Friday, February 23, 2018

Meet George Jessel

Not being able to think of anything to do a post on, I decided to continue going through my Warner Bros. Gangsters Collection set and watching another short. This time, it was George Jessel and His Russian Art Choir.

The title is accuracte. Host George Jessel, who was known for being a host because he sure couldn't act based on what I've seen of him here and in The Phynx, comes out and gives a couple of really dumb jokey comments and then points out that he saw a wonderful Russian choir on his European travels. The come out and sing some Russian songs and an American song.

I have no idea if this was actually even an authentic Russian choir. Certainly I have serious doubts about whether it was any sort of cultural exchange with the Soviet Union, although James FitzPatrick was able to go to the Soviet Union in the early 1930s and film the footage for what would become the 1932 short Moscow, Heart of Soviet Russia. It's possible this could be a choir that had already emigrated, and it's possible that it's completely bogus.

This is a fairly flat short that has little to nothing happening. There's not even any inventive camera movement in filming the choir. But it's an extra on a DVD of a pretty good movie (Smart Money) in a wonderful box set, so I really can't complain.

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