VARIETIES


  

Cast: Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra
Running Time: 5 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Lopez's swell jazz orchestra from the '30s perform. A wonderful historical record that captures a performance of jazz and blues at the height of their popularity.


  

Cast: Shemp Howard, Larry Fine, Moe Howard
Running Time: 17 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

To inherit a fortune, voice teacher Shemp must marry before six o'clock, but no girl will accept his proposal. Finally one of his repulsive students agrees to marry him, just in the nick of time. When the rest of the prospective brides hear about the inheritance, they show up at the ceremony and a free for all ensues. Shemp marries before the deadline, but wishes he was still a free man. In one scene, Christine McIntyre discovers that Shemp is not the "Cousin Basil" she thought he was, and slaps him around, then punches him and knocks him through the door. McIntyre, who was not a professional stuntwoman, leaned too far in when she "punched" Shemp, and actually did hit him, breaking his nose. The sequence was left in the picture.


  

Cast: Curly Howard, Moe Howard, Larry Fine
Running Time: 17 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

One of the funniest shorts The Three Stooges ever made -- the timing and delivery of the jokes was pure perfection for Larry, Moe and Curly. Some of the "special effects" were pure hilarity, such as the scene where Larry flings the bow from his violin, removing the stenographer's toupee. The stooges are witnesses at a trial where their friend, a dancer at a nightclub where they are musicians, is accused of murder. The stooges manage to disrupt the proceedings but save the day when they discover the real murderer's identity. The "raise your right hand" scene was improvised by Curly. Moe's father, Sol Horowitz, makes an uncredited appearance in this film as a front-row member of the court audience.


  

Cast: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, George Lewis, Frank Lackteen, Vernon Dent
Running Time: 16 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Set in a desert land where the stooges run a restaurant, the boys set out to recover the stolen Rootin Tootin diamond after they learn from the thieves that the Emir of Shmo has absconded with the contraband jewel. They journey to the stronghold of Shmo where they disguise as Santa Clauses and scare the ruler into giving them the diamond.


  

Cast: Shemp Howard, Larry Fine, Moe Howard
Running Time: 17 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

The stooges are tailors, and are heavily in debt to the Skin & Flint finance company. When the boys read about the big reward for a fugitive robber, they think it could be the answer to their problems. The bank robber conveniently ducks into their shop and leaves a suit with a safe combination. After his girl friend fails to retrieve it, the robber returns with gang and a wild fight ensues. The boys miss out on the reward but wind up with the crook's bankroll and can pay their creditors.


  

Cast: Victor Andrie, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet, Jeanne d'Alcy, Henri Delannoy
Running Time: 12 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Georges Melies' 1902 film set the standard for science fiction genre films for more than a century. A passionate (perhaps mad) scientist proposes a trip to the moon; others scoff and ridicule him; the trip proves successful, but the scientist and his companions are attacked by moon creatures; the creatures take the scientists to their ruler, who sentences them to death; there is a struggle, and the scientists escape to their rocket; they return to Earth, and to the adulation of the public. What really holds this very short film together is Melies' sense of spectacle. A former stage magician, Melies became interested in cinema as a medium with which to astound his audiences, and this is precisely what he did. The most famous shot in the film, depicting a rocket hitting the "man in the moon" in the face, has become a cinema landmark, and has been anthologized in numerous compilations. Its visual style deals almost entirely in stylized sets, exaggerated depth perspective, and the talents of the numerous vaudeville personalities Melies used in his films. As a template for what was to come in the next hundred years, and simply as an entertainment, A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage Dans La Lune) is a cinema landmark, and still immensely entertaining and influential.


  

Cast: Shirley Temple
Running Time: 9 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

One of several shorts made early in Shirley Temple's career, War Babies is essentially a take-off on war movie conventions, performed by a cast of infants and very young children. Babies takes place at Buttermilk Pete's Café, where the dress code runs to diapers and rubber pants, with the occasional army helmet, tie or vest thrown in for good measure. A quartet plays some typical café music, and Shirley Temple dances out, clearly performing the role of a French dancer-cum-temptress. The piano player can't help but shift music to a vampy, come-hither mood, but is quickly told to straighten up. Shirley gets the big eye from one doughboy in particular, who orders his milk straight up (which he pays for with the coin of the realm -- a lollipop). Shirley's dance moves into high gear when the ice cream off one of the musician's cones drops down her back. The doughboy talks Shirley up, but so do several others, and it seems that Shirley is most interested in whoever can add to her own personal collection of lollipops. When a new boy arrives with a huge lollipop, it looks like the doughboy may lose Shirley, but he trickily gets possession of the larger candy stick himself and keeps Shirley as a result. Just then a messenger arrives, and all of the soldiers have to leave. Shirley tearfully bids the doughboy adieu, waving a handkerchief after him as he leaves, before blowing her nose with it.


  

Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Anita Garvin, Kay Deslys, Del Henderson, Tenen Holtz, Carl Stockdale
Running Time: 21 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Charley hires three "good-time girls" (Thelma Todd, Anita Garvin, and Kay Deslys) to help him secure a real estate deal by working their charms on the potential buyers at a party set to close the deal. Charley makes sure plenty of booze is on board and tells the girls to go upstairs and get ready. But when he answers the knock at the door, he is met by three stern-faced, hard-boiled, tee-totaling scarecrows (Del Henderson, Tenen Holtz, and Carl Stockdale) who have been sent to replace the rowdy businessmen Charley was expecting. Chase is stuck -- how does he get around this awkward situation? Thank heavens for Thelma Todd who suggests they break the ice by playing a game - anyone for post-office? Eventually the party becomes raucous. The businessmen loosen up and start a seltzer-water fight, much to the landlord's exasperation. Truly a fun short subject, more because of its buoyancy than any really clever gag or plot device. Whispering Whoopee is a pleasant entry in the Chase series and one of the best Charley Chase short sound comedies!

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