Friday, May 12, 2017

The Audition (1933)

What with all the overtime I've been doing and not knowing what to blog about, I decided to watch an extra off of one of the DVDs in the Warner Gangsters set that I've been working my way through. Since I had last popped open The Mayor of Hell to watch the animated The Organ Grinder, I put that one in and watched the musical short The Audition.

Frankly, there's nothing in this short. Bandleader Phil Emerton (who apparently never appeared in another film) is leading his bland band in an audition for some impresario (not in the IMDb credits). The impresario suggests that the band needs a novelty, so we get a series of novelties. First is Hannah Williams, who also never made another movie, doing a rendition of "Get Happy". She's not bad, but not somebody you'd remember very long afterward.

Next the suggestion is made to do a location setting which would require nutty uniforms: a levee. So we get stock footage of a steamboat, and a group called the X Sisters (who actually appeared in four films) singing some songs. Finally, there's a very energetic tap dance number featuring a pair of dancers named Larry and Larry who also, according to IMDb, never appeared in another movie.

The problem is, the entertainment is no great shakes, and there's absolutely no plot. At least some of the later shorts (I'm reminded of the one I blogged about with Jan Savitt) made no pretense of being anything other than putting a big band leader on the screen. And many of those aren't very good. This one is even worse.

At least The Mayor of Hell is a really good movie.

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