Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shorts report for February 17, 2015

Since I've bloged about quite a few of the features that are coming up on TCM over the next day or so, or else haven't seen them, it's time to take another look at some of the shorts that are coming up.

First up is Sword Fishing, at about 11:47 PM tonight following Ben-Hur (8:00 PM, 222 min plus an intro and outro). This one sounds from the title and synopsis as though it's going to be a Pete Smith short, but in fact it was made at Warner Bros. It features Howard Hill, the archer who stood in for Errol Flynn in the archery contest scene in The Adventures of Robin Hood, displaying his archery skills by fishing with a specialized harpoon. Narration was provided by Ronald Reagan, who was still climbing the ladder at Warner Bros.; this would have been a few months after his supporting performance in Dark Victory hit the screen.

Early tomorrow morning at about 4:24 AM, following Sunrise at Campobello (2:00 AM, 144 min) is Main Street on the March!. This is a John Nesbitt Passing Parade short, which was originally conceived to lok at the risks of staying neutral in the war that was going on over in Europe, by looking at the way Main Street was reacting to the evnets going on overseas. It was scheduled to go into release in December, 1941, but those plans were screwed up by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, forcing Nesbitt to change the narration now that the US was in the war. (I'm reminded of how 49th Parallel was conceived to get still-neutral America on the UK's side, but was only released in early 1942.) Later in the war, John Nesbitt made a sequel called Main Street Today, that "today" being 1944; that short shows up tomorrow evening at about 7:39 PM.

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