Thursday, May 6, 2010

060 Thugs With Dirty Mugs

Title: Thugs With Dirty Mugs
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 5/06/39
Credits: (none on viewed print; but Tex Avery directed)
Series: Merrie Melodies (according to Blue Ribbon title)
Running time (of viewed version): 7:55

Synopsis: A gangster named Killer robs many banks before being put in prison at the very end.

Comments: Moving shot transitions in the opening. Quite distinctive looking in a cartoon. It's not how Angels With Dirty Faces opened (or closed); perhaps it was how another gangster film did, maybe one that actually had Edward G. Robinson in it (since he is caricatured here, and James Cagney who starred in Angels With Dirty Faces is not). I wouldn't normally think twice about the source movie for a pun name being unrelated to a cartoon's content, but here it comes close, with its crime film themes, so I think it's bothering me more. There's a Bank Nite gag on a bank front, referencing the popular theater promotion (there's also an audience member silhouette gag). Excluding the final paper (which is a cel and not a painted background like all the other papers), the papers are all the same papers except for the headlines (and there are two photo choices depending on if the paper is tilted left or right). I'm not sure why there aren't four papers, since there are at least two versions of each tilt, as when one paper comes spinning in it covers the previous paper of the same tilt. But then each tilt should be different to be less repetitive, but it's not. There's a Fred Allen vocal caricature as well, coming out of Killer. Mrs. Lotta Jewel's house exterior looks like it's from a much later era. The gang listens to the Lone Stranger at one point, which may be a reference to the earlier Porky cartoon, or just the easiest joke anyone could make. I suspect the bank exteriors were based on a specific bank they referenced; I wonder if there are photos of it? I like the green rims around the informant's eyes.


  1. Credits:
    Story: Jack Miller
    Animation: Sid Sutherland
    Music: Carl W. Stalling

  2. This may have been either the last short with the Vitaphone name on top of the WB shield logo, or the first with the Warner Bros. logo on it, although I'm assuming the former. In any case, it was excised as of June 3, 1944.