Saturday, March 30, 2013

Movie Memories update

Yesterday, I mentioned that TCM had in its schedule a short called Movie Memories #2, which surprised me since the short is listed as being produced by Paramount. In fact, the short they showed was another 1934 short called Movie Memories, which was a one-reel Vitaphone short -- something that would make sense for TCM to show, since Vitaphone was part of Warner Bros.

The short is slightly odd. There are a lot of nice shots of various old actors, most of whom were no longer with the viewing population even when the short was released in late 1934. It's nice to be able to put names to faces (Joseph Schildkraut's father Rudolph is mentioned, for example), although it's not in any particularly memorable way: by the next time any of their movies show up, I'll probably have forgotten who many of these actors are.

The other interesting thing is the number of movies and stars mentioned who have no relation to Warner Bros. I suppose for the longer-dead ones, that's not such a big deal, but the then-recent passing of Marie Dressler (died July 28, 1934) is mentioned, and she was an MGM contract player, with her Oscar-winning performance in Min and Bill specifically mentioned. Then again, I don't think a lot of the movies mentioned, especially the silents, were being re-released back in 1934. And there wasn't any TV around for people to see these older films.

And then there are the "tragedies" which are only briefly called tragedies as if the viewer is expected to know in more detail what happened to the pepole who died young. Some of them, like Rudolph Valentino, are still reasonably well-known; others, like Barbara La Marr, not so much. She was apparently in Souls For Sale, which I blogged about back in April 2010, but wasn't the star of the movie. Apparently she partied herself to death at the age of 29.

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