Saturday, April 30, 2022

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #173

 Hello my friends and happy Saturday morning. Once again it is time for some classic cartoons. 

Today's cartoon selection begins with Sylvester and Tweety in Trick or Tweet (1959). This short film features Sylvester competing with Sam the cat for Tweety. This is not the first time the two had fought over Tweety. The two fought over Tweety before in two cartoons, Putty Tat Trouble (1951) and Tweet and Sour (1956). The two would later fight over a mouse in Mouse and Garden (1960). Sam's last appearance in a theatrical short film would be Merlin the Magic Mouse (1967), where he would meet up with one of the last Looney Tunes characters created for the theatrical shorts. 




Up next comes an early example of Disney's Silly Symphonies cartoons with The Bird Store (1932). This short film is similar to many of the Silly Symphonies of the time period. The movie starts out with simply a bunch of cute little gags involving a bird store and then a villain enters and many of the characters team up to stop this villain. The cartoon is directed by Wilfred Jackson, who would later co-direct such Disney features as Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953) and Lady and the Tramp (1955). The movie also features an all-star cast of Disney animators. David Hand, who would later be the supervising director for such Disney features as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942), animates the opening scene. Future Donald Duck director, Jack King animated the lovebirds, the canaries being excited and the baby being returned to its parents. Frenchy de Tremaudan, who worked as an uncredited animator on many of Disney best short films, animates the bird sharpening its beak and the parrot with the cash register. Johnny Cannon animated the jalopy birds and the canaries pecking at the cat. Clyde Geronimi, who would be a co-director on Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953) and Lady and the Tramp (1955) and the supervising director for Sleeping Beauty (1959), animates the horn birds and the cat in the cage. Norm Ferguson, whose animation would later help define the character of Pluto, animates the parrot with both the mirror and the typewriter. Future Woody Woodpecker and Barney Bear director Dick Lundy animates the whooping birds and the cat stalking the canaries. Future Hanna-Barbera director, Rudy Zamora animates the Marx Birds. Future Looney Tunes and Van Beuren director, Tom Palmer animates the baby canary taking on a singing lesson. Albert Hunter animates the birds watching with excitement. Master Mickey Mouse animator, Les Clark animates the baby canary running from the cat and the scene with the dogs. Ben Sharpsteen, who would later be the supervising director for such Disney features as Pinnochio (1940), Fantasia (1940) and Dumbo (1941), heads a whole crew of animators including Chuck Couch, Marvin Woodward, Hardie Gramatky, Harry Reeves and Dick Williams. 



Next up comes one of Van Beuren's Toonerville Trolly cartoon, Trolley Ahoy (1936). These short films were based off of a popular newspaper comic strip by Fontaine Fox called Toonerville Trolly (or Toonerville folks) which ran from 1908 to 1955. This movie is the second of three animated cartoons based off this strip. 






Next we join the Pink Panther in Pink Da Vinci (1975). 




Now it is time for a commercial break. 










We begin with a classic Frank Tashlin Porky Pig cartoon, Porky's Railroad (1937). This is one of the many cartoons of this time that used the formula of Porky being placed in a different job. In fact, earlier the same year Tashlin had directed a very similar Porky Pig cartoon, called Porky's Building (1937). That film like this one featured Porky up against a rival for his job. This cartoon opens up using of Tashlin's favorite types of gags that of words appearing on the screen to introduce the action. Often times he would do this in the form of a "disclaimer", but here he simply introduces the two trains. Also notice the ship that Porky picks up is the SS Leon named after the cartoon's producer Leon Schlesinger.




Next we join Krazy Kat in Lighthouse Keeping (1932). By this time the movie Krazy Kat barely resembled that of the newspaper comic strip that these films were originally based on. Though the movie Krazy soon started out like his comic counterpart, he would over time be transformed into a character who more closely resembled that of Disney's Mickey Mouse. 



Today's cartoon selection ends with Donald Duck in Cured Duck (1945). In this movie Donald tries to learn how to control his temper, which may not be that easy. The story was written by Roy Williams who would later be the big Mouseketeer on TV's Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959).






Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for more animated treasures. Until then may all your tunes be looney and your melodies merry. 

Resources Used

Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kaufman 


Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Brothers Cartoons by Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald 


 









 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Movie Review: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

 



Michael's Movie Grade: B

A really fun action-comedy.

The idea of Nicholas Cage playing himself in an action-adventure film is in itself a delightful idea and this movie has a lot of fun with it. Even if some of his movie choices have been questionable, Cage has always been a great actor, who brings his all to every role he plays. Here he is at the top of his game. He manages to play himself in a way that pokes a lot of fun at his public image, while showing why movie fans love him so much and bringing an incredibly likable presence to this fictionalized version of himself.  He is also obviously having such a good time making this film. In there lies the reason this film works. We get the feeling that everyone making this movie had a great time making it and therefore we have a lot of fun watching it. What also comes through is director/co-writer Tom Gormican's passion for movies. As much as this movie may parody celebrity culture and Hollywood, it has the upmost respect for film as an artform. References to great movies abound and range from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) to Paddington 2 (2017) and of course so many of Nicholas Cage's films. Listening to the characters talking about movies provides the film with some of its most charming and funniest moments. These scenes are especially delightful to film buffs but will entertain those who not familiar with the movies as well because the passion comes through, and they are just so dang funny. Not all the humor is perfect though. There are some jokes that miss and there are times when I wish the humor would have gone more over the top. But still the moments that are funny are very funny and I certainly laughed out loud multiple times watching this movie. There is also a comedic energy to this film that is delightful and kept a smile on my face for most of the runtime. 

The downside is that while our main characters are very likable and fun, some of the side characters simply aren't that interesting. The CIA agents who hire Nicholas Cage are bland and not very funny. 

