Sunday, August 5, 2018

Vitaphone Pictorial Revue

I was watching The Spoilers off my DVR, having recorded it when it was part of Marlene Dietrich's turn as TCM Star of the Month back in May. (Full-length post to come later in the week.) The movie plus an intro and outro, comes to just over 90 minutes, so TCM had to put it in a 1:45 time slot, which gave them room to include a one-reeler, which in this case was Vitaphone Pictorial Revue (Series 2, #6)

I don't think I'd heard of the series before seeing this short, and based on what I saw, I think there's a good reason why I hadn't heard of it. This particular entry includes three short segments, one on Arabian horses, one on ice hockey, and one on the making of shoes that was truncated in TCM's print. The narration was terrible, and the print was a poor image, never mind the cutting off of the shoe segment.

The one thing interesting was that the horse segment was obviously done at some stables that were the stables to the stars, or at least B-movie stars who hadn't made the A list yet. There's a brief shot of singing cowboy Dick Foran, a very young Lana Turner, and a young Warner Bros. B star named Ronald Regan. Yes, that's how they actually pronounced poor Ronald Reagan's name. But they were all shot from a distance.

As far as I can tell none of the Revues are on DVD. I wouldn't be surprised if one or more were an extra somewhere, although finding extras in Amazon and TCM Shop searches of DVDs is quite difficult. Even though this one was lousy and doesn't give me any hope for other entries in the series, they would still make interesting extras on a DVD of whatever feature.

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