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VINTAGE EXPOITATION FILMS-DISCUSSION


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Thanks slaytonf!

 

It IS indeed a thread!

 

-----

The support from the readership and the posting community has been most gracious, as reflected in the high hit count. Also the exploitation filmography thread is running at a high ratio (40:1) of hits to submissions, meaning that whatever is posted, is most definitely being read by a number of people. I don't do this for money of fame. If people enjoy my work, that is all the reward I need.

 

To look at the exploitation filmography thread with full film feature links, go to Your Favorites:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161844&tstart=30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

 

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Hello Cigarjoe!

 

I have received a message from you asking about a *film list to the exploitation threads.* I always respond to private communications from this community privately. In your case however, the question you ask is worth responding to publicly.

 

*Go back on this thread 4 pages from the present, to the posting date of Jan 23, 2012 9:55 PM. There you will find a hyperlinked list of 206 films that have been posted to the filmography thread. Just click on the title and you will be jumped immediately to the video source!* I've done everything I could to "lead the horse to water" (to use an old expression) and to make it easy for him to drink!

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To those new to this discussion, I have made the unusual step of separating the topic into two threads; one in *Your Favorites for the filmography*, *(which comprises mostly complete film links.)* and this thread for discussion. I anticipated the scope of the project from day one, and did not want the film links to be buried and obscured by comment. Given that just the discussion side of this subject has garnered 9,000 hits and the film link side even more, I think it was a good decision.

 

 

 

This thread has a lot of film link content not on the filmography thread, viz., shorts and film segments.

 

To view the exhibits and submissions for the filmography thread, go to:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161844&tstart=30

 

 

 

*(Should any of the links no longer be available, kindly let me know and I will try to find and post a replacement!)*

**

 

 

 

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*Comcast has added the Cuban Love Song (1931) to it's list of On Demand free TCM Movies!* I want to commend TCM for providing this choice!

 

I've referenced this film a few posts ago when it aired on TCM:

 

 

 

*The Cuban Love Song (1931)*

*Posted: Apr 21, 2012 1:29 PM*

 

 

 

Upon second viewing, I saw the Cuban percussion orchestra playing various instruments in close-up shots. One of the percussion instruments was the long jaw of what looked like a crocodile, struck with a stick! The film is a lot of fun for it's music alone. To be able to play it like a video has it's advantages.

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  • 1 month later...

 

TCM is about to show *Plane Crazy (1933),* a 20 minute short mentioned earlier on this thread when I did a *Bubsy Berkeley* tribute. Start time will be at 7:54 AM central time. This is a rarely seen short!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=ThelmaTodd wrote:}{quote}

> TCM is about to show *Plane Crazy (1933),* a 20 minute short mentioned earlier on this thread when I did a *Bubsy Berkeley* tribute.

 

Actually, it's not the same film.

The short mentioned earlier as part of the Busby Berkeley tribute was PLANE NUTS the 1933 MGM short starring Ted Healy and his Stooges. The one TCM showed Saturday morning was PLANE CRAZY a 1933 Vitaphone short starring Dorothy Lee and comedians Arthur and Morton Havel.

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  • 2 months later...

incubus-5.jpg

 

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You'll have more than that when she gets to you!

 

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Shatner hauling his no good demonic lady-love over the church threshold- for her own good of course!

 

 

 

 

TCM is offering *Incubus (1966)* as a new entry in its *ON Demand (under free movies)* menu with Comcast. I have posted this film to my other thread: *VINTAGE EXPLOITATION FILMS-FILMOGRAPHY:*

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161844&start=60&tstart=0

 

(On page 5)

 

 

 

The link I provided has been withdrawn, and so to view the full lenth 74 minute film, go to:

 

 

 

 

This very visual and atmospheric film (shot in Big Sur, California) depicts a nightmarish world. One isn't sure what decade or time the story is supposed to be set in- (because it wasn't meant to matter)

 

At the heart of it is the notion that evil spirits can use seduction and sex to lure the living and to thereby claim them in this life and the next. They also drain your life force through sex. Ladies are seduced by a male incubus, the men by a female succubus.