All in all, while this is not a perfect movie, it is a lot of fun. 



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Movie Review: Pompo the Cinephile (Eiga Daisuki Pompo-san)

 



Michael's Movie Grade: B+

An excellent animated comedy-drama from Japan. 

Being someone who is obsessed with movies, naturally films about movies have a strong appeal to me. However I am sure even casual movie fans will have a great time with this film. What makes this film work so well is that the passion of our main characters is expressed so well. You can feel the passion of movies oozing out of them every second. Some of the best scenes simply revolve around the characters having discussions about what movies mean to them. These scenes are very well written and make sure you not only understand why they are so passionate but also feel the same excitement as them. Also very successful is how this movie shows us how great filmmakers view the world in a different wat than normal people. This is expressed through excellent fantasy sequences that allow us to see how are main character is always making a movie in his mind. These scenes are perfectly realized and enhance our emotional connection to the story. This movie is also a comedy and a really funny one. I (and others in the theater), laughed watching this film much more than I thought I would going in and even during the humor that didn't make me laugh out loud, I was still smiling. The story of this film is basic but effective. Over the course of the film, you truly care about the movie the characters are making. 

However there is no doubt that you know where this story is going every second and a subplot with a banker's son is not that interesting. 

Overall this film is exactly what people who see it want it to be. It is a fun and funny trip to the movies and a great tribute to the artform of cinema.  

Movie Review: The Northman

 



Michael's Movie Grade: B+

Roger Eggers' most straightforward movie to date is an excellent Viking epic. 

I will admit that this was a movie that automatically piqued my interest. As a fan of Roger Eggers' previous films, I was interested to see how he would adapt going from his earlier indie productions to this big budget epic. It turned out he adapted very well. While this may not be at the same level as The Lighthouse, it is still an excellent movie in its own right. What makes this movie work is that beneath all of the weird imagery and gory action scenes, there is a simple and relatable story at the heart of the film. This is essentially a film about a man who sets out to get revenge on the man who killed his father. There is nothing complex about that and it is something that makes it so everybody can put themselves in the shoes of the main character. Of course, being a Roger Eggers film there are times when we question how morally correct the character is in his mission and whether he is doing this for justice of for himself. However while those moments make the character more complex, they never make it so we are not able to care about him or his plight. Equally important are his relationships with other characters which are very well handled. One scene between him and his mother is disturbing in the best way possible and it wouldn't be so if we were not already invested in this character. The romance is also very well handled and even raises the stakes in the character's emotional journey. This movie also benefits from a top notch cast. While this film is full of big movie stars, none of them feel cast because of their popularity but because of how perfect they are for the characters. This is a movie where you forget what actors you are watching as they fully become the characters they play on screen. 

Being a Roger Eggers film, this movie is full of strange imagery and there are many fantasy elements woven in. This both helps and hurts the film. Visually they enhance the film very much and many of these fantastical scenes are simply breathtaking to look at. These scenes show why Eggers is such a fantastically talented visual filmmaker and some images will stay in your mind long after the movie is over. The scenes also add to the feeling of this being an old school epic and help make the film feel larger than life. However the scenes also make a simple story that doesn't need to be complicated feel needlessly complicated at times. This is especially true once you consider that the story would still work just fine without the fantasy elements. Still even with this the movie is the most straightforward and mainstream of Eggers movies, which means it is still quite weird by normal movie standards. 

Overall despite any faults this is an excellent movie, that proves once again how great of a director Roger Eggers is.   

Monday, April 25, 2022

Movie Review: The Bad Guys

 



Michael's Movie Grade: B

A really fun feature length cartoon. 

What I really liked about this film is that it never tried to hide its cartoon roots. Instead this movie =embraces its cartoon roots. Despite being CGI, the film never tries to look more realistic and is instead stylized in the best UPA style manner. The design work alone gives the movie a unique feel in the Dreamworks cannon and makes the film automatically appealing. Also helping this film is the great use cartoon style gags and action. This is especially true of the opening scenes, which are simply a lot of fun. Speaking of gags, this ranks as possibly the funniest Dreamworks movie in years. Not only do the gags come fast and furious but many of them are quite funny and I laughed more watching this picture than I excepted too. A few times I admit to really laughing out loud. However the jokes that didn't make me laugh out loud, still kept a smile firmly set on my face. The movie is also helped by great main characters. Despite being bad guys these characters are automatically quite likable. They all have their own unique personalities and true to the message of the film, they are more than the stereotypes they first appear to be. Not only are these characters good on their own, but they work even better together. The interplay between Wolf and Snake is fantastic and it is simply a joy to watch those two characters share the screen. 

On the downside this movie is incredibly predictable. If anyone couldn't see any of the big twists coming than they have probably never seen a movie before. There was not a second in which I could not easily figure out what was going to happen next. However if the destination is predictable that is forgivable if the journey is a lot of fun and this one is. 

Pure cartoon silliness and fun from start to finish. 

Cowboy Church #169

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another selection of classic cartoons. 

