Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vitaphone at 90

TCM is honoring the 90th anniversary of Vitaphone tomorrow, even though the film that started it all, Don Juan (airing on TCM at 6:00 AM Tuesday), actually premiered in August 1926. I suppose TCM couldn't do the anniversary then thanks to Summer Under the Stars. I think I've mentioned before that Don Juan didn't have any dialogue, but did have a synchronized score and sound effects. In conjunction with the New York premiere, there was a series of shorts that were done, some with just instrumental music, some with singing, and one of MPPDA head Will Hays talking about the new technology:

That short is going to be on in the first prime time slot tomorrow, which is a block of shorts going from 8:00 PM to 9:45 PM. And herein lies the problem. TCM is running a whole bunch of Vitaphone shorts. While it's nice to see those Vitaphone shorts, and TCM does run a fair number of them between movies when they've got an extra 20 minutes or so to fill, running a block of them together always screws up the TCM schedule. The monthly schedule which I downloaded just before the start of the month has a different running order from the TCM online weekly schedule. And oftentimes the satellite box guide has a third running order. So figuring out the exact time one specific short is going to air is nigh on impossible.

Also apparently scheduled in that early prime time slot is Baby Rose Marie, a 1929 one-reeler. Rose Marie would, of course, go on to do the Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s, but she was a juvenile star first:

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