Sunday, December 12, 2010

March of Time, Holidays 1939 (and 1938)

1939 Number: XXX
Title: March of Time; also, "Having a Wonderful Time" with "Angels in Dirty Places"
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 12/39 and 12/38 (apparently)
Credits: The Schlesinger Little teenie-weenie theatre group presents
Series: -
Running time (of viewed version): 9:35 (youtube) 17:56 (LTGCv6d3) (about 8:23 for just the '38; 9:33 for the '39 on v6)

Synopsis: Funny stuff before a party.

Comments: Here we have a pair of holiday reels for the Schlesinger group. The commentary with Jerry Beck and Martha Sigall on LTGCv6d4 names the staffers (and identifies these as being from 1939 and 1940). These would have been shown in the projection room before the Christmas party at the Wilshire Bowl.

However, the title of the first piece has a reference to two 1938 movies: November '38's Angels With Dirty Faces and July '38's Having a Wonderful Time. Friz Freleng does not appear and was definitely not at Schlesinger's at Xmas '38, but may have been by Xmas '39. There's also a joke about Fleischer poaching staff, and Dave Monahan had already returned. He had a fair number of credits in late '38 at Schelsinger.

On Cartoon Brew (in 2006), the second part was listed as from 1939
The stripper reference shot is for Detouring America, a 1939 short. It also has Cal Dalton mentioning something about getting the Republican nomination in 1940; if this is Xmas 1940, that seems unlikely, but perhaps it is a joke. Friz is there; his first cartoon after returning was Confederate Honey, March 30, 1940. I'm not sure if he would have been back for the filming of the '39 reel, but it's at least feasible.

And there's this: between the two pictures, there's text written on the film: 1938 XMAS PARTY (if you frame through the space between the films, it's soon after Jerry Beck says "they would" on the commentary). The second can't be from '38, because of Friz's appearance. Which means the first film is almost certainly from '38.

For the second piece, having both Friz and Tex means it could be from '39 or '40. And if it's just stock footage of Tex, it could be from later (especially if it was an inside joke saying he'd thrown a fit about Heckling Hare; it seems unlikely he'd be at the front of the caricature line in the opening then, tho). A '39 calendar shows up in the second piece tho, which likely was filmed for this, and therefore is likely the year of the use. Ideally the tail end of the film could have similar writing as the first reel, although the taped version from 2006 doesn't seem to show that sort of tail, and LTGCv6 does not have it; if there is a slightly longer transfer with tail footage for the second piece, that could clear it up, but Mark Kausler no longer has the original prints, so there's no way to check (unless you reading this know where the print is and can check the tail; thanks in advance, gentle reader).

So, I'm proceeding under the impression that the first section is from 1938, and the second from 1939. Onwards.

1938: ""Having a Wonderful Time" with "Angels in Dirty Places" "

Dave Mitchell and Dave Monahan are both passable ladies.

Watch them wash those cels; heart breaking.

Mel Blanc does most of the voices.

March of Time:

1939: March of Time

Quite the outfit on the Russian bomber

Celwashers: Charlie Jones, John Marks, and Eddie Swift. Swift and Marks were black, providing a little bit of diversity in the history of animation.

Parade of hook ups.

Poor Smokey Garner was illiterate.

You can see through Ruthie Pierce's top; she has however chosen to wear a bra, so no big whoop.

Man, Leon's hair was jacked up. But he still has a big bald spot, so it can't be a rug.

Update: Yowp found the following about the stripper in the Los Angeles Times, Aug. 27, 1939:
"Casting of the week: Marcia Eloise a stripper from the downtown answered a call to model for animators drawing a Looney Tune cartoon at the Leon Schlesinger studio"

1 comment:

  1. The first reel uses some 1939 cartoon scores by Stalling -- mainly from "Porky's Tire Trouble", but they were early '39 scores, so it's entirely possible that music was already recorded by the time the sound was cut in for the reel to show before the '38 Christmas party.