Today's musical selection begins with Darrell Glenn's 1953 recording of Crying in the Chapel. This song was written by Darrell's father Artie Glenn. Artie wrote this song specifically for his son to sing and Artie's band The Rhythm Riders plays on this recording. The chapel mentioned in the song is a small chapel near the Glenn's home, where Darrell taught Sunday school classes. Darrell was only 17 and still in high school when he recorded this great song. As many of you know in 1967 Elvis recorded this song and had a number one hit with it. This is followed by Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives with Working on a Building. Next comes The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1948 recording of The Old Rugged Cross. The song itself dates back to 1913 and was written by evangelist, George Bennard. Actually the first verse was written in 1912. It was written while Bennard was a part of a series of revival meetings in Albion, Michigan. He was worried about the complete disregard for the gospel around him and wrote this verse as a repose. Of writing it Bennard said, "I seemed to have a vision ... I saw the Christ and the cross inseparable." The song wouldn't be completed for several months, when he was leading meetings at a local church in Pokagan, Michigan. He played it for Rev. Leroy (the sponsoring pastor) and his wife, Ruby Bostwick, both of whom found themselves moved to tears. It was then incorporated into a service at that church on June 7, 1913. The song has the same effect today as it must have back then. After this comes Johnny Cash singing Come to the Wailing Wall. This song comes from John's 1969 album The Holy Land. This was an album that was inspired by a trip John and his wife, June Carter Cash, made to Israel. As Christians this trip had a profound effect on them and they felt it was nessary to share this effect with all those who listened to John's music. Next is Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with I'll Fly Away. This song was written by  Albert Edward Brumley and was first published in 1932. He grew up in Oklahoma and when he wrote this song he was living in Rock Island, Oklahoma where he was helping his family plant and pick cotton. This was hard and grueling work and Brumley later admitted, “Actually, I was dreaming of flying away from that cotton field when I wrote ‘I’ll Fly Away.’” Next is Roy Rogers There'll Be Peace in the Valley. The hymn was written by Thomas A. Dorsey who later explained the origins of this song, “Peace in the Valley,” “It was just before Hitler sent his war chariots into Western Europe in the late 1930s. I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, “What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?” Out of those thoughts came “Peace in the Valley.” This recording comes from Roy and his wife's, (Dale Evans) 1973 gospel album, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. This is followed Red Steagall singing A Long Way From Montana. This is an original song from his 1995 gospel album, Faith and Values. Today's musical selection ends with Willie Nelson and his sister the late great Bobbie Nelson (on piano) performing Old Time Religion




























Next is country singer Red Steagall with a cowboy poem, To an Old Friend.




Next is the C.S. Lewis essay, Myth Became Fact.




Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:10-11

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again. 












Saturday, April 23, 2022

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #172

Hello my friends and welcome back for another selection of classic cartoons. 

Today's cartoon selection begins with a real classic, the Bugs Bunny cartoon, The Wacky Wabbit (1942). As many of you know all the major Looney Tunes directors had their different take on Bugs Bunny. Bob Clampett's Bugs was very much a fun-loving prankster. Unlike Chuck Jones' version of the character, this Bugs did not always need to act in self-defense but could just pick on someone to have a little fun. That is true of the way he treats Elmer here. Elmer in this movie is not hunting wabbits, but simply minding his own business, when Bugs decides to let the poor fellow have it. Elmer in this cartoon looks different from how many movie fans picture him looking. This is because he was briefly redesigned to look like his voice actor Arthur Q. Byran. The following is a review from The Film Daily, "Fourteen carrot entertainer this 'Wacky Wabbit.' There's a laugh in every foot. The wise guy rabbit in this instance tries his trick on a gold prospector. He drives the poor guy crazy confounding him and keeping him constantly on the jump. Bugs Bunny grows in stature with every new Merry Melody release. He bids fair to become as funny as any character now in animated cartoons. The smart showman should grab this short." 





Next comes Mighty Mouse in Wreck of the Hesperus (1944). This short film marked the first time Mighty Mouse received his name. In the previous cartoons, he was referred to as Super Mouse. However to avoid confusion with a comic book character named Super Mouse, the character's name was changed to Mighty Mouse, which is a better name anyway. 



Now we join our old friend Scrappy in The Treasure Runt (1932). 



Next comes one of the most famous and important of Disney's Silly Symphonies cartoons, Flowers and Trees (1932). This film was the first Silly Symphony in color and it is obvious that even from this first attempt the Disney cartoons had a mastery of color in a way few film would ever reach. Walt knew that color was not just a novelty or a way to make films look pretty but could be a vital part of storytelling. The colors in these cartoons often added to mood of the scene in a way an audience can feel. Walt was alone in believing Technicolor  would help boost the quality of his cartoons and many tried to talk him out of it but as was always true of Walt, he stuck with his instinct and it paid off. The short received much praise (including an academy award) and it still remains a great cartoon to this day. Walt signed a contract with Technicolor for three years, giving them exclusive right to the process in the field of animation. This is why some of the other studios would soon use less famous and less effective color processes for their cartoons of this period. The cartoon itself was directed by Burt Gillett, who would soon direct the most famous Silly Symphony, The Three Little Pigs (1933). J.B. Kaufman and Russell Merritt's book, Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series states, "David Hand animated most of the film, partly by himself and partly with apprentices."  David Hand would later be supervising director on the Disney features, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942). The following is a short article from The Film Daily (dated Sept. 17, 1932), "As a result of the tremendous reception at the Grauman's Chinese in Los Angles and the Roxy in New York of the first Silly Symphony, in natural color, Walt Disney, its creator says all the Symphonies released this year by United Artists will be done in Technicolor and that later the Mickey Mouse may also be photographed in natural color. The first Silly Symphony in Technicolor 'Flowers and Trees,' was in the nature of a feeler. It was made to touch [sic] out the public reaction to color in an animated short feature. After the first showing in Hollywood, in conjunction with MGM's 'Strange Interlude,' Disney had decided that he hit upon one of his most popular moves. Sid Grauman also was highly enthusiastic about 'Flowers and Trees.' The same thing happened at the Roxy. And now the second Silly, 'King Neptune' will have its premiere at the opening of 'Mr. Robinson Crusoe,' Douglas Fairbanks new feature, at the Rivoli next Wednesday." 




Now it is time for a commercial break. 









