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Category Archives: Video

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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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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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“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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“Why? Because!” – Judy Garland asks and Fanny Brice answers in “Everybody Sing”!

“Why? Because!” sings Judy Garland and Fanny Brice from the 1938 musical, Everybody Sing.

Although not a short subject, I couldn’t resist showing this film clip with Judy and Fanny together. Obviously, Judy needs no introduction, but Fanny, on the other hand, might for many of you.

Fanny Brice, probably more well-known for Barbra Streisand playing her in Funny Girl and Funny Lady, was a consummate comedian, singer, and actor of almost every medium. About Fanny’s two husbands, both portrayed in the biographical movies, she amusingly reminisces, “With Nick Arnstein, I was miserably happy. With Billy Rose, I was happily miserable.” 

Fanny does one of her best characters, “Baby Snooks” in this film clip. A two-star, Hollywood Walk of Famer, Fanny was born in NY in 1891. A cerebral hemorrhage ended her life in 1951.

Judy Garland stars in Everybody Sing a year before she wows us in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. Keep an eye out for Judy’s witch pal, Billie Burke (Glinda), if you get a chance to watch the whole feature of Everybody Sing. 

Thank you gcuriosidades for making it available on YouTube!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Movie, Music, Video

 

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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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“Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?”

Now, I’ll know how to dial my phone and tell which tone is the busy tone and which is the dial tone! I’m in luck too, it appears that even a child can do it!

Enjoy this campy, 1936 short film from AT&T Archives: “Introduction to the Dial Telephone” – Bell Systems.  

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Movie, Short Subject, Video

 

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Video

Gracie – “I have brains I haven’t even used yet.” George – “Well, leave them alone, don’t bother with them.”

Lambchops is a must-see film for Burns and Allen fans! Enjoy this early 1929 sound film from Vitaphone (a Warner Brothers subsidiary). In this eight-minute short, straight man George and comic Gracie will show off their wonderful comedic chemistry, and their whimsical singing and hoofing in a sweet version of “Do You Believe Me.”

Already married by this time, the duo continued to work together for another twenty-nine years. No two were better at banter than these two!

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Movie, Music, Short Subject, Video

 

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When you’re messin’ with Rose, hang on to your teddy bear!

For your one-minute morning chuckle, here’s Rose, also known as Betty White, from the hit TV show, The Golden Girls. Gotta love her!

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in TV, Video

 

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“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” A memorable munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz.”

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Ann Rice Leslie

After my middle sister was born in the 1950’s, it was later discovered that she had a condition which made her very small for her age. Knowing that she might always be little, our mother thought it would help if my sister could meet others like her. For years, we had heard that our grandma was friends with one of the Oz munchkins, who was now retired and living in our city. So, Mom jumped on that idea and took us both to visit Ann Rice Leslie, one of the Singer Midgets who performed in the 1939 “The Wizard of Oz.” Mom also mentioned that she had played with Ann’s daughter, Jane, when they were young. 

We couldn’t believe that we were going to meet a real live actor, a munchkin from Oz! At invitation, we entered Ann’s apartment with much excitement. Ann greeted us warmly, all 3’6″ of her! As I looked around the apartment, I noticed one tiny rocking chair and one huge rocking chair (reminded me of Goldilocks). When asked about those chairs, Ann told us about Fremont, her 6’2″ husband who obviously needed a bigger chair. I was amazed that her kitchen was normal-sized: “he can reach all the high places,” she said. A match made in Oz!

We all talked for a bit, letting my sister enjoy being with someone her height, and, like typical starry-eyed fans, we asked some questions; Ann politely answered them all. The one question I can remember was if she had a favorite actor in the Oz movie. Without hesitation, she said it was Frank Morgan (Wizard, Gatekeeper, Prof Marvel, etc.), and her next favorite was Judy Garland because she was “so sweet to all of us” during the making of the film. 

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Singer Midgets poster

A firecracker baby, Ann Rice Leslie was born on July 4th, 1900 in Rhode Island. Ann resided in NYC when the Oz movie flyers came out looking for little people. Before the film, Ann was either a member already or became one later in the Singer Midgets Troupe, a vaudeville group formed around 1912.

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“Ann Rice Leslie with circus giant John Aasen Circa 1920”

Recently, I was ecstatic to find a 43-second silent film clip of Ann, husband Fremont, daughter Jane, and the family dog at their home in 1931. My uncle used to say that he could pick out Ann in the film, but we never could; we just knew she played one of the villagers. Before we left Ann, she signed my movie edition book of “The Wizard of Oz,” and I realized how lucky we were to meet such a gentle and gracious lady. In 1973, our friend Ann died.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Movie, Photos, Video

 

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