 

 

 

I can't believe they got the man who would become "Captain Kirk" on Star Trek to appear in this. (He must have needed the work at the time.) They shot this film in Esperanto, a synthetic language that combines words common to Indo European languages. The dialogue sounds like a mix of Italian, French, Spanish and German words. I have no idea what the producer was thinking, except that the phony language adds to the surreal effect of the film. The subtitles are in English.

 

 

 

I think that how one feels about the paranormal can really affect your viewing or appreciation of this odd and unique film. Those who follow the field of paranormal investigation would find resonance in some of the film's themes and images.

 

Most unusual is is the suggestion that a fallen, shadow/demonic entity can still achieve redemption by calling out for it. The idea that the damned may not be so eternally, that they may still have an "out" or "switch sides", is unconventional and potentially troubling to the devout theologically.

 

 

 

The film is suggestive and graphic in that it depicts a rape by the devil in the form of a goat.

 

=================================================

 

Dear musicalnovelty,

 

Thanks for your correction! Your knowledge and occasional corrections are appreciated!

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Thanks for reviving this thread ClassicVintageMovies! Just 11 posts so far, and you are on my love list! Feel free to contribute other suggestions and exhibits!

 

In the book: "*Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History Of Exploitation Films 1919-1959 (Duke University Press 1999) by Prof Eric Schaefer* of Emerson College, classic era exploitation films usually center around several genres or themes:

 

atrocity

burlesque

drugs

exotic

glamour

nudism or nudity

sex hygiene

vice

 

In Appendix 2, he has a list of these films that goes on for 41 pages! And brother, I have googled every one of them for availability as part of my research for this project!

 

There is a great deal more on the filmography thread, whose link has been provided below.

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If you are talking about books, I want to bring the title of this book, I don't know if it is about Expoitation, but because nudism is related to expoitation I will write it

 

 

It is (*Cinema Sex Sirens*) by Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer ... It list many actresses from the golden age, especially 60s and 70s.. it is full of great pictures... It is available to order from Amazon US and Ebay.

 

 

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Hi ClassicVintageMovies!

 

 

That book looks like a good film title reference for further film links! So many of these kinds of films were made that no one list of exploitation/camp/grindhouse flicks can possibly be complete! Multiple research sources are needed (and a butterfly net!) in order to round up a large number of these doggies!

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  • 2 months later...

barbarian9_zps94f08196.jpg

 

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The famed nude bath scene.

 

 

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They call this kind of flick "Pre Code" for a reason!

 

 

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Novarro the servant (unbeknownst to her), lingers in the background watching her do this. She often has to cover herself in defense of her modesty throughout the picture. As the man who knows no boundaries, an atmosphere of voyeurism permeates the flick, of which the film viewer is made part.

 

 

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It all started with him being her servant...

 

 

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Given the mores back then, how could this mixture have a happy ending?

 

 

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Last Friday on TCM, they showed *The Barbarian (1933) with Myrna Loy and Ramon Novarro*. This film was a remake of the silent movie version, "*The Arab" (1924)*, also starring Novarro and Alice Terry.

 

 

 

Several "alerts" went off upon viewing, which caused me to share it with the readers on this thread. The racy and suggestive pictures posted above give one indication; clearly a "pre code" flick. The famous nude bath scene and others, would not have been allowed under the Motion Picture Code of 1934 the year after this film's release.

 

 

Another alert was the revival of Valentino's "wild-man-of-the desert-who-keeps-the-woman-in-line-with-the-whip" ethos. (Novarro does indeed put her to the whip in this one.) "Spare the whip, spoil the woman" seems to be the very un PC message. Such domination and **** imagery struck quite a nerve with women filmgoers in the 20's, as it helped make the "Sheik" quite a star. A publicity still shows Loy holding Novarro with the end of the whip wrapped around his neck, but the picture actually has those roles quite reversed. Also, when Novarro finds a watering hole in the desert and Loy rushes to drink, he teaches her desert manners and says: "First the horse drinks, then the man, then the woman!". A rude reminder that she's not in California!