I have mentioned before on this blog, how the Goofy cartoons Jack Kinney directed for Disney are some of my all time favorite cartoons. While here is another Jack Kinney directed cartoon starring that lovable Goof, Californy 'er Bust (1945).




Tiday's cartoon selection ends with a cartoon staring the original star of Looney Tunes, Bosko. The film is Bosko's Soda Fountain (1931). Watching this movie, you will probably feel that it more closely resembles an early Disney cartoon than a later Looney Tune and that was true of all the Warner Brothers cartoons of this era. In his landmark book Of Mice and Magic: A History of the American Animated Cartoon, film historian Leonard Maltin quotes animator Jack Zander, "We were doing something and Hugh Harman [who co-directed the early Warner Brothers cartoons with Rudolf Ising] said 'You remember that scene in the Disney picture where Mickey Mouse did do-and-so?' I said 'You want me to do almost the same thing?' and he said 'No I want you to do exactly the same thing.'" 








Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for another selection of classic cartoons. Until then may all your tunes be looney and your melodies merry. 

Resources Used

Of Mice and Magic: A History of the American Animated Cartoon by Leonard Maltin

Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series by Russel Merrit and J.B. Kaufman 

https://mediahistoryproject.org/




 



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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Buster Keaton: Family Man

 The following is an article from a 1930 issue of Modern Screen Magazine. If you have any trouble reading click on the pages and use your touch screen to zoom in. 














Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Movie Review: Ambulance

 



Michael's Movie Grade: C+

A fun Michael Bay thriller. 

When one goes to a Michael Bay film, they are not excepting Ingmar Bergman. One simply wants some fun action and fast-moving excitement. This movie does a good job at providing this. While Michael Bay has become a bit of a punchline for many film critics, it cannot be denied that the man has a talent for directing action scenes and that is perfectly shown here. The majority of this movie is simply one long extended action scene. Yet despite any faults, I can't say that I was ever bored watching this movie and that is definitely an accomplishment. As much as he loves over the top explosions this film shows he knows when to use them to their strongest effectiveness. The chase does not start off with the over-the-top explosions but instead they are gradually and effectively built up to. Plus, when they arrive, they provide all the over-the-top fun one could ask for. While the characters are not complex, they fill their roles in this movie quite well. Jake Gyllenhaal is a lot of fun as a truly evil villain. While this character is as over the top as any of the action scenes, he is also just as fun and somehow manages not to go so over the top that the scenes with him become a joke. He is still threatening and a little creepy and therefore we truly believe that he is a danger to the other characters. Eiza Gonz├ílez provides the most likable performance as a hostage. This is a really likable and relatable character, and she provides us with a reason to care what happens in the story. While not every emotional scene works, it is because of her that the ones that do work, work as well as they do. 

Like many Michael Bay films, the major faults lie in the dialogue and humor. Much of the dialogue sounds like it is trying to hard to sound like the way people actually talk and unfortunately ends up not sounding like how anyone would talk. Much of this dialogue feels incredibly forced and awkward and therefore takes one out of the story. There is quite a bit of humor here, but I can't say I laughed once during the picture. I did groan at a few jokes though. This movie, as many of you could guess, has a storyline that is as conventional as they come and there are times when it reminded me too much of other and better movies. I also did not like the way this film did not dive much into Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's character of the villain's brother who reluctantly goes along with his brother's evil scheme. This is an interesting idea, of how much you can morally compromise while still being a good person. However in an attempt to make this character more sympathetic, the movie simply ignores this question, and comes off as overly simplistic and even a bit naive. You simply can't have a character rob a bank and shoot a man and just simply brush these things aside to say he is a likable character. 

This is not a great movie by any means, but it has quite a few scenes that show Michael Bay doing what he does best.    

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island (1983)

 



After three feature length compilation movies starring Bugs Bunny, it was Daffy Duck's turn to receive such a movie. The result was Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island the first of two feature length compilation films starring the looney duck. 

Like the two Bugs Bunny movies that directly preceded this film, this movie was directed by Friz Freleng. Freleng is an animation legend whose work with the Looney Tunes characters dated back to the very beginning. In fact he was an animator on the very first Looney Tunes short, Sinkin' in the Bathtub (1930). By 1934 he was already getting director credit on various Looney Tunes shorts. Over his time of working on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, he played a major role in the creation of Porky Pig, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam. He also directed You Ought to be in Pictures (1940), which is questionably the first film where the greedy side of Daffy become apparent. This movie sadly was the last time Friz would direct the Looney Tunes characters. 

The movie's storyline is a light parody of the TV series Fantasy Island (1977–1984). Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales are stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat but coconuts (which Daffy hates). However pirate Yosemite Sam (with his first mate Taz) is having a battle nearby with Bugs Bunny. This battle ends poorly for Sam and Taz and the two lose their treasure map. Daffy and Speedy find it and it leads them to wishing well that will grant all of their wishes. Daffy decides to take advantage of this and have people (or cartoon animals) from all over come to the island to have their wishes granted, for which Daffy will make a large profit. 

The cartoon shorts included in this movie are Buccaneer Bunny (1948, directed by Friz Freleng), Stupor Duck (1956, directed by Robert McKimson), Greedy For Tweety (1957, directed by Friz Freleng), Banty Raids (1963, directed by Robert McKimson), Louvre Come Back to Me! (1962, directed by Chuck Jones), Tree for Two (1952, directed by Friz Freleng), Curtain Razor (1949, directed by Friz Freleng), A Mouse Divided (1953, directed by Friz Freleng), Of Rice and Hen (1953, directed by Robert McKimson), Lovelorn Leghorn (1951, directed by Robert McKimson) and From Hare to Heir (1960). These are an excellent selection of cartoons and there are many true gems to be found among them. It is hard to think of a Looney Tunes fan being unhappy with this great selection. Yet at the same time these are not the most obvious choices and I really appreciate that. I fell in love with these movies as a kid, largely because they introduced me to shorts that I had not seen a million times on TV. Once more while there is some editing going on (mostly to make the shorts fit better into this movie's story), the majority of them remain very much intact with everything that us Looney Tunes fans have loved about the classic shorts fully on display. Because of this for Looney Tunes fans there are plenty of laughs to be had.  

