Friday, July 16, 2010
Title: Dangerous Dan McFoo
Studio: Warner Bros.
Credits: None listed on print (but directed by Tex Avery)
Series: Merrie Melodies (according to Blue Ribbon title)
Running time (of viewed version): 7:49
Synopsis: A retelling (and not Avery's last) of the famous 1907 verse "The Shooting of Dan McGrew".
Comments: "X degrees Cooler Inside" was a common sign on movie theatres, who used their air conditioning systems as incentive for patrons to attend (the ones that didn't close for the heat of the summer, at any rate). Nice multiple levels of movement in the layers leading to the back room (with its prototypical pinball game). Arthur Q. Bryan provides McFoo's voice; I think it's the first I've come across him this year; is it his first Schlesinger voice work? Sue may morph into a Bette Davis portrait, but she speaks with a Hepburn. Interesting musical gag. The horse looks like He-Man's. There's a "we'll break to stills" that seems to be what they did with boxing films; it works well to underline each gag. So oldtimey to us now, the original poem was only 32 when the cartoon was made; the equivalent of a Grease or Animal House reference now. Sue looks quite like a Mighty Mouse heroine. Dan has that triangular eye bulge that's shown up in at least one previous Avery '39. You Outta be In Pictures plays. The stranger's heart beats out of his chest in a very Avery fashion. The stops (not just in the self referential boxing film format but at the round break where they stop in the air and walk down invisible steps) are also tres Avery. Did condoms of the era have reservoir tips? Because when Dan's hat is pulled down , it sure looks like it has just such a tip. Perhaps it is just happenstance.
The Shooting of Dan McGrew can be found in Robert Service's "Songs of a Sourdough":