 

 

Novarro plays a native Egyptian "dragoman"; Loy the rich white tourist. He starts off as her humble and obedient servant, but then proceeds to have much bigger ideas! He woos and pursues her relentlessly throughout the picture. He has the further effrontery to do this when she is already engaged to one of her race and class. The man does not take "No!" for an answer! Her avoidance of, and yielding to his charms takes many turns throughout the film, as she stoically remembers her place and attempts to maintain the racial "firewall" that would have been expected from a woman of her ethnicity and station in such circumstances.

 

 

The prevailing mores of the time could not allow such inter-racial romance in films to consummate itself in marriage. The women audience goers could sigh throughout the film that this love could not have a "happily ever after" ending when the "The End" notice came up! They knew, because they had seen other such stories in contemporary films; Cupid always crashed and burned through over reach when the possibility of miscegenation was afoot! However they were spared in this one; when Novarro abducts her for the last time towards the end and she yields to the inevitable, she confesses to him that "My mother was Egyptian...". Aha! She has the "blood" after all! That one line was the saving device, the plot trick that allowed for the happy ending that no one suspected was coming. It's OK folks!

 

 

In the 1930's cinema, Egypt was depicted as a romantic and exotic setting. Story book depictions right out of the Arabian Nights were the norm. It was a place one read about or only saw in the movies; certainly true for the dream struck shop girls and housewives who made up a big part of the film going audience. Few people could afford to go there before the age of air travel, and films treated it as oriental exotica.

 

 

In one scene Novarro has her captive in the desert and she desperately offers him 1,000 British pounds to take her back. That would have been $5,000 US (1933) or the purchasing power equivalent of $85,000 today! Novarro was too fired up with desert passion to go for it; not interested lady! See my thread in the *Your Favorites* forum on this website entitled "*Money In The Old Movies*", for a fuller discussion of the current value of monetary amounts mentioned in old movies:

 

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161743&tstart=15

 

 

*The nude bath scene*:

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbHYoWBLUjM

 

 

*Ramon Novarro sings Love Songs Of The Nile, from the Barbarian*:

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a delightful and rich sounding orchestral version of the film title song, by *Adrian Schubert and His Orchestra*, recorded in May, 1933:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could find no complete upload of this film on the internet to share with the readers. It's quite an unforgettable picture, so you may want to have TCM send you an email reminder of when it's going to play again!

 

 

I apologise for the numerous reposts done for editing purposes. (Got to do it while I can!) A post this loaded and tricked out involves a lot of revision due to formatting, content and links! :)

 

 

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Message of the film: All things fun end badly!

 

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Having worked as an extra, I can only imagine what a farcical atmosphere must have prevailed on the set during these shoots. Go nuts, go wild lady!

 

 

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Lillian Miles having her big cinematic moment, with Dave O'Brien urging her to "play faster!" Although most of the actors in this film appeared in other productions, they seem to have achieved their maximum recognition before posterity by their participation in this one! Note the fluted Art Deco piano, which would be a valuable collector item today.

 

 

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Dream on!

 

 

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The mad malt shop pianist getting his inspiration!

 

 

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Dave O'Brien (Ralph) absolutely steals the show with his crazy guy act. It had to be his laugh, which never fails to kill the audience whenever they screen this film! Perhaps one of the more memorable performances in cinema. Although poor Dave went on to other bit roles, today this is what he is best remembered for.

 

 

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The inevitable bad trip; the horror of it all!

 

 

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The fights break out. More reminiscent of another popular albeit legal drug.

 

 

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Dorothy Short. That's Mrs. David O'Brien to you! Working on this film together had to be a unique bonding experience; the two got married the year this film was made!

