2015 Vitaphone Program

Saturday, June 27, 2015

4:00 PM

  1. STOOPNOCRACY (Par/’33) – Fleischer Song Cartune with Radio favorites Colonel Stoopnagle and Budd with the added surprise of Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers imitating Cab Calloway.
  2. JACK WHITE AND HIS MONTREALERS (Vitaphone/’29) – Bizarre Vitaphone short starring vaudeville headliner Jack White.
  3. THE JAZZ REPORTERS (Par/’31) marks the only known film appearance Charlie Davis and His Orchestra, all in rhyme and peppy music.
  4. VAUDEVILLE INTERLUDE (Vitaphone/’38) – One of the many multi-act vaudeville reels from the studio. Some acts killed vaudeville for sure!V
  5. Clip from WHY BE GOOD? (First National/’29) – Colleen Moore’s final silent feature was lost for over 8 decades, but found a few years ago ina small Italian archive. It’s ben restored (and on DVD) using Ron Hutchinson’s Vitaphone disks. This clip offers Jimmy Dorsey, Venuti & Lang, and Phil Napoleon among others on the synchronized track.
  6. PARAMOUNT PICTORIAL Featuring Harold Arlen (Par/’33) – The composer sings several of his hit tunes in this rare offering.
  7. DON BESTOR & HIS ORCHESTRA (Par/’36) – Offers a rare appearance on screen by Jack Benny’s then radio bandleader. Shot in Astoria.
  8. Compilation of VITAPHONE and other early band clips, 1927-30. Include hot excerpts from early talkie shorts by the bands of Gus Arnheim, Earl Burtnett, Tal Henry, Dick Rich, Walt Roesner, Waring’s Pennsylvanians, Harry Wayman’s Debutantes, The Gotham Rhytm Boys, The Original Indiana Five, Abe Lyman, Leo Reisman, Roy Fox, Hal Kemp, Horace Heidt, Tommy Christian, Benny Meroff, and more!
  9. Clip from WHY BE GOOD? (First National/’29) – Colleen Moore’s final silent feature was lost for over 8 decades, but found a few years ago ina small Italian archive. It’s ben restored (and on DVD) using Ron Hutchinson’s Vitaphone disks. This clip offers Jimmy Dorsey, Venuti & Lang, and Phil Napoleon among others on the synchronized track.
  10. ME AND THE BOYS (British Wardour/’29) – This holy grail of jazz shorts was lost for 83 years until found in Australia 3 years ago. The Vitaphone Project tracked it down and arranged repatriation and got funding for the UCLA restoration you may now enjoy. Singer Estelle Brody is backed by members of the Ben Pollack band, including Jack Teagarden, Jimmy McPartland, Dick Morgan and Ray Bauduc. Never shown in the US, the short was filmed in NYC as England had not yet geared up for talkies.

8:00 PM

  1. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOIN’ (WB/’31) – a super hot Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies Cartoon, heavily influenced by the Fleischer studio, and with a soundtrack by Gus Arnheim’s band.
  2. LET’S DANCE (Par/’33) – Burns & Allen and lots of music at a dance hall. Nothing more to be said.
  3. MANHATTAN SERENADE (MGM/’29) – Just restored by George Eastman House with funding developed by The Vitaphone Project. An early MGM Colortone Technicolor short offers The Brox Sister and Nina Mae McKinney and (in black and white) a tour of 1929 Manhattan.
  4. TECHNICOLOR FRAGMENTS – The Vitaphone Project has located a number of short (45-60 second) 35mm Technicolor nitrate film fragments and in some cases they can be dropped into surviving black and white footage. Over 25 were found last year in England. Here are two examples, a color fragment from ON WITH THE SHOW (WB/’29), which otherwise only survives in black and white, and a previously lost fragment in color from GOLD DIGGERS OF BROADWAY (WB/’29), with missing footage before and after the clip recreated with tills. More to come!
  5. SWING IT! (RKO/’36) – Stars Louis Prima and his band, including Pee Wee Russel. Filmed just as Prima was making a name for himself.
  6. Another Clip from WHY BE GOOD? (First National/’29) – Colleen Moore’s final silent feature released with an original jazzy synchronized Vitaphone score. Listen for Jimmy Dorsey, Phil Napoleon, Joe Venuti, and Eddie Lang. Now on Warner Archive DVD.
  7. A HAVANA COCKTAIL (Vitaphone/’31) – In honor of the United States reinstating relations with Cuba, here we present Manolo Castro and his Orchestra in a fun short set in a Cuba bar (actually filmed in Brooklyn), with fast cutting and a super singing trio!
  8. RAMBLING ‘ROUND RADIO ROW (Vitaphone/’32) – This entry in the ten short series of one reelers featuring radio stars boasts Syd Gary, Sylvia Froos, Abe Lyman and The Boswells.
  9. FAY MARBE IN ‘A CONTINENTAL EVENING’ (ol/Victor/’29) – Just restored by The Library of Congress, this one reel Colubia “Victor Gem” was shot in Camden at Victor’s makeshift talkie studio. Five other “Gems” are now being restored. You will notice some poor synchronization in spots as the surving disk seems to be from another take. Yet Marbe’s performances were so consistent that most of it matches perfectly.
  10. ME AND THE BOYS (British Wardour/’29) – This holy grail of jazz shorts was lost for 83 years until found in Australia 3 years ago. The Vitaphone Project tracked it down and arranged repatriation and got funding for the UCLA restoration you may now enjoy. Singer Estelle Brody is backed by members of the Ben Pollack band, including Jack Teagarden, Jimmy McPartland, Dick Morgan and Ray Bauduc. Never shown in the US, the short was filmed in NYC as England had not yet geared up for talkies.

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