Friday, May 28, 2010

BoxOffice 5/27/39 and "How To Eat"


Wherein it is revealed that Leon Schlesinger produced animation for Warner Bros., Republic, and MGM...

p59 "...
The NLRB has set June 12 as the tentative date for a hearing on the Screen Cartoon Guild's petition for certification as bargaining agents for the cartoonists at Metro. Motion picture painters are slated to hold their annual election June 19. The Pacific Coast Labor Bureau has mailed out questionnaires to the painters as a step in collecting data for a survey of film industry employment conditions." It's unclear if painters includes cel painters or not.

p61 "Hurry "Old Glory"
To meet a July 4 release, Leon Schlesinger has his cartoon staff working day and night shifts on "Old Glory," first in a series of patriotic cartoons. Running eight minutesm the subject wull have a musical score supplied by the Warner Vitaphone 50-piece orchestra. Warner releases."

p63 "Options
_ Walter Lantz
WILLIE POGANY, portrait artist, signed to take charge of colr effects and backgrounds for the Lantz cartoon output for Universal during the new season. Pogany will also create characters for the series, which will be filmed in technicolor.

p64 "Schlesinger Does Cartoon Sequence for Republic
Leon Schlesinger is preparing a cartoon sequence for Republic's "The Fighting Irish." The cartoon producer just completed a similar chore for a Robert Benchley short, "How to Eat," at Metro."

The "How to Eat" animated segment is about 15 seconds long and is pretty boring

BoxOffice December 17, 1938 says "The Fighting Irish" was to star Pat O'Brien as Knute Rockne. So, it's almost certainly the 1940 movie, "Knute Rockne, All American". I have not bought a copy of Knute Rockne to check the animation (hey, it actually came out in 1940, right?).

It is theoretically possible there was an error in communication and the story is meant to refer to "She Married a Cop", which involves fighting and Irish people and definitely contains a Schlesinger animated sequence. If there's no animated sequence in the Knute Rockne Story, I'd guess this theory is correct.

p65 "After spending nearly a month here, Hal Horne, new vice-president of Walt Disney Productions, and Richard Condon, eastern executive, terminated their visit to return to New York. They have been huddling with Disney concerning the status of production and other studio matters."

p77 "Milwaukee
Einar Dessau, director of the Tubord Breweries, Ltd., Copenhagen, Denmark, and holder of patents giving him the irght to manufacture animated sound cartoons, was a local visitor en route to California."

I fail to find any more useful information about Einar Dessau and animation.

p126 Short Subject Reviews
"Short of the Week
The Hockey Champ
RKO (Walt Disney) 7 Mins.
There's more comic ingenuity displayed in this subject than you'll find in a carload of cartoons. And just about every foot of it is good for gales of laughter. Donald Duck is seen as just about the fastest and fanciest thing on ice skates. His performance is in itself a howl to behold. Sighting his three prankish nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, who are enjoying a friendly little hockey by themselves. Donald proceeds to challenge them - one against three. It's a walkaway, Donald's favor. His ego overcomes Donald and he offers to lick the stuffin's out of the nephews, blindfolded. But that's where the tide turns. Taking advantage of Donald's obstacle, the nephews and the animators pull out the screamingest pack of tricks seen in many a hockey season."

"Musical Mountaineers
Paramount (Betty Boop) 7 mins.
Meagre cartoon fare that has little in the way of humor. Betty is enjoying herself on a farm until she decides to get rid of the scarecrow. When she does, all the crows descend on the farm and house. Pudgy pints out that she should put on the scarecrow's clothes. It works."

Note that BoxOffice got the title wrong; this is not a review of Musical Mountaineers, but The Scared Crows. It makes you wonder if they bothered to actually watch, or just made a judgement without watching and simply read a synopsis.

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