Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chinese Fantasy

From the 1929 film The Show of Shows. Nick Lucas, Myrna Loy, and a barked introduction from Rin Tin Tin.

View: "Chinese Fantasy" (1930)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kid Millions

Forget Willy Wonka. THIS is the real deal, circa 1934!

The actual film Kid Millions, starring Eddie Cantor, Ann Sothern, Ethel Merman and George Murphy, was really not all that interesting. As Wikipedia describes it:

"The story features Eddie, a kid from Brooklyn, New York City, United States who suddenly inherits $77 million dollars from his lost father, an archeologist that had looted Egypt of its treaures. In order to reclaim the inheritance, Eddie begins his boat ride to Egypt. However, on the boat he meets various characters who claim also to receive a part of the inheritance, though their stories are doubtful. Later on, Eddie learns that the Sheik Mulhulla has threatened to kill anyone who tries to claim the treasure, and that Princess Fanya has fallen deeply in love with Eddie and wants Eddie's hand in marriage."

But it's the film's surrealist "Ice Cream Factory Fantasy" sequence at the end that makes Kid Millions a classic piece of cinema. It was the first United Artists film to utitize the three-strip Technicolor process. The cast of Our Gang are also reportedly among the throngs and hordes of screaming-for-ice-cream children. Can you imagine being the stage manager and cast wrangler for this shoot?

View: Technicolor finale from Kid Millions (1934)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blue Daughter of Heaven

From the film Lord Byron Of Broadway, this amazing dance routine entitled "Blue Daughter of Heaven", with someone named James Burroughs singing and the Albertina Rasch Ballet Troupe dancing.

Just watch it.

View: "Blue Daughter Of Heaven" from Lord Byron Of Broadway (1930)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Hades Ballet

The Devil's Cabaret, a 1930 low-budget musical, was built around a scrap of "lost" footage called "The Hades Ballet".

"The Hades Ballet" was an abandoned musical number from The March of Time, which was a 1929 production whose musical/dance numbers were filmed, but not the rest of the story. After the uncompleted film was scrapped, the footage was portioned out piecemeal to other films.

Definitely our kind of ballet.

View: The Hades Ballet (1930)