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Category Archives: Short Subject

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Celebrate with Jackie Cooper, Clark Gable, and others in “The Christmas Party” (1931)

How does child actor, Jackie Cooper, host a Christmas party for all his football buddies when his house is too small?

Well, with a handy connection to MGM and some sweet-talkin’ to Norma Shearer, Hollywood stars of the 1930’s come out to help celebrate in “The Christmas Party” (1931)!

You’ll see a young Clark Gable serving chow and chatter to the team.

Handsome Ramon Novarro is hailed on the fly to bring tea and napkins.

Santa visits the children in the form of comedian “The Schnoz” Jimmy Durante.

Lionel Barrymore makes the rounds with warm biscuits for all the “whippersnappers.”

Join MGM’s party to catch even more Hollywood stars celebrating Christmas with Jackie!

Source: Visit rlosangeleskings on YouTube for more Christmas videos.

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Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Movie, Short Subject, Video

 

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Gallery

The “1930 Motion Picture News Blue Book”

The “1930 Motion Picture News Blue Book” is a very cool, old Hollywood reference book! It boasts, “The Authoritative Who’s Who of Filmdom.” And, it is!

Published back in 1930 for the movie industry, this little “Blue Book” includes thousands of small biographies on every known actor, director, editor, writer, etc. during that time; and, in which films they worked. 

Here are a few examples of the ads spotted throughout this movie-stuffed book: Mickey Mouse Sound Cartoons, Harry Langdon, and Harold Lloyd!

As a short subject researcher, these types of reference books are gems. I feel lucky to own it! If you are looking for a copy, just Google it. A few copies are being sold on various websites.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Books, Movie, Short Subject

 

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Video

“A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio” (Warner Brothers, 1935)

Come with me and sneak a peak of some Hollywood stars going about their day. On the way, we’ll visit some major studios, and then get a chance to go behind the scenes to learn how movie equipment of its day captured the sights and sounds of the movies. So, let’s go via a Warner Brothers short film called, A Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio (1935).

First, we’ll get a quick look at some major studios of the mid 1930’s. Up high with some great aerial shots, we can see Fox, RKO, Warner Brothers, Paramount, MGM, and Universal!

Stopping at Warner Brothers, we spot the great choreographer Busby Berkeley and dance director Bobby Connolly directing some hard-working chorus girls!

Next, we catch comedic actor Hugh Herbert putting on his make-up. “A little powder, a little paint, make little Hughie look what he ain’t!

Let’s wave to heartthrob Rudy Vallee as he leaves Warner Brothers studio!

Watch out as Hollywood dogs take their owners for a jaunt: three Scottish Terriers enjoy Jean Muir and Warren William while Alice White’s sheepdog begs to be her lapdog.

Don’t throw in the towel yet; watch actor/boxer Pat O’Brien and actress/manager Ann Dvorak as Pat spars with former welterweight champion Jackie Fields.

Hold on a minute as “regular guyJames Cagney gets a light for his cigarette.

Let’s be a bit quiet here while Dolores del Rio poses for a still photographer.

Now, back to Hugh Herbert as he hams it up in a scene with a Hollywood harem!

On the last bit of the tour, Hugh runs through his scene while we visit all the amazing film equipment used for creating a Hollywood movie. From the microphone, to the disk recording machine, to the editing and printing rooms, to the movieola, and finally to the projection room to watch Hugh’s completed scene.

See ya on the next tour!

Thanks to Victoria Mentz for making this short subject available.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Movie, Short Subject, Video

 

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Image

“The Dog-Watch” with “The It Girl,” Clara Bow!

Clara Bow, dog

Clara and canine wait for Santa Claus from the Motion Picture Classic magazine, January 1929 edition.

Clara Bow appeared in a handful of silent and talkie short subjects from the 20’s to the 40’s: Screen Snapshots Series, etc. Visit IMDb for select titles under the “Self” section located after her main feature films.

Source: Media History Digital Library

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Movie, Photos, Short Subject

 

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Video

“Hollywood Hobbies” (1939) A surplus of Hollywood stars!

Jump in and take a Hollywood tour with two star-crazed ladies (Joyce Compton & Sally Payne), who get a spectacular chance to see Hollywood celebrities with tour guide William ‘Billy’ Benedict. Stick with these guys and catch scads of movie stars in MGM’s 1939 short subject, Hollywood Hobbies!

Pre-tour note: Morey “Buddy” Amsterdam, from The Dick Van Dyke Show, wrote the story and screenplay!

Are you ready to see the stars? Here we go …

First stop, we see Reginald Denny at his model airplane factory.

Gosh, isn’t that Clark Gable at home whitewashing his barn?

Awwww, look who is expecting. It’s Robert Young and Allan Jones as “expectant” godfathers of a new foal! Irene Hervey helps usher in the new equine!

Our last stop is a Hollywood baseball game with commentator Truman Bradley and baseball fans: Jimmy Stewart, George Murphy, Cesar Romero, Joan Davis, Spencer Tracy, Virginia Bruce, and James Cagney (with mom Carolyn).

Oh la la! Joe E. Brown is kissing Harry Ritz!

Buddy Ebsen’s on the bench. Tyrone Power is in the seats.

Jane Withers autographs a baseball. Milton Berle steps in as shortstop.

Buster Keaton covers 3rd base. John Boles is in left outfield.

Throwing out the first ball is Mary Pickford.

Frank Mitchell & Jack Durant attempt to bat while stacked on top of each other!

Arthur Lake garbles some pre-game chatter. Nat Pendleton steals home.

The Ritz Brothers umpire, if you can call it that!

Dick Powell bats a home run, ending the game and knocking out the tour guide!

All is well in Hollywood!

Thank you to HollywoodHobbies for making it available on YouTube!

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Movie, Short Subject, Video

 

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Video

Tough times, tough guy … “The Hard Guy” with Spencer Tracy.

Don’t miss this six-minute short subject with a young, dark-haired Spencer Tracy! Only eight years before he “was listed as the fifth biggest money-making star of 1938,” and twelve years before his partnership began with Katharine Hepburn. “The Hard Guy,” a 1930 Warner Brothers “Vitaphone Varieties” is a must for Tracy fans!

The film begins with Guy, a despondent WWI veteran, battling unemployment in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of NY. (Had to look it up: Hell’s Kitchen is the area from 34th to 59th street). Desperate and needing food for his family, Guy protests, “Boy, what a picnic that war was compared to this one. I was a hero once, now I’m a bust!” As he leaves to look for work, his wife discovers a hidden revolver in his coat pocket … will Guy rob for food? Don’t ditch before the plot twist.

Thank you, Eldon Stuhr!

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Movie, Short Subject, Video

 

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Video

“The Prisoner of Zenda”? No! “The Prisoner of Swing”!

“The Prisoner of Swing” with a very young June Allyson singing and dancing with hoofer Hal Le Roy. Only a few minutes of this short subject are here, but it’s worth it to see 21-year-old June Allyson.

Per IMDb, “When she was eight years old, she was crushed by a falling tree limb while riding a bicycle. She wore a back brace for four years and taught herself to dance by watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies.” So glad June recovered; she gave us many musical hours of movies to watch!

Hal Le Roy is always wonderful to watch too. A talented and distinctive dancer!

A Warner Brothers, “Broadway Brevities,” short of 1938, which was a take-off of the 1937 “The Prisoner of Zenda” movie with Ronald Coleman. Thanks to GoodOldDaysReturns on YouTube!

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Movie, Music, Short Subject, Video

 

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