The new footage may not be as funny as the old footage, it is still quite entertaining. The characters are the same characters we have always loved and just as likable and fun as ever. It is hard not to enjoy spending time with these characters. I especially really enjoyed watching the interactions between Yosemite Sam and Taz. These two may not have ever worked together in the classic shorts, but they work fantastically together and get to really shine here. The storyline also moves at a fast and fun pace and never drags. With the idea of the wishing well, many of the classic cartoons are better integrated here than they were in other Looney Tunes compilation movies. This gives the movie a great flow that makes the feature length go by quickly. However there is no doubt that these new scenes are more charming than they are funny and you won't find yourself laughing as much as the classic cartoon segments. Still these doesn't mean that they aren't quite fun to watch. It also doesn't hurt that the animators for these new scenes included Norm McCabe, Warren Batchelder, Richard Thompson and Bob Bransford, who worked on the classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies as well. Also working on these new scenes are layout artist, Robert Givens and background artist Richard H. Thomas, both of whom worked on the classic shorts. 

While this may not be my favorite of these Looney Tunes compilation movies, there is still a lot to enjoy here. 

The end credits state that the movie is dedicated to writer John Dunn. John Dunn was one of Friz Freleng's favorite writers and came up with the basic story for the movie. He passed away only months before the film was released. 


Movie Review: Dual

 



Michael's Movie Grade: B

A very entertaining dark comedy. 

This movie delivers the excellent deadpan dark comedy, you have come to except from director/ writer Riley Stearns previous films. This is a film that does not hold back on the darker and more disturbing parts of its comedy, and it is all the funnier for that. In fact some of the funniest scenes are also some of the most disturbing. This movie also gives us the perfect actress for Stearns' sense of humor and that is Karen Gillain. Movie fans already know how funny she can be in a movie thanks to the Jumanji and Gaurdians of the Galaxy films. However this film pushes her comedic skills to a point they really haven't been pushed to before, relying completely on her deadpan delivery. The very premise of the movie (a woman preparing for a duel to the death with her clone) is absurd and strange enough on its own. To mix in the filmmaker's dark and twisted sense of humor only makes the film all the more absurd. Unlike many comedies that are this absurd the humor doesn't come from how over the top the characters act but how deadpan and causal they feel. This is especially true of our main character, an awkward and matter of fact person, who not only takes the absurdness seriously but also in a calmer manner than any of us would. Yet at the same time this character never feels like a caricature or something less than real. Because this as absurd as most of the film is, we begin to care what happens because we grow to care about this character. Thinking about whether she or her clone will survive the story, creates some genuine suspense and we are left hoping that our heroine will survive. This also makes it so that the film has some surprisingly touching moments between all the absurdity.

On the downside this film lacks the commentary or depth of Riley Stearns' previous movies. You get the feeling that this movie is trying to say something, but in the end it doesn't say anything that insightful or meaningful. This can make the film feel like it has a bit of air of unearned self-importance behind some of its dialogue and certain scenes. Yet this does not take away from how entertaining the movie is. 

  

Cowboy Church #168 - Easter Service

 Hello my friends and welcome to a special Easter service of Cowboy Church. 

Today's musical selection begins with Gene Autry with his 1954 recording of Easter Morning. This followed by the king of the cowboys, Roy Rogers and the queen of the west, Dale Evans with their 1955 recording of Easter is a Loving Time. This is the A-side of a Little Golden Record with the B-side being Candy Cane Cake Walk. Here Roy and Dale are backed by The Sandpipers and Mitch Miller and his orchestra. Up next is Lorretta Lynn singing The Old Rugged Cross. The song itself dates back to 1913 and was written by evangelist, George Bennard. Actually the first verse was written in 1912. It was written while Bennard was a part of a series of revival meetings in Albion, Michigan. He was worried about the complete disregard for the gospel around him and wrote this verse as a repose. Of writing it Bennard said, "I seemed to have a vision ... I saw the Christ and the cross inseparable." The song wouldn't be completed for several months, when he was leading meetings at a local church in Pokagan, Michigan. He played it for Rev. Leroy (the sponsoring pastor) and his wife, Ruby Bostwick, both of whom found themselves moved to tears. It was then incorporated into a service at that church on June 7, 1913. The song has the same effect today as it must have back then. Afterwards comes Johnny Cash singing He's Alive. This song perfectly describes the power and hope of Easter. For all of us Christians, Easter is one of the most important celebrations of the year, because it reminds us what an amazing God we have. That Jesus would suffer on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven and that there would be no commendation for us. It is because of Easter that one day we will see heaven and be able to look upon the beautiful face of our savior. I think it is important for all us Christians to never forget the importance of Easter. Next comes The Gospel Plowboys with Because He Lives. Though this song in many was feels like an old hymn it is actually much more recent than you might think. The song was written by  Gloria and William J. Gaither and won an award for being the Gospel Song of the Year for 1974. In an interview the couple stated how this song came to be, “‘Because he lives’ was written in the midst of social upheaval, threats of war, and betrayals of national and personal trust. It was into this world at such a time that we were bringing our third little baby. Assassinations, drug traffic, and war monopolized the headlines. It was in the midst of this kind of uncertainty that the assurance of the Lordship of the risen Christ blew across our troubled minds like a cooling breeze in the parched desert. Holding our tiny son in our arms we were able to write: How sweet to hold our newborn baby, And feel the pride, and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain day because He lives.’” This is followed by The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1937 recording of Power in the Blood. This is probably my favorite version of this old gospel song, especially with how well it captures the pure joy of the lyrics. This recording was made during the time when Roy Rogers was still a member of The Sons of the Pioneers before beginning his solo career in the movies and his voice can be heard very prominently on this track. Up next is Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely with their 1950 recording of Let's Go to Church (Next Sunday Morning). Then comes Bob Dylan with one of his great self-penned Christian songs, Thief on the Cross. While this song did not make it on one of Bob's main Christian albums, it would eventually appear on his 2017 box set, The Bootleg Series Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979–1981. This is a live recording of the song recorded in 1981, but not released until that 2017 box set. Now for Charley Pride with He Took My Place.  Today's musical selection ends with The Charlie Daniels Band performing How Great Thou Art. This recording of the classic hymn comes from the CDB's 2007 album, Live From Iraq where he performed for U.S. troops fighting overseas.  


































