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my new article on ALICE WHITE


Guest dredagain

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PLAYING AROUND, to my knowledge, has yet to be shown on cable TV. "TNT" never ran it in the 80's nor TCM in the 90's or 00's. I have a Videotape of it from a 50's TV syndication print.(sorry, I can't make copies! ) Maybe the only time it was offered was in the early going, when a station would snap up a package of 500 features, good or bad, with some big stars or none. It seems that PLAYING AROUND has a fizzy soundtrack most of the way through, as if the track was made from worn out vitaphone discs. That was good enough when TV was starving for film, but a lesser film that's among the oldest in the lot, and it has an imperfection as well, it would be soon permanantly retired as the film packages got smaller and more selective.

I must disagree about Miss White's musical talents; Her singing in "BROADWAY BABIES" is shall we say, "charmingly terrible". It brings to mind another cutie-pie flapper type who unexpectedly found herself asked to sing, ready or not, Nancy Carroll. If you ever see her efforts in "CLOSE HARMONY" you'll know what I'm talking about.

Also, SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE exists only in a silent form, but the reason for this is that B-picture studios like Columbia (who made this one) went for the small-change 16mm film rental business, and in 1930 very few venues for these films existed with sound equitment, so it only made sense to keep making them in the silent mode, or silentised versions of a talkie film. There are still in existance silent versions of other early Columbia talkies, (THE LOCKED DOOR, MEXICALI ROSE, etc.) but fortunately, the talkie originals still survive too.

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well I've seen PLAYING AROUND at some point because I remember the plot and White's character named Sheba. I assume it was on TCM but who knows.... I have talkie versions of THE LOCKED DOOR and MEXICALI ROSE but yes you are right, my version of SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE is all silent.

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