 

 

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By all means! "Tell Your Children" was the alternate title to the film. (Of all the images posted above, this is the only one that does not move.)

 

 

 

TCM had made *Reefer Madness (1936)* available through the *On Demand feature for Comcast* subscribers! (Under Free Movies/ TCM) On Demand offerings are temporary and last about 6-8 weeks.

 

 

For those that don't have that provider, here is the film in a complete upload from archive.org:

 

 

http://archive.org/details/ReeferMadness_479

 

 

Here is a colorised version:

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny5SUdLIBV4

 

 

The colorising has a surreal looking effect, reminiscent of early two strip Technicolor films. Colorising does seem to highlight certain details by providing more contrast.

 

 

This film is likely familiar to those who frequent this thread. Widely shown over the years as a bona fide cult film classic on college campuses, art houses and the midnight movie circuit. It has become enshrined in popular culture and memory as the ultimate vintage camp classic. Rather than inspire people to stay off the stuff, it's had quite the opposite effect; adopted by the pot movement as an example of ignorance about the subject masquerading as knowledge. In the 70's it was widely seen by the young as yet more proof that the older generation just doesn't know what it's talking about.

 

 

Lost for years, Reefer Madness was rediscovered in a paper print form at the Library Of Congress and rereleased in the 1970's. It became an instant perennial hit. (The discoverer reportedly paid $297 for a copy to be made.) Lord, had the people who originally made it have only known what a future gold mine they had, they and their heirs would never have let the copyright lapse!

 

 

Over the years some persistent urban legends have grown up around this film. Often repeated is the claim that newspaper magnate *William Randolph Hearst* secretly financed the picture; others hold that Federal Bureau Of Narcotics chief *Harry Anslinger* was behind it. There is no convincing evidence for this. Hearst is accused by his critics of having an agenda besides selling papers, namely that he was in cahoots with petrochemical interests to suppress the competition posed by industrial hemp. Hearst's newspapers did indeed sensationalise the subject of marijuana at the time, often playing on lurid stories of black users going homicidal. Similar stories were presented by Anslinger before Congress and on the radio and in the press. It's certain that Hearst and Anslinger created a climate that helped sell the film and to make its claims credible. To a general public unfamiliar with the drug, it all sounded frightening, and played on racial fears as well. The result was the passage of a federal law against the weed in 1937.

 

 

Likely *Louis Gasnier*, the producer, was encouraged by the successes of pioneering exploitation producer *Dwayne Esper*, along with other competitors. There was good money to be made in presenting this subject!

 

 

*Edward LaSaint* played the judge in this film, and often played a judge character in other 1930's films, including an appearance in the *Three Stooges "Disorder In The Court" (1936)*. The boys do a washboard and spoon version of a swing tune also used as background music in Reefer Madness. Go figure.

 

 

Given that depiction of, and references to drug use was prohibited under the Motion Picture Code of 1934, the making of a film like this fell to independent produces like Louis Gasnier. The exhibition of such a film was a grey area of the law, causing the producer to travel light and prepared to blow town with the film can on a moments notice! Municipalities had broad latitude to censor films and even prohibit their showing based on varying interpretations of local obscenity and morals laws. The US Supreme Court would not weigh into such matters until many years later in the 1960's.

 

 

There were risks of course, but business was brisk and profitable, as the public had a strong vicarious fascination for independently produced movies that cared not a whit about that Motion Picture Code when it came to sex and drugs.

 

"Today the movie that critic *Leonard Maltin* calls "the granddaddy of all 'Worst' movies" still commands a loyal audience on the cult circuit. Amazon.com ranks it No. 35 on its list of 100 bestselling cult-movie videos,"- Boston Globe.

 

 

Others jumped on the lucrative bandwagon, as evidenced by two other independently produced anti-pot films made at the time: *Marihuana; Weed With Roots In Hell (1936) and Assassin Of Youth (1937)*. (The word was often spelled with an "h" in the 1930's)

 

 

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All the marketing tricks were used!