Now for a special Easter poem from Pat Buttram.




Now we have the Reverend Billy Graham with a special Easter message.

 



We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life! Matthew 20:18-19

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. Acts 3:15

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all. Acts 4:33

                                                                              

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:1-20

 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:1-20

Thank you for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again. 


 












Saturday, April 16, 2022

Some Cartoons for Saturday Morning #170

 Hello my friends and happy Saturday Morning. 

Because tomorrow is both Easter and Daffy Duck's birthday, I feel it is the perfect time to share the TV special, Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-citement (1980). To try and stay in the style of the classic short films, this special is broken up into three short cartoons with bridging sequences connecting each. The bridging sequences are quite very reminiscent of the classic Daffy Duck short film, Duck Amuck (1953). The three cartoons here have found their way into the regular rotation of Looney Tune and Merrie Melody shorts on TV today.




Mentioning Duck Amuck (1953) earlier, here is that classic film. Probably no other cartoon short has been as thoroughly analyzed as this film has. Yet no matter how cerebral your analysis of this film may be, the fact of the matter is that the cartoon works because it is simply a lot of fun. The impact of the cartoon does not end there though/ In 1999 the movie was deemed significant by the Library of Congress and selected for the National Film Registry. It also received the number 2 spot in Jerry Beck's book, The 50 Greatest Cartoons. Director Chuck Jones must have found of this film as well as he included it his feature length compilation movie, The Bugs Bunny /Road Runner Movie (1979) and he named his 1989 autobiography, Chuck Amuck.



Next let's join Cubby Bear and take a World Flight (1933). If this film feels more like one of the early Looney Tunes with Bosko than most Cubby Bear cartoons that is due to the fact that the film is directed by Hugh Harmon and Rudolf Ising who made those cartoons. It must be remembered that this movie was made in 1933 well before the horrors that Adolf Hitler would inflict on this world would be fully known to the filmmakers. Seeing  Hitler cheer on Cubby is still more than a little uncomfortable today. A review in The Film Daily stated, "Nothing new or particularly clever about this one." The following is a review from The Motion Picture Herald, "When Cubby Bear, the Aesop's Fables animated hero, attempts his world flight, and the plane indulges in those antics that only an animated cartoon artist can conduct, the result is a lightly musing cartoon, especially enjoyable for the youngsters. Incorporated are caricatures of the Four Marx Brothers, Chevalier and other cleverly done but no longer new." Notice how the newsboy at the beginning looks more than a little like Bosko. Phileas Fogg would be amazed at just how quickly Cubby can make it around the world.



 


Being a cartoon rabbit, it should come as no surprise that Oswald made an Easter cartoon, and that film is Egg Cracker Suite (1943). By this time the Walter Lantz studio had completely redesigned and changed the character to the point where he no longer even slightly resembles the character Walt Disney worked with. This movie would mark the last Oswald film. 




Now it is time for a commercial break.




Next comes Roland and Rattfink in The Deadwood Thunderball (1969). Those of you familiar with this series of cartoons will note that the voices sound very different. That is because instead of Lennie Weinrib voicing them as usual, here the characters are voiced by John Bryner and Dave Berry. 




We go from a jazzy Betty Boop cartoon to a jazzy Silly Symphonies cartoon. Up next is the high energy Woodland Cafe (1937). This is a fun cartoon, but what makes it especially memorable is the Truckin' musical number at the end. Here is high energy music and animation working together perfectly. The song Truckin' was written by Rube Bloom (music) and Ted Koehler (lyrics), who wrote such songs together as Out in the Cold Again, Don't Worry About Me and I Can't Face the Music. With the great use of jazz music it is appropriate that this movie is one of the first in which Ward Kimball was a full fledged animator. He was one of the Disney studio's biggest jazz fans. In fact he would become the leader of The Firehouse Five Plus Two, a jazz band consisting of Disney animators. Ward animated the ending montage, a scene that also showcased the type of animation Ward would become known for,  high energy fun cartoony animation. Todd James Pierce in his biography, The Life and Times of Ward Kimball called this "the highlight of the cartoon." He also gave us this insight, "The bug orchestra also revealed one other element of Kimball's inner life: the animation radiated New York attitudes about jazz suggesting how deeply the dream of moving to the Big Apple still simmered within him." Ward at this time still viewed animating at Disney as a non-permeant job, and his goal was to become a illustrator and painter. Yet his work in this film alone shows us how much greater things waited for him as a Disney animator. Not everybody was as impressed with this film as I am as is shown in an exhibitor's review in The Motion Picture Herald, "WOODLAND CAFE: Silly Symphonies—Not up to the standard of Silly Symphony.—C. L. Niles, Niles Theatre, Anamosa, Iowa. General patronage."




