"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 272014



CLASSIC SHORTS FROM THE DREAM FACTORY, VOLUME THREE, FEATURING HOWARD, FINE, AND HOWARD (1933-34) On their way from the boards of vaudeville to becoming bona fide comedy legends, then men who would be Stooge did a spell as second bananas for Ted Healy on the soundstages of MGM. Along the way they had to replace brother Shemp, who was off to a successful solo career in Vitaphone movie comedies, with younger brother Jerry (‘Curly’). Ted Healy may have been the nominal headliner, but it’s Howard, Fine, and Howard’s comedic antics that captivate across these frothy MGM musical comedy shorts that combine slapstick and show-stoppers, and even some snazzy two-strip Technicolor. Best of all, this collection contains the long-thought-lost Stooge-sational short, ‘Hello Pop!’, recently rediscovered and restored! Collection features:

PLANE NUTS (1933) Ted Healy gets unreliable stage help from Howard, Fine, and Howard while trying to set up a series of big production numbers.
ROAST BEEF AND MOVIES (1934) Jerry Howard takes a solo-turn alongside George Givot and Bobby Callahan. This Hollywood-themed spoof features Jerry sans his ‘Curly’isms. Two-color Technicolor
THE BIG IDEA (1934) Healy sets up shop as a for-hire scenarist and the Stooges make the scene. Features sequences from earlier MGM musicals. B&W
BEER AND PRETZELS (1933) Healy, Howard, Fine and Howard take up the high-end restaurant trade after Healy gets them booted from the stage. B&W
NERTSERY RHYMES (1933) Healy plays a papa trying to soothe some unruly children (Howard, Fine and Howard) with some off-kilter nursery rhymes. Two-color Technicolor
HELLO POP!(1933) Long thought to be forever lost, this rarely-seen short discovered in Australia in 2013, and restored from the last-known print for your enjoyment! Ted Healy’s unruly children (Howard, Fine and Howard) show-up backstage just in time to ruin “Ted Healy’s Follies” opening night. Two-color Technicolor

Early Talkie Treasures

THE MAN WHO PLAYED GOD (1932) Mr. George Arliss reprises his role as suddenly-struck-deaf concert pianist Montgomery Royle in this sound remake of the 1922 hit silent film. Now a full decade older, Mr. Arliss was troubled by the May-December romance at the center of the drama and conducted a thorough search for an actress with the heart, soul and chops to make the character of Grace Blair sympathetic and not silly or seedy. Thanks to this search, Bette Davis was rescued from obscurity and started her meteoric rise to ‘fifth Warner sibling’ and screen legend. Maestro Montgomery Royle (Arliss), the adoration of millions and object of one young woman’s amour, loses his hearing in an explosion. Engulfed in despair, he learns to lip read and, thanks to a pair of binoculars, begins a journey towards the light. But it’s a journey that will reveal his young woman’s secrets… Remade as Liberace’s one and only starring feature Sincerely, Yours, also available from Warner Archive. Directed by John Adolfi.

FIVE AND TEN (1931) Marion Davies produces and stars in this pot-boiling, torrid soaper about a MidWestern retail dynasty’s descent into depravity thanks to the depredations of the Big Apple’s high society. Thanks to his chain of 5 and 10 cent retail department stores, John Rarick (Richard Bennett) strikes it rich and moves the clan to Manhattan, where he promptly neglects them in pursuit of a mercantile imperium. Wife Jenny (Irene Rich) soon enjoys some attentions she shouldn’t, while daughter Jennifer (Marion Davies) falls for an engaged young layabout (Leslie Howard, already commanding) who proves to be very engaging indeed. Meanwhile, bedeviled by the sight of his family falling into decadent dissolution, sensitive son Avery (Douglass Montgomery) plunges headfirst into neurosis. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

ONE NIGHT AT SUSIE’S (1930) Seemingly forgotten early cinema siren Billie Dove takes top-billing and commands the screen in this tale of crime, chorines and the high cost of show business. Orphaned child of the mob Dick (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) was fostered by gangland matron and peacemaker Susie (Helen Ware), and taught to tread the straight and narrow. When Dick falls for a chorine (Billie Dove), Susie has her doubts – but when he takes a dive for the seemingly guilty girl, Susie’s doubts turn to damnation. As prison takes its toll on Dick, his only solace is found in playwriting and his paramour will go to any lengths to get it produced…lengths that a lecherous Private Dick plans on using against her. Directed by John Francis Dillon.

OH, SAILOR BEHAVE (1930) In this loose adaptation of Elmer Rice’s See Naples and Die, vaudeville clowns supreme Olsen and Johnson bring their patented pre-Hellzapoppin’ brand of chaos to the screen. Foreign correspondent Charlie Carroll (Broadway star Charles King) is in Venice to score an exclusive confab with a Romanian military despot (Noah Beery) but ends up scoring with dilettante heiress Nanette Dodge (Irene Delroy) instead. Thanks to the ill-times ways of Italiano telegraphy, the pair are soon star-crossed and the despot’s mistress (Vivien Oakland) and a Russian prince (Lowell Sherman) are now in the mix. Thanks goodness the aptly named sailors Simon and Peter (Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson) have been sent to shore in pursuit of a man with wooden leg… Songs and silliness, both sublime and corny, are on hand in this taste of classic clowning gone by.

Inspector Erskine’s Final Cases

THE FBI, THE COMPLETE NINTH SEASON (1973-74) Inspector Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) leads the fight alongside Assistant Director Ward (Philip Abbott), safeguarding the nation from threats within and without in The FBI¹s final season. Bu this time there¹s a new face to the show, Special Agent Chris Daniels (ex-San Diego Charger turned actor Shelley Novak) replacing the now departed Agent Colby (William Reynolds) who, as a pair of mid-season episodes reveal, departed for the sunny shores of the California coast for a new position as Agent-in-Charge. While kidnapping, extortion, bank robberies, assassination are the tools of the trade of the mobsters and madmen who beset us, thankfully Erskine and the FBI are there to protect us. This 6-disc, 23-episode collection boasts an impressive list of guest stars including Jackie Cooper, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Susan Oliver, Gary Lockwood, Richard Jaeckel, Joan van Ark and Dabney Coleman.
NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 Posted by on September 27, 2014  Add comments

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