Monday, November 19, 2018

Tidbits for November, 2018

The Dawn Patrol (1938), an excellent precursor to MASH, happened to be filmed at the same film ranch as MASH

Errol Flynn and David Niven are the film's Hawkeye and Trapper John, countering the relentless stream of death with drunkenness and clowning.


Like Hawkeye and Trapper John, Flynn and Niven are anti-authority.

Giancarlo Giannini and Laura Antonelli are terrific together in the 1973 Italian anthology comedy Sessomatto (released in the United States as How Funny Can Sex Be?).


Billy Curtis outdid former silent comedy star Bud Duncan for the role of Little Tut in 20th Century Fox's Princess of the Nile (1954).


Here we have the old comedy trope of adults dressing children.

Hilliard Karr in Fred's Fictitious Foundling (1918)

Snub Pollard in Run'Em Ragged (1920)

Tom Kennedy in Snooky's Twin Troubles (1921)

June Allyson in Too Young to Kiss (1951)

As of now, the most popular article on this website examines the Ouija board in film.  The latest film to make use of the Ouija board is Ouija House (2018).


Cows stampede through the streets in Halal Daddy (2017). . .

. . . much like cows once stampeded through the streets in Buster Keaton's Go West (1925).

Seven Chances (1925)

Brides (2004)

La valise (1973) (English title: Man in the Trunk) is an early comedy by Francis Veber.  The plot is, as expected from Veber, the height of absurdity.  An Israeli agent (Jean-Pierre Marielle) whose cover was blown during a mission in Libya is smuggled out of the country in a trunk by a French agent (Michel Constantin).


The film is reminiscent of a 1917 short comedy called Excess Baggage.  Here is the plot summary provided by the Internet Movie Database:
Susie's fed up with her no-account husband who fancies himself a writer. She intends on running away, but he decides to go with her, hiding in her steamer trunk.  Arriving in "The Big City", (Wilkes-Barre, Penna.!) at a big hotel, she meets some lounge lizards that might do her some good. Her dimwit spouse, after being knocked about in the trunk, starts a fire by lighting his pipe inside it, causing panic.

The old plot in which a man and woman switch bodies gets a few new twists in L'un dans l'autre (2017).

Luke Stangel posted an interesting article, "Jackie Gleason's Spaceship-Like Party House in the Woods Is Listed for $12M," at
In the early 1950s, high-flying TV comedian Jackie Gleason embarked on a project to build a one-of-a-kind party house in the woods north of New York City. Drawing on his lifelong fascination with UFOs, the home and its adjacent cottage are round inside and out — down to the curved floorboards, windows, cabinets, bars, and furniture.

He called the twin buildings “The Spaceship” and “The Mothership.”

The current homeowner, a retired orthodontist, had picked up the 8.5-acre property in Cortlandt Manor, NY, in 1976 for just $150,000 — roughly equivalent to $660,000 today. The property was listed this month for $12 million.

George Grossmith and Edmund Payne were a popular comedy team at London's Gaiety Theatre from 1902 to 1912.  They were featured in a number of musical comedies, including "The Toreador" (1902),  "The Orchid" (1903), "The Spring Chicken" (1905), "The New Aladdin" (1906), "The Girls of Gottenberg" (1907), "Our Miss Gibbs" (1909), and "The Sunshine Girl" (1912).  Here is the duo in a 1911 film, The Two Obadiahs.

I recently come across two clips of Italian comedian Renato Pozzetto on YouTube.  The first clip is from an unidentified film.

The second clip is from a buddy cop comedy called Piedipiatti (1991).

Let's put the plot of Monsieur Grenouille (2016) into the category of odd comic premises.  As the following clip shows, a teacher finds himself unwillingly transforming into a frog at the most inopportune moments.

Joe E. Brown uses his extraordinary comic holler to get inside a home in Fit For A King (1937).

Peter Potamus uses his highly unique Hippo Hurricane Holler to get inside a home.

"Let's Play Post Office!"

Huddle (1934)

Three Little Pigskins (1934)

Hold That Ghost (1941)

Mireille Darc was a film star in France in the 1960s and 1970s.  Stephanie Eckardt of W Magazine wrote, "[H]er influence, like that of the rest of fellow iconic French girls like Brigitte Bardot, whom she was often compared to, will no doubt linger for decades. . ."

In the last few years, film historians have shed a light on the troubled career of forgotten film actress Alice White.

The YouTube channel BlondeCrazyDame features a video tribute of the actress.

Here are rare images of early film comedy star John Cumpson.


Huntz Hall finds that oysters will not abide to being cooked in Jungle Gents (1954).


A magician performs sleight of hand with a series of eggs in an early film, Le prestidigiteur (1896).

A dream vacation goes wrong in the French comedy Good Guys Go to Heaven, Bad Guys Go to Pattaya (2016).

Boris Karloff investigates strange doings in Voodoo Island (1957).


Oil's Well (1923), a fast-paced comedy from Federated Film Exchange, finds Monty Banks searching for oil in a volatile (and fictional) South American country.

Of course, no spoof of South America is complete without a firing squad scene. 

Pokes and Jabbs create laughs in a hat shop.

Jack hides from his girlfriend's irate father on a window ledge in the early high and dizzy comedy The Tale of a Hat (1915, Kalem).

Romantic rivalry is the focus of the 1915 Kalem comedy Flirtatious Lizzie.  Three men vying for the same woman, Lizzie (Ethel Teare), agree to play horseshoes to decide who the woman will marry.

Ham and Bud attend a séance in The Spook Raisers (1915).

Ham and Bud are part of a vaudeville troupe in Raskey's Road Show (1915).

Marceline, the World Renowned Clown of the N Y Hippodrome (1907)

Reference sources

Stephanie Eckardt, "A Look Back at the Late Mireille Darc, One of the Great Blonde French Sex Icons," W Magazine (August 28, 2017).

Luke Stangel, "Jackie Gleason's Spaceship-Like Party House in the Woods Is Listed for $12M," Realtor (August 6, 2018).

Leo Gorcey in Jungle Gents (1954)

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