Thanks for joining me come back next week for another selection of animated treasures. Until then may all your tunes be looney and your melodies merry. 







 







Thursday, April 14, 2022

Happy Birthday to Me

Guess what my friends, it is my birthday. 







Things are looking much better this year than they had on my previous couple birthdays. I can go back to and enjoy my favorite places once again, including movie theaters and horse stables.
















What I am really excited about is going back to the TCM Film Festival next weekend. 




As some of you may know today is also the birthday of TCM, my favorite TV channel by far. 




As a country music fan, I love that I share a birthday with a true country music legend, Loretta Lynn.










Birthdays meant to be a joyous time and what better way to be joyous than having some good laughs. And what is better for laughter than with some silent comedy.





















The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9


















 













Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Movie Review: Father Stu

 






Michael's Movie Grade: B

An engaging faith-based film.

Two types of stories that will always have a strong appeal are the underdog story and the redemption story and this movie shows just why these stories will always be appealing. As this film starts out, our main character (Mark Wahlberg) is anything but the type of character we would look up to or feel inspired by. Yet being a Christian movie (albeit fouler mouthed than your average Christian film), this is a story of redemption and what God can do with those you least except. He is utterly transformed throughout the course of the movie and by the end of the picture, you can't help but be inspired by the man God has helped change him into. This transformation is done in the most natural and believable way possible, and you can see him change little by little over the course of the film, rather than just immediately becoming a different personal. This gradual change makes it so that we never feel we are looking at two different characters but instead always the same person. While it may seem strange to praise a movie based on a true story for feeling believable, the truth is there are many such films that don't feel believable at all. This is especially impressive when you consider that this is the first feature film for director/writer Rosalind Ross. When he finds his calling nearly everybody else (including those closest to him), don't believe he is cut out for it. This brings us to the underdog part of the story. Though this in some ways feels more conventional than the redemption part of the story, the film makes it so that we are always rooting for him and wanting to see him defy the odds. The movie also benefits from a really good sense of humor. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times over the course of the movie. The film also knows how to use humor to balance out the moments where the story seems the bleakest. Also helping is an excellent cast. Mark Wahlberg is fantastic here and makes many scenes seem as if we are watching real life instead of a movie. Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver are at the top of their games here and really get their time to shine. Teresa Ruiz as our main character's girlfriend is also excellent. 

Being a country music fan, I loved this movie's soundtrack. Of course anytime I can hear Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Lorretta Lynn and Glen Campbell, all in the same movie, I am sold. Through in an Elvis gospel song and there is no way I can refuse.

On the downside the main character's relationships with his girlfriend and father can feel a bit rushed, as if some transitional moments in their relationships were skipped over. There is also a bit of forced and unnatural dialogue as well as scenes that feel too reminiscent of scenes from similar movies. 

Despite the film's faults, this is a surprisingly moving and inspiring movie.    

Monday, April 11, 2022

The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)

 



After the major success of The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962), it was only natural that Columbia Pictures would quickly follow with another feature film starring The Three Stooges. The film would be The Three Stooges in Orbit. This movie would have the boys facing off against aliens as they had previously done in their feature film Have Rocket Will Travel (1959) and their short film Outer Space Jitters (1957). To this movie's credit it never once feels like it is repeating anything from those previous pictures. 

With the desire to recapture the success of Hercules, this film would have many members of the behind-the-scenes crew return. Edward Bernds would return to the director's chair, Norman Maurer and Edwood Ullman would once again co-write the movie, Paul Dunlap would again do the music and Edwin H. Bryant would again be the editor. Edward Bernds, Norman Maurer and Edwood Ullman, all had history with The Stooges' characters, predating Hercules. His first time directing the trio was Micro-Phonies (1945), a film considered by most Stooge fans to be a real classic. Though he started directing the Stooges in the Curly-era most of the Stooges shorts he directed were during the Shemp era. In my opinion he was my favorite director of the Stooges during that time period and his Shemp films were often my favorite Shemp shorts.  However, working with the Stooges was only part of a long and varied career for Bernds. To quote Leonard Maltin, "He was never a household name, even in Hollywood, but I defy you to think of anyone else who worked with both Mary Pickford and Sam Peckinpah, wrote for Shemp Howard and Elvis Presley, and directed Hugh Hurbert and Zsa Zsa Gabor." Ellwood Ullman's first time writing a Stooges film was with Cash and Carry (1937) and he continued writing Stooges short films through 1957 ending with the Joe Besser short, Guns a Poppin (1957). He would continue to work with the Stooges on all their following starring feature films. Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds would cowrite such movies as The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954, which Bernds also directed), Bowery to Bagdad (1954, which Bernds also directed), Jail Busters (1955) and Tickle Me (1965). The two of them working on Tickle Me probably explains why it is Elvis' most slapstick movie. Norman Maurer was Moe's son in law and at this time The Stooges' manager. Before ever working on a Stooge film, he had written The Three Stooges comic books. He would work on all of The Stooge films following this one and would even write for The Stooge characters as a writer for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio. There he would write the episode of The New Scooby-Doo! Movies, where the Mystery Inc. Gang met The Stooges and create the series The Robotic Stooges.   

The Stooges start off this movie down on their luck. Their landlady (Marjorie Eaton) has had enough of their antics and kicked them out. Meanwhile their TV show is in danger of being cancelled unless they can come up with a new gimmick. Having been kicked out of their apartment the boys rent a room with Professor Danforth (Emil Sitka) and his daughter Carol (Carol Christensen). The professor is an inventor who believes evil aliens are after his invention. He agrees that if the boys help him out with his alien problem, then he will help them out with trying to save their TV show with his new invention, electronic cartoons. 

