Saturday, August 24, 2013

Okay For Sound/Babes in the Goods

Having commented on a lot of today's Charles Coburn features that are running on TCM today, and not having seen most of the ones I haven't commented on, I'd like to make mention of a couple more shorts.

First, at 1:38 AM, just after A Royal Scandal (starts at midnight), TCM is showing Okay For Sound. Warner Bros. released this in 1946 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Vitaphone sound process. The Jazz Singer was not the first talking picture. In fact, it only was released a year after the Vitaphone process was first released. The first Vitaphone feature was Don Juan, which wasn't a talkie, but only had a synchronized score. However, the premier of Don Juan in 1926 was also accompanied by a program of Vitaphone shorts, which included some instrumental music; some singing; and one of Will Hays, the guy who didn't really enforce the weaker production code, talking about the benifits of movies. I mentioned much of this back in 2009 when TCM ran Don Juan back in March 2009.

There's also Babes in the Goods at 5:39 AM, following The Power and the Prize (which comes on at 4:00 AM). This is a two-reeler starring Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly. I don't think I've ever done a post on the two of them together, and this isn't the short to do it on, since I don't think I've seen this one. The were a comedy team in the early 1930s at Hal Roach studios, at least until Todd's tragic death in 1935. The comedies are zany, to say the least, with little real plot development serving as a bacdrop for broad physical comedy. This one has the two getting stuck in a department store overnight and having to deal with a drunk man. Thelma Todd also made quite a few shorts with Charley Chase before joining up with Patsy Kelly in 1933.

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