Sunday, October 01, 2006


I'll be doing the Saturday night show at the Silicon Convention - in San Jose's posh DoubleTree Hotel - October 7 at 11:00 p.m. It will be the usual archivists' jam session, featuring 50's commercials, film clips inexplicably preserved for posterity (Mickey Rooney and Jayne Mansfield at the 1957 Foreign Press Awards), Scopitones, Soundies, Godzilla-style monster mayhem, unintentionally funny Coronet Instructional Films, pre-code comedy shorts, trailers from cheesy movies and lots of cartoon fun. . . and anything else we can throw into the mix.

Is there anything I'd love to show but can't locate a 16mm print of? (pregnant pause)

  • Service With A Smile, the 1934 Vitaphone short with Leon Errol as the proud proprietor of a gas station staffed by showgirls.

  • A Pair Of French Heels, a Paramount one-reeler which is the closest thing to - imagine this - "Mr. Mike" O'Donoghue and/or National Lampoon making a comedy short in 1931. In this lovefest, boxers-turned-comedians Mitchell & Durant make Shemp-era Three Stooges look like Noel Coward. . . The film's co-called "plot" stops arbitrarily so Mitchell & Durant can - for no apparent reason - pound the living daylights out of each other. And, Noel Coward fans take note, the "butt-kicking at the society party" bit is a. . . er. . . classic.

There will be descriptions of more gems we'd like to find from underneath the ragged fingernails of popular culture in future posts.

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