While this may not be the best of The Stooges' later day feature films, it is still highly entertaining. Despite their ages, The Stooges prove to be just as great at delivering the slapstick goods as they were in their younger days. Each slapstick moment is delivered very well, and you can see that these old pros still knew how to make a joke work to its fullest advantage. It is true that this movie may not be as consistently hilarious as the best of their short films, there are quite a few good laughs to be found. This film even gives Curly Joe DeRita sone of his best moments with the Stooges as he gets a handful of pretty good lines. Also, while not every joke may be laugh out loud hilarious, none of them really fall flat either and they all help add to the joyful silliness of the movie. The fact that Stooge style silliness is the main goal of this film is also a great asset. While there is a romantic subplot (a sadly pretty bland one), it is fully kept in the background allowing The Stooges to fully be the stars of the picture. This is something that this Stooge fan loved. There are also some pretty clever gags in all this silliness. I loved The Stooges reading the Martians' subtitles to understand what they were saying, as well them saving Disneyland, Moe and Larry telling Curly-Joe how to make a hole in the wall and Joe practicing his TV speech.   

However, if I were to complain about this film, my biggest complaint would be the Martians themselves. These are rather bland and boring villains that neither feel that funny or frightening. They are just typical evil movie aliens with nothing to distinguish them. 













Boxoffice Magazine, 1962

This movie also benefits from a good supporting cast. This was the last feature film for Carol Christensen, who had begun her movie career only two years earlier with Freckles (1960). Edon Stroll, who played Prince Charming in Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961), returns to play Captain Tom Andrews here. TV fans will know him best for playing Virgil Edwards in McHale's Navy (1962-1966). George N. Neise who played the villain in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules again plays a villain in this film, as the alien Ogg. His partner Zogg is played by Rayford Barnes, like many of the costars of these 1960's Stooges movies, the majority of his career was spent on TV shows. His TV career began with a 1952 episode of Racket Squad (1950-1953) and ended with a 2000 episode of Touched By an Angel (1994-2003). Most of the time he played characters who only appeared in one episode of a show. In some shows, he would appear in multiple episodes as different characters in each episode. He appeared in two episodes of the show, The Invaders (1967-1968) and in both he plays aliens like he did in this film. One of the rare reoccurring roles he played on a TV show was as Ike Clanton in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955-1961). Stooge fan favorite Emil Sitka has a large supporting role in this movie. He first worked with The Stooges in Curly's last short film Half Wits Holiday (1947). During the Shemp-era and the Joe Besser-era he would become a regular face in The Stooges' short films. He will be forever beloved by Stooge fans for his immortal role in the short film, Brideless Groom (1947) where he delivered the immortal line, "Hold hands you love birds." He is a rare supporting player who appeared in Stooge films with all six of The Three Stooges. 

The first day of shooting for this movie was April 6, 1962 and the last was April 27, 1962. However it is unknown what days the boy's were filming and what days no filming was being done. To save money on special effects some footage was reused from the sci-fi B-movie, Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers (1956). 

Comic book adaptions were made for most of The Stooges' feature films of the 1960's. However, The Three Stooges in Orbit's comic book adaption was especially interesting because it used live action frame blow ups from the movie for its pictures. 

With the Stooges' short films experiencing major popularity on TV in the late 1950's and early 60's, it was only natural that The Stooges would try to have their own half hour TV series at this time. One of the attempts for this was called The Three Stooges Scrapbook. The idea for this show was similar to the team's later TV series, The New Three Stooges (1965). It would feature the Stooges in both live action and animated segments and would be produced by The Stooges and Norman Maurer's Normandy Productions. TV Spots Inc. would agree to make 78 5-minute cartoons for the show. Each episode would feature two of these animated segments one with The Stooges as adults and one entitled Li'l Stooges, which would feature kid versions of the characters. Because the Stooges were becoming much more popular with children due to TV, parent groups were complaining about the violence of their films. However cartoons with equal amounts of violence were also popular with children and there were (at this time at least (by the 1970's this would have changed drastically) far less complaints about children watching these. So the plan was that the live action segments would feature much less violence while the cartoons would be more typically violent Stooges slapstick. Moe would speak about this in an interview for the show stating, "In the live portions of these films, we will cut out the deliberate physical horseplay and substitute unintentional violence - if you have to call it violence. In other words I won't purposely clunk Larry or Curly-Joe, but if I'm carrying a ladder, let's say and I make a quick turn, it could accidently clip Curly on the bean. The deliberate stuff will only be seen in the cartoon segments. That will make everybody happy." The TV series was never to be though. Though some sponsors were interested in the show, a good time slot could never be found. The only timeslots offered for the show would be after 10pm. Since The Stooges were hugely popular with children and had been aiming their act more at younger audiences at this time then they had been before, this slot would have alienated a huge portion of the show's audience. This was simply past kids' bedtimes and unacceptable for that reason. Because of this the sponsors that were interested in it all pulled out leaving the show to be shelved. However, this was not the end of the story. A pilot episode entitled Home Cooking (1960) had been shot. Much of the live action portions of that pilot appear in this movie. In fact, it is out of the pilot being unsold that this movie would be made. Norman Maurer would later state, "I approached the Columbia executives with the half-hour Scrapbook film (a $30,000 investment), and an expanded storyline, and they bought it." Though the pilot was shot in color and featured a laugh track, in this movie the footage appears in black and white and (thankfully) sans laugh track. 















Resources Used

The Three Stooges Scrapbook by Jeff Lenburg, Jean Howard Maurer and Greg Lenburg. 

https://mediahistoryproject.org/

https://www.imdb.com/?ref_=nv_home