 

 

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"Thousands turned away!" That these kinds of films did a lively business is well attested to in the above picture. For the exhibitor the problem was not the money, which obviously rolled in, it was staying out of jail on some local obscenity or morals charge, coupled with confiscation of the film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marihuana (1936)

 

 

http://archive.org/details/Marihuana-the_Devils_Weed

 

 

Full movie

 

 

*The Assassin Of Youth (1937)*

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-95Iy6Uz0g

 

 

Full movie

 

 

*Thelma White*, who played co-dope dealer in this film as "Mae", went to head her own all girl big band in the 1940's called *Thelma White And Her All Girl Orchestra*. These women swinged (swung?) in the best style of the era! Check them out on these youtube links:

 

 

thelmawhite_zps6a8f7f27.png

 

 

*"Hollywood Boogie"*

 

 

 

 

 

*"Take It And Git!" (1946)*

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8uwUy7flcc

 

 

Here's Thelma 6 years prior to her Reefer Madness appearance, singing and tap dancing to a suggestive tune where she sings about "make your sweetie groan!"

 

 

*Eddie Elkins and His Orchestra featuring Thelma White (1930)*

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv2i-xleQnY

 

 

Thelma and her talented crew joined and toured with the USO during WW2, where their act I'm sure was much appreciated by the servicemen! Ms. White lived long enough to witness the resurgence and cult popularity of her 1936 magnum opus. She admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 1987 that *"I'm ashamed to say that it's the only one of my films that became a classic"*. *"I hide my head when I think about it" she said, adding that it was "a dreadful film"*- Boston Globe. Passed away at 94 in 2005. RIP "Mae"!

 

 

Again I ask the indulgence of the community for the numerous reposts done for editing and content addition. This post was quite a production, and even the best directors don't get it all on the first shoot! :)

 

 

 

The other Thelma!

 

 

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*ThelmaTodd said...*

 

 

*Edward LaSaint* played the judge in this film, and often played a judge character in other 1930's films, including an appearance in the *Three Stooges "Disorder In The Court" (1936)*. The boys do a washboard and spoon version of a swing tune also used as background music in Reefer Madness. Go figure.

 

 

 

 

 

====================================

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That tune is called "Push 'Em Up" composed by Howard Jackson. There is no "master list" but over my years of researching incidental film music I have compiled a listing of 33 different films in which that tune is used, all between 1933 and 1939. It has been played in all sorts of different versions, but never with lyrics - I suspect there never were words to the tune.

 

 

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Hi musicalnovelty!

 

You are awesome like always! I knew you had identified that tune for us once, but I forget where and on which thread. I appreciate the heads up. That song was used in at least one if not both of the other reefer exploitation films I mentioned: *Marihuana (1936) and Assassin Of Youth (1937)*. (If you liked RM, you'll like those two films!) You are a good record keeper and researcher; I knew it was used in many films, but did not know it was as many as 33! They didn't have the expression "open source" back then, but use of that tune had to be virtually royalty free as so many studios resorted to it, including independents like Gasnier. I don't believe that was common for film music back then, unless it was in the public domain.

 

The tune can be heard at point 22:25 into the black and white version link posted below. A very catchy swing piece!

 

 

Did you check out *Thelma White* and her girl band? They rocked and sounded awesome! She could make a bigger splash as bandleader than as bit player.

 

 

Like you, I'm fascinated with the incidental film music of that time. I pick them up for piano, (including Push Em Up, which never fails to impress!); listeners are pleased by the novelty of hearing music so different from today's norms!

 

 

Thanks for posting!

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Thanks for the nice words!

 

 

For years I had wondered what the title of that tune meant - "Push 'Em Up". Being an instrumental, there were no lyrics to give any clue. But not long ago I heard the expression in some old film. Someone said it instead of "stick 'em up" like in a hold-up. So apparently it is just another way of saying "stick 'em up".

