, and the listing for Belle Hare should be folded into that of Este
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