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  • 2 weeks later...



Tuesday 27 May:

7:13am Short Film: One Reel Wonders: *Sneak Easily* (1932) BW-16 min.



Juror Zasu accidentally swallows a piece of evidence which just happens to be a time bomb.

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  • 2 weeks later...

At last the thread I've been looking for! :)

I've mentioned some shorts elsewhere and checked in this forum, but never saw much activity.

There have been some great ones on lately, including *King for a Day* with Bill Robinson the other night and Laurel and Hardy and a great gorilla in *The Chimp* last week. Not sure how much I'll be able to keep up with the schedule, but for tonight, one with Ruth Etting, *No Contest!* (1934) (22 minutes) at *1:19 am EDT, 10:19 PDT.*

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  • 2 weeks later...

Charley Chase June 21st. 6:40AM - "Neighborhood House". This is Chase's final two reeler for Hal Roach. It was filmed as "Bank Night" a feature length comedy. It previewed badly and was cut down to two reels. Sadly, Chase was let go of the studio he worked at nearly fifteen years.


Don't miss the chance to see Darla from Our Gang as his daughter and Rosina Lawrence as his wife..

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My understanding of the Roach studios situation in 1935 was this:

Hal Roach found that short subjects were a diminishing proposition for him, his competition being from studio-produced and owned SSs like those from Paramount, Warner Bros. (Vitaphone), RKO-Radio, and the newly created Columbia unit. He was even competing with his own distributor, MGM, who were turning out short musicals, travelogues, comedies and general trivia like Pete Smith offered, and even material in color.

For years, Roach wanted his little studio to become a big one that produced features. That year he decided the time had come to end the shorts altogether, save the still highly popular Our Gang series, which nonetheless were cut from two reels to one. The final Laurel & Hardy SS was THICKER THAN WATER in March, the final Thelma Todd/Patsy Kelly was supposed to be in 1936, but Thelma's death provided Patsy with two further co-stars to fill out the remaining shorts Roach had to provide in that series. Charley was also supposed to deliver shorts into 1936.

Everyone was to go on to features; L&H had been doing so for years, Our Gang were put in GENERAL SPANKY, Patsy was put in KELLY THE SECOND, (which co-starred Chase), and Charley Chase would make BANK NIGHT.

It seems that Hal Roach and Charley had a falling out at this time. To complicate things,Chase had become very ill and couldn't make his final short subject. Roach brutally hacked down the unreleased Feature (now retitled "NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE") to two reels, and the contracted-for SS was ready.

I have the impression Roach had a deep and unshakable animosity for Chase, if not outright hatred. I theorize that that may be among the reasons "KELLY THE SECOND" is so brutally chopped down from the "90 nutty minutes" stated for in virtually all publicity materials, to the 57 in it's present state. If you pay attention, Chase doesn't get anything funny to do, and there are scenes where he starts to talk and he's cut off.

Many years later, when Roach was asked specifically why Charley left hm and went to Columbia, he'd bark out, "Charley Chase left me because he DIED!!" in a tone intended to shut you up. And further questions only brought the same illogical, angry insistance. You could feel the rage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ALERT -- Big Bands in Short Subjects in July


This month's TCM highlight is Big Bands in the Movies. Every Wednesday they will be featuring films with big bands. Short subjects showcasing big bands are scheduled after the feature films, early Thursday mornings (some as early as 4:30am). Several shorts are scheduled each week. To get the complete schedule, click on the "month schedule" link at the top of the page. A pop-up window will display the complete schedule, including all the shorts for each Thursday morning. As I write this, the "regular" short subjects are listed through July 5.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's "ok", but I think he made many before and after that were better. I like his shorter shorts better. He sure liked the WW1 angle!!!


Wish they'd dig up some of the Columbia shorts! Someone was very nice and gave me a few of them...I was expecting less than nothing from them, (Thinking since he was gone from Hal Roach, near the end of his life, how good could they be?) and was very surprised by the quality! Charley must have felt compelled to show Roach he'd made a big mistake dropping him....I'd love to see them in sharp prints!

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Speaking of short shorts, here are a couple that might be of interest to folks! At 10:22 AM, est Monday, *Hot News Margie (1931)* starring Marjorie Beebe, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131430/usercomments


And at 10:13 PM, EST Mon, *Crazy House (1930)* a 2 strip technicolor MGM short, with a brief role for Cliff Edwards http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020796/usercomments


I think *Crazy House* has run fairly recently, correct??? I saw *Hot News Margie* on the web, and its a hoot for it's 7 minutes!

