VARIETIES


  

Cast: Pamela Burrell, George Coe, Sid Davis, Madeline Kahn, Stan Rubinstein, Tom Stone, Peter Turgeon, David Zirlin
Running Time: 14 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

This classic short is a fabulous parody of some of Ingmar Bergman's best known films, including Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal, with hysterical dialog in fake Swedish. The principal character, Professor Viktor Sundqvist, 76, is being driven to a lecture at the university, when dove droppings splatter the car's windshield. Detouring at his uncle's old house, his mind wanders back to his youth, when Death came to a family picnic to claim his sister, Inga. Knowing that Death is a gambler, Viktor has Inga challenge Death to a single-point game of badminton for her life!


  

Cast: Stan Laurel, Julie Leonard, Pete the Dog
Running Time: 20 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Even before he teamed up with Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel's solo films were often quite funny, especially when he spoofed a famous film such as The Spoilers (the Laurel version is called The Soilers) or Blood and Sand (which became the two-reel Mud and Sand). One of the funniest of these "travesties," as they were called in those days, was Doctor Pyckle and Mister Pride, in which Stan lampoons the John Barrymore's movie version of Jekyll and Hyde. As the kindly Dr. Pyckle, Laurel is experimenting to discover a drug that will separate the good from the bad in man. When he finally has an elixir, he drinks it with trepidation. After a satirical sequence of comic spasms, the horrific Mr. Pride reveals himself and proceeds to terrorize the town: he chases a little boy down and steals his ice cream cone, he cheats at a game of marbles, and he explodes a paper bag behind a little old lady, startling her. Worst of all, he tricks one of the town's leading citizens into getting caught in a Chinese finger trap! The whole town is up in arms at these evil acts but Pride manages to take the antidote before they can catch up with him. He goes through yet another transformation before his assistant (Julie Leonard) catches him. Devastated over what he has done, Dr. Pyckle decides to poison himself, but instead of the fatal brew, he mistakenly drinks castor oil.


  

Cast: Duke Ellington
Running Time: 9 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Duke Ellington and his orchestra play two jazz compositions plus 'Stormy Weather' (sung by Ivy Anderson).


  

Cast: Fred Astaire
Running Time: 5 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Fred dances up a storm in the room that turns upside down. How did they do that?


  

Cast: Jeanne Veloz, Charles Saggau, Pete Smith, Irene Thomas, Arthur Walsh
Running Time: 9 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Groovie Movie is a comical look at the world of Swing dancing that spoofs both dance instruction and efforts to find high culture in jitterbug. Taking on the Arthur Murray visual techniques, Jean and Arthur appear in uniforms that are half black and half white with foot and handprints to show proper position. An animated sequence of footprints begins logically and soon becomes a hopelessly complictated mess. Through the parody and comedy, Groovie Movie shows some of the finest examples of the Hollywood Style of Lindy Hop that have ever been filmed. Today, Swing dancers continue to mine this cult film for dance moves and techniques.


  

Cast: Hoagy Carmichael, Meredith Blake, Jack Teagarden
Running Time: 10 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Jack Teagarden fronting his big band and singing with Hoagy Carmichael a selection of Hoagy's songs including Stardust, Small Fry, Rockin' Chair, etc.. Hoagy described his surprise the first time he heard a recording of "Stardust": "And then it happened--that queer sensation that this melody was bigger than me. Maybe I hadn't written it at all. The recollection of how, when and where it all happened became vague as the lingering strains hung in the rafters of the studio. I wanted to shout back at it, 'maybe I didn't write you, but I found you.'"


  

Cast: Don Aspiazu
Running Time: 6 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

"Jazz a la Cuba," featuring Don Aspiazu and His Famous Orchestra -- "The Foremost Exponent of the Rhumba" with interesting travelogue photos of 1930's Cuba.


  

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Running Time: 28 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Stan and Ollie try to sneak around their wives' backs to join a group of club mates for an evening in their honor. The boys have just agreed to go to Atlantic City with their spouses (Isabelle Keith and Anita Garvin), but one of the club men calls Ollie with such enticing details of the celebration that he just has to attend... with Stan in tow, of course. With the help of some talcum powder, Ollie looks pale enough to convince the wives to leave on the trip without him and Stan. Then they hurriedly get into their club outfits, but trouble ensues when Ollie puts on Stanley's much smaller boots and can't get them off. The pair's various attempts to get the boots off Ollie all but destroy Ollie's apartment -- and Ollie. The wives miss the train and return home to discover that they've been tricked. Their panicked husbands try to hide in the folding bed, but the wives pull out their shotguns (a common prop for Laurel and Hardy wives) and start blasting away!


  

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Running Time: 24 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

In this rare two-reeler, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appear together for the very first time. However, they're a long way from their famous Laurel and Hardy characters (that pairing wasn't to come until 1927). Laurel, after an up-and-down career in Vaudeville, had just begun acting in films, while Hardy was heavily established in movies already (both literally and figuratively). Laurel is the lead in this film, nevertheless, as an unfortunate who, after being evicted, winds up befriending a stray dog. He stuffs the dog in a decrepit suitcase, but it sticks its legs through the bag's holes and runs away. While Laurel is chasing after the suitcase, he bumps into a hold-up man (Hardy). A chase leaves the big man behind when he gets stuck trying to crawl through a hole in a fence. Hardy also appears later on in the film. Laurel and his dog have made the acquaintance of a pretty girl and her poodle, and her jealous boyfriend enlists Hardy's help to get rid of Laurel. But the dog saves the day by chasing the villains off with a stick of dynamite that was originally meant for Laurel. There is some debate as to when this film was actually made; some Laurel and Hardy experts say 1917, while others claim it to be 1919. In any event, apparently Lucky Dog was not released in the U.S. until 1921.


  

Cast: Leonard Reed, Mora's Modern Rhytmists, Maxwell DeMille
Running Time: 10 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Scenes from Leonard Reed's show at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. Mr. Reed was best known as the co-originator with partner Willie Bryant of the Shim Sham Shimmy, a now-classic tap format that began as a flashy finale to their dance act in the late 1920s.

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