Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Movies on Sundays

I thought I had mentioned the short Movies on Sundays before. To be fair, it's a bit tough to come up with a good search that will narrow the results down to this title, but using the names of the stars in it gave up no hits. Anyhow, it's going to be on TCM tonight at about 1:34 AM, following Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in the night of W.C. Fields movies.

Back in the day, states had blue laws that prohibited all sorts of commerce. Nowadays, most of what's left has to do with alcohol: you can't buy alcohol before noon on Sunday or somesuch. Apparently, Pennsylvania once had a law that prevented Sunday matinees at the movies. So in 1935 MGM put out a short aimed at giving talking points to moviegoers in Pennsylvania as to why that restriction should be lifted. (The proper argument should be, "Fuck off, slaver.")

A couple of stars: Kay Francis, May Robson, and Warner Oland reprising his Charlie Chan character, show up to give arguments for getting rid of the blue laws regarding the movies. It's all interestingly silly stuff. Not as bad as, say, This Theater and You or The Case Against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theatres, but still the arguments seem nuts to those of us watching it 80-some years later. Still, it's also an interesting historical document of an era when these blue laws actually existed.

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