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Stars galore! You won’t believe how many Hollywood stars appear in this short subject, The Stolen Jools!

Stars galore! You won’t believe how many Hollywood stars appear in this short subject, The Stolen Jools! Just to wet your appetite: Norma Shearer, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Maurice Chevalier, Bebe Daniels, Joe E. Brown, and 48 more!

The Stolen Jools (1931) was a promotional short film to raise money for the National Variety Artists Tuberculosis Sanatorium. This comedy begins with Norma Shearer’s jewels having been pinched from a Hollywood party. Detective Kane snoops around, grilling all the stars who might have attended this said party. Very fun to see how many stars you can spot.

Trivia: Alternate title is The Slippery Pearls. All actors, but a few, are credited at the end of this film. Oddly enough, this fund raiser for tuberculosis was sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes! Check out IMDb for the whole cast.

Thank you to Guérin Pascal for making it available on YouTube!

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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ready for your swim, Miss Crawford!

Joan Crawford appeared in at least 15 short subjects from the 1920’s-1950’s. Picture above is Crawford in the April, 1940 Hollywood magazine, brought to you by Media History Digital Library.

Selected Short Subjects
1925 Studio Tour (1925)
Wampas Baby Stars of 1926 (1926)
Voices Across the Sea (1928)
Hollywood Snapshots, #11 (1929)
Screen Snapshots series (1930-1939)

Click on Joan Crawford’s name here to find out more.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Love this guy!

One of my favorite movie actors, Jimmy Stewart, from Picture-Play Magazine, 1938. Early in his career, Jimmy appeared in quite a few short subjects: Art Trouble (1934), Important News (1936), and the Screen Snapshots series,to name a few. Also, Jimmy narrated various military-related shorts during and after WWII. Gotta love him!

Source: http://mediahistoryproject.org/collections/

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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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“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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Can you guess who is in this 1947 short subject film?

“Shy Guy” (1947) is a 14-minute film, otherwise known as a short subject: a brief film (40 mins or less) that is typically shown before the main feature. Coronet Instructional Films, a successful company who, for years, sold educational films to schools and libraries, produced this short. I’m sure many of you have had the pleasure of watching an educational short…either in school, or before a movie, or on YouTube. A number of these films are corny, outdated, and sometimes offensive. However, I got a kick out of this one, as the advice offered wasn’t as bad as I expected. 

Once in a while, an actor continues his career in movies after starring in one of these instructional films. Many well-known actors made their first appearances in these and other types of shorts such as comedies, musicals, etc. As in “Shy Guy,” the main actor became quite popular on a TV sitcom from 1964-1969. Spoiler Alert Ahead! 

“Shy Guy” stars a 19-year-old actor named Dick York, who played Darren Stevens on “Bewitched.” Gotta love his voice in this film! And, by the way, the narrator is Mike Wallace, former TV journalist on “60 Minutes.” Enjoy this short, but sweet, view of teenage life in the 40’s.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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“Believe It Or Not?”

A word that is 184 letters long? A three-story home built by a blind man? A man who can pick up and hold, in one hand, twelve billiard balls? Allow Mr. Robert Ripley to answer all of these burning questions, and more, with a nostalgic look back to 1930 from his “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” short subject! 

I’m sure you’re familiar with Ripley’s books and television shows. But, did you know that Ripley (and the company bearing his name) produced his syndicated cartoon features in over 200 worldwide newspapers, broadcast several radio series to every world nation, created thirty-two “Odditorium” museums around the world, maintains an website and blog, and made an early talkie film series for Warner Brothers? Believe it or not!

Ripley was an avid artist, an explorer extraordinaire, a tireless traveler, and a generally busy guy, who, if had been a cat, would have surely died too soon from his insatiable curiosity. 

Enjoy more Ripley videos on MrJadedtom’s YouTube channel.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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