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They've run those two all the way back to the "TNT" days. Just why does TCM have such a reluctance to touch the hundreds of Vitaphone non-musical shorts? They have plenty of negs and or prints, and most titles are in existance, they even made prints of them in the 1950's for a huge TV package- but why do they ignore them?

For that matter, why this frustratingly tepid use of the Roach shorts? It's like they have something against anything slightly obscure. Does every minute have to have top stars in it?

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Well, they FINALLY showed "Kelly the Second," so that we could see for ourselves whether it was cute or dreadful or demeaning to Charley or whatever. I'd say, a little of all by moments. No worse than some of the shorts, but not a gem.


Now, if they'll just get around to Lyda Roberti and Kelly, at least the whole Pitts/Todd/Kelly/Kelton/Roberti series will have been shown. Taxi Boys, where are you?



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I thought that this might be of interest to Shorts fans:


TCM / Monday 4 August, 6:00 a.m.

*The Hollywood Revue* (1929)

Sketches and songs give MGM's silent stars a chance to show their stuff in talking pictures.

Cast: Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Joan Crawford. Dir: Charles Riesner. C-118 min.

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Cinecon 44, one of the oldest classic film festivals in the country will be held August 28th thru September 1st at Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Among the over forty films presented will be three films featuring comedy pioneer Charley Chase.


First up is a meticulously restored version of "Tillie's Punctured Romance", which includes recently found footage that hasn't been seen since its original release in 1914. Charley Chase plays a detective and has a sequence with Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand in a movie theater.


Second is a long lost film and the first sound motion picture Charley Chase appeared in, entitled Modern Love (1929). Released by Universal, this film also features Anita Garvin. Chase and Garvin filmed this during the break at the Hal Roach Studios when the compound was closed in order to wire up for sound pictures. This will be the first time since 1929 that the once lost film will be seen AND in 35mm.


Finally, one of the four missing Charley Chase Columbia shorts that hasn't been seen since its original release in 1939 will be shown. The Awful Goof also features Lucille Lund, who played the wife of Boris Karloff in The Black Cat. Screened in 35mm (as are virtually all the films) this is another rare opportunity to see a once thought lost film.


Many features, shorts, cartoons and other rare film will be seen including a two reel remake of Laurel and Hardy's classic Way Out West, this time featuring Max Baer and Maxie Rosenbloom, made at Coolumbia Pictures. Go to the Cinecon website for further information. www.cinecon.org and don't miss this chance to see rare Charley Chase and other amazing films. Cinecon is an annual festival and always takes place over Labor Day weekend. The celebrity banquet is a chance to see at least fifty stars from the glory days and is a big highlight of the festival.


Don't expect to wait for these to pop up on DVD. Film preservation is not done soley so everything can be put out on video. Some things are done for preservation purposes and can be seen the way they were meant to be seen; on a screen. Come join us as we screen rare classics and a few nobody has seen in decades.


Viva Chase!

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I've seen MODERN LOVE by way of a privately owned 16mm print in addition to the print that's to be shown at Cinecon. (niether is perfect, bits are missing in both, though fortunately not the same bits)

In it there are some funny moments, but clearly Charley is a hired actor, at the mercy of the tepid comedy writing skills of the Universal script writers (in this case, Albert DeMond). I forget if this will have the whole parked car sequence or not, that was the comedy highlight. Miss Garvin only has a very few minutes, so she's pretty much wasted. I think it's a case of one will be pushing oneself to laugh because you want it to be better than it is.

Still, it would be nice if it could be completely restored and put out on disc, but where do you begin with Universal? There still are thousands of negatives to their 1920's and 30's shorts and cartoons just moldering away in storage. Anita Garvin shows up in them, and so do many other "Roach" people, performers and writers and directors. They've not been seen in 70+ years. What will ever happen with them?

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  • 1 month later...

I was holding back on the information because it's not a done deal but since a previous poster on the Chase forum mentions it, I may as well post the information.


After years of asking and prodding, I was able to persuade my dearest friend at Sony to do a search for the four unavailable Charley Chase Columbia Shorts. The results were long in coming but the end result was successful. His email three years ago was the most wonderful news I could hope for. There are elements for the "missing four" Chase Columbias and there are negs to the previously available 16.


