Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tidbits of December, 2017

Ossi Oswalda in I Don't Want to Be a Man (1918)
Happy holidays, my friends! 

I have a few choice tidbits for the month.

Here is a rare image from Lloyd Hamilton's popular shipwreck comedy Robinson Crusoe Ltd. (1921).

I've heard that work on the new Hamilton DVD is progressing nicely.

Vitagraph comedy team Montgomery and Rock have a laugh with an Idaho exhibitor in a 1919 photo.

I have talked about Ernst Lubitsch's early features in a number of articles.  I have recently obtained new DVD's of these features.  Let me share a few screen captures.

 I Don't Want to Be a Man (1918)


The Doll (1919)


The Oyster Princess (1919) 


Ossi Oswalda practices how to bathe a baby using a doll in place of a baby.


A similar scene later turned up in the I Love Lucy episode "Pregnant Women Are Unpredictable" (1952).

In Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls (1995), pet detective Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is able to eavesdrop on a suspect by camouflaging himself inside of a fake rhino.


One hundred years earlier, British brothers Richard and Cherry Kearton obtained unique wildlife photography by camouflaging themselves inside of a fake ox.

In a recent article, I talked about comedy teams that are currently active in other countries.  This year, Australia's Lano and Woodley reunited for a national tour.  The usual tension and awkwardness that is present when a fractured comedy team gets back together is on full display in this morning show interview with the pair.

This is Lano and Woodley's "Deaf Interpreter" routine from 2007.

I once wrote about a "no smoking" routine (Click here).  I found another example of the routine performed by Snub Pollard and Marie Mosquini in a 1921 comedy Blue Sunday

Which is the better monster theme song - the jazzy, hand-clapping song for The Blob (1958) or the swinging, groovy song for The Green Slime (1968)?

The Australian sketch comedy series Thank God You're Here plunged guest stars into absurd scenes without a script.  The other actors in the scene fed scripted lines to the guest star, who had to improvise his responses.  The guest star didn't see the set until he walked through a door and was greeted with the line, "Thank, God, you're here."  Here is Frank Woodley winding his way through a scene from the pilot episode. 

This is Hamish Blake suddenly finding himself in a spoof of The Bachelor.

Blake was a favorite on the series.  Here he participates in a dubious science program for kids.

Every episode ended with a group challenge.

Efforts to recreate the show in the United States and England were unsuccessful.

I no longer find laughs in the crass and forced comedy features produced by the Hollywood studios.  I prefer to keep an eye on foreign comedies.  Currently in release in France is Jalouse, which stars acclaimed actress Karin Viard as divorced teacher who suddenly becomes dissatisfied with her life and lets herself be overcome with jealousy.

Alain Chabat in Santa et Cie (2017)
Santa & Cie is a Christmas comedy that involves the desperate efforts of Santa Claus (Alain Chabat) to find a cure for a mysterious illness that has incapacitated his elves.

I enjoyed a new French Canadian comedy called De père en flic 2 (the English title of which is Father and Guns 2). The plot is original. A police task force infiltrates a couples boot camp to investigate a Mafia lieutenant attending the boot camp with his girlfriend. It turns out that bickering police officers, which include an aging renegade cop, his straitlaced work-obsessed son and the son's neglected girlfriend, are more in need of relationship counseling than the actual patients.

Michel Côté and Louis-José Houde in De père en flic 2 (2017)

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