Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Golf shorts

At approximately 3:40 AM, between two of Rita Hayworth's movies overnight (specifically, between You Were Never Lovelier and Miss Sadie Thompson), TCM is showing a short called Shoot Yourself Some Golf. I don't think I've ever seen this one before. It stars Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman (to whom Reagan was married at the time) as themselves, both of whom are having trouble with their golf game. So Warner Bros. brings in the champion of the long-drive contest and a trick golfer -- neither of them is a name I recognize, although I don't particularly follow golf or know too terribly much about the history of the sport -- to teach our Hollywood stars a bit about the game. The other thing that's interesting about the short is that it's in color.

I did a search of my blog, and while Blogger may be having search problems again, I really don't think I've ever mentioned Bobby Jones before. Jones is one of those old golf names that's more likely to be remembered by us non-golf fans, as he was one of the world's best in the late 1920s and more or less created the Masters tournament. Jones also starred in two series of shorts. First, in 1931, he made a series of about a dozen called "How I Play Golf"; the second, two years later, is called "How to Break 90" and is half a dozen films. Both series were directed by George Marshall, who directed a lot of movies, and is one of those names that I recognize, but I notice that a lot of his work is not quite A material. There's a couple of Betty Hutton movies from his Paramount days in the second half of the 1940s, and James Stewart's western Destry Rides Again.

TCM airs the Bobby Jones shorts often enough, but trying to find when they're going to show up is a pain, as "How to Break 90" doesn't yield any title matches! Searching for "Bobby Jones" is also problematic: there are a lot of Bobby Joneses out there, but TCMDb doesn't give any titles under each name to disambiguate them.

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