The rights are still being cleared but, if all goes smooth, the tentative release is scheduled for April '09. I did mention that it would be worthwile to release the Chase directed and/or written Columbia shorts in addition to the starring twenty but this wasn't met with the same enthusiasm. Another idea is to release the non Stooge Stooge shorts (the solo Shemps, Joes and Curly Joes) but this may be released on the final volume of Stooge shorts which could help sales of the "Stooges Joe" shorts.


However, after the tremendous response to our screening of the complete "Modern Love" (yes, it was all there in all its sound glory - the print was so new, it was almost wet) and "The Awful Goof", at Cinecon in Hollywood, the Chase Columbia project is in motion.


With commentaries by myself as well as two others, I've been approached about loaning my Chase Columbia paper archive to the project. It's still in the prep stages so stay tuned.

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  • 3 months later...

2 things, first, I sure hope the downturn in the economy doesn't hurt the chances of that Charley Chase set coming out! (Hearing stuff around the board that some companies like Fox are going to cut way back on new releases)

2nd, I thought I'd mention on the 22nd,(11:32am) after Twentieth Century, the Leon Errol short, *Good Morning, Eve!* (1934) Will be on! I think it's on the Busby Berkley set, but this is funny, sexy, and in beautiful 3 strip technicolor, being the 2nd 3 stripper according to someone on imdb.com

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Well, I cannot be trusted to remember to keep up with this, but perhaps myself and a few others can get back in the swing of this????


Jan 1st

After the 9 PM 9:00am showing of Libeled Lady (10:40am Short Film: One Reel Wonders: *A Day At Santa Anita*, (1937) A Sybil Jason short. According to IMDB reviewer, several guest stars show up including Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler, then Olivia de Havilland with Edward G. Robinson,Frank McHugh, Bette Davis, Hugh Herbert, and Allen Jenkins. On the DVD Each Dawn I Die as well. But, being in color, sounds like one to catch!

A top thoroughbred race horse, Wonder Boy, responds well only to a child. After the girl's father is killed in an accident, she inherits Wonder Boy and becomes his owner, but child authorities threaten to take custody. A familiar story that still holds its sentimental value.

Cast: Marcia Ralston C-18 mins


After MY Favorite Wife...

4:03pm Short Film: One Reel Wonders: *I Love My Wife, But!* (1946) (Dave O'Brien stars and directs)

A short about the various types of wives that one can have and how to deal with them

BW-9 mins


After the 10:00pm showing of Them! (1954) 11:42pm Short Film: One Reel Wonders: *Unseen Guardians* (1939) John Nesbitt narrates this short about Postal Inspection Service, which investigates mail order racketeering; the Underwriters' LaboratoriesBW-11 mins



Jan 2nd after the 11:45am film, Swing Your Lady (1938)

1:03pm Short Film: One Reel Wonders: *Streamlined Swing* (1938) (A Buster Keaton directed short, that he also has a role in)BW-9 mins


Jan 3rd


11:44am(after the 10 AM Film Mystery Street)

Passing Parade No. 19: *American Spoken Here*-All about Slang.


That's as far as the website shows....

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January 2, after *Show People* :

5:20AM *Goofy Movies #9* (1934) No clue...


January 2, after *Spider Baby* :

5:30AM *Festival of Shorts*: *A Way in the Wilderness* (1940) and *Your Last Act* (1941). Both are *Passing Parade* shorts.


January 3, before *Poltergeist* :

5:52PM *The Making of Poltergeist* (1982).


January 4, after *Captain Pirate* :

7:41AM *Captain Kidd's Treasure* (1938). Historical short.


January 4, after *The Private Life of Henry VIII* :

11:35AM *The Merry Wives of Windsor* (1953). MGM Orchestra.


January 4, before and after *The Red Shoes* :

10:19PM *Cavalcade of Dance* (1943). Veloz and Yolanda!

12:48AM *New Shoes* (1936) No clue...


January 5, before *Abe Lincoln in Illinois* :

7:41AM *Lincoln in the White House* (1939). Historical short.


January 5, repeat of *Festival of Shorts* at 5:30AM.


There are more listed on the 6th and 7th, and *You, John Jones!* is on January 15th (YAY!), but I'm out of time...

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Currently, the last short subject listed on the online schedule is for tomorrow (Jan. 7) at 9.01 am--I can't find anything in the days following, through the weekend. Perhaps the person who posts this information to the site is on vacation? Anyway, if there's anyone here who knows what's coming up in the next few days and would care to share the info, I imagine there are a number of us who'd be pretty grateful!

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