 

 

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disorder1_zpsa6fc089e.gif

 

The "boys", performing Howard Jackson's "Push 'Em Up"; a tune much circulated throughout 1930's films, including Reefer Madness.

 

disorder4_zpsd22aa885.gif

 

 

Edward LaSaint, the same man who played judge in Reefer Madness. LaSaint appeared in quite a number of films at that time in the role of judge. The studios must have liked putting out the casting call to him when such a part was called for, as his appearance seemed to fit the popular conception of a judge; more like a Judge Wapner than a Judge Judy!

 

 

disorder3_zpsbc434c39.jpg

 

 

I'll have to ask the indulgence of the site moderator on this one, on historical grounds relating to classic film! Curly did indeed do this in "Disorder In The Court", under the pretext of removing his chewing gum! (Appears at 13:00 minutes into the film.) Proof that the Stooges and their scriptwriters "slipped in" whatever they could get away with! This gesture has occurred in other TCM shown films from the era.

 

 

Hi musicalnovelty,

 

 

The bouncy, upbeat swing sound of "*Push 'Em Up*" (used in *Reefer Madness*) inclines me to think the title reflected on a dance style of the period, where the dancers would raise and throw their arms with palms up, usually on an accentuated beat and high note. In the case of "Push 'Em Up", that moment would be the high note on the upbeat, at the end of the bar in the main riff. I've seen this dance in other TCM shown 30's films. It was a variation of swing dancing. It was done only intermittently and bears resemblance to today's "pump it up!" gesture.

 

 

*Howard Jackson*, the composer, is an enigma. On imdb, he is listed as having composed music for 407 films (!). After each listing is the word: *(uncredited)*! How could he be such a prolific creative contributor to so very many films and yet throughout his whole long career avoid screen credits?! (Today, even the grip and his assistants want and expect screen credit!) People live and die for screen credit in that business, as it is an important resume enhancer and bargaining chip in salary negotiations.

 

 

What that suggests to me is some loner (not uncommon for creative people), a free agent unconcerned about money and who avoided talent agency representation. Maybe he was one of the cranky ones who disliked the "Hollywood game" along with it's "10 percenters"! Who knows? Almost nothing is known about the man, save for his birth and death dates and the long roll of his uncredited work. He probably eschewed the rigamarole of getting copyrights as well, as evidenced by "Push 'Em Up" being widely used by studios and independents alike. It had to be in the public domain, as it was often used by low budget film makers.

 

 

The coincidental (?) parallels between Reefer Madness and the Three Stooges' *Disorder In The Court (1936)* have caused some to jump to conclusions about the Stooges being more "hip" than commonly thought! Same judge character (played by *Edward LaSaint*), same year and same musical tune. (Some have even suggested that these give clue as to the real source of "inspiration" for their comedy!) It's all speculation, but the similarities are amusing!

 

 

Here are the links for viewing Disorder In the Court. The tune Push 'Em Up occurs at 7:42 into the film, with the "boys" performing while a woman disrobes in the court and does her period style "hotcha" dance! Curly slipping in the finger gesture occurs at 13:00!

 

 

 

 

Full short

 

 

The colorised version, in two parts:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C--fiTlbWiI

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Hi jamesjazzguitar,

 

Musicalnovelty is very knowledgeable! I appreciate feedback and he has caught me in a few factual errors concerning music in the past. It has inspired me to keep my game tight as a drum when posting facts and information around here! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

An interesting aside to *International House* is that the [Long Beach Earthquake of 1933|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1933_Long_Beach_earthquake] occurred during the filming. Some footage survives of W.C Fields with fellow actors Sari Maritza and Stuart Erwin caught in the trembler during a scene shoot, although the authenticity of the footage has been questioned:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnivoUFzTuE

 

An interesting 17 minute long silent documentary, made shortly after the event, documenting the extensive building damage around Los Angeles:

 

 

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