We have not heard from Betty Boop in a while, so here is another one of her adventures with Bimbo and Ko Ko. This short is an early Betty Boop feature from 1932, featuring some definitely pre-Hays Code gags, and one of the weirder plotlines I've seen. From the Internet Archive, here is Is My Palm Read?
Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Unmanned, remotely piloted military aircraft are not new, or even recent. Both the U.S. and the Germans used television controlled "drones" during World War II in a variety of configurations. Paleofuture posted this article about these experimental aircraft that paved the way for modern military drone use.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Here is a Memorial Day encore from 2011 featuring a wonderful Tex Avery MGM cartoon from 1942. Bear in mind as you watch, this short was released less than a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. From the Internet Archive, here is Blitz Wolf.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
The National World War II Museum posted this item about a unique soldier during WW2. "Wojtek" was a Syrian Brown Bear rescued in the mountains of Iran by the Polish II Corps, who were serving with the British Army. Not only did Wojtek serve as the unit's mascot, he was officially drafted into the Polish Armed Forces at the rank of Private, with his own paybook and serial number.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
Retronaut posted this item about a method used to deliver beer to ground troops after D-Day in World War II. A Mk IX Spitfire was modified to carry wooden beer kegs, and a quick flight up to a cold altitude would refresh the beer. Gives a new meaning to the term "beer run."
Friday, May 16, 2014
This encore from 2011 of a 1936 Fleischer Studios cartoon features credits in French, but the minimal dialogue is in English. This short has an interesting mix of styles, from regular animation, to the depth-of-field technique for which the Fleischer's were known, to the apparant use of live action model trains. The overall story is cute, with a warning for reckless children. From the Internet Archive, here is Play Safe.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
The Jalopy Journal posted this great 1932 footage of Ab Jenkins performing a 24 hour endurance test on the new Pierce Arrow 462 cubic inch V-12 engine at the Bonneville Salt Flats. This video is one of those awesome looks back in history, even if you are not a car person. His average speed was 112.91 mph. I love the comparisons to other manufacturers at various points in the film. To whom did Pierce Arrow compare itself? Ford? Chevrolet? Hudson? Studebaker? Packard? Even the mighty Duesenberg? Nope. Pierce Arrow shot higher: Bugatti, Delage and Voisin - the big, rare European supercars of their day.
Another thing to remember is how dangerous such feats were back then. Up until the 1950's, the odds of a person surviving a serious traffic accident - on the street, at normal driving speeds - were essentially 0. This guy is hurtling around the desert at over 100 mph in the modern (safety) equivalent of a buckboard with an airplane motor strapped into it. Granted, there was not much for him to hit out there, but one tire blowout and he was history.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A recent post on Boing Boing featured this clip of swing drummer Viola Smith, one of the earliest female professional drummers. A little more research revealed that this film was part of Warner Brothers' "Melody Masters" film series, which consisted of big band musical film shorts. Released from 1931 to 1947, they were essentially swing music videos. Think early MTV (back when it played music videos) meets Jimmy Dorsey. In this particular short, released in 1940, Viola Smith was playing with Frances Carroll and the Coquettes, an all girl swing orchestra.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014
As noted by Paleofuture, train travel after World War II was the classy, luxurious way to get around. General Motors explored this concept in the Train of Tomorrow, which made a 28 month tour of the U.S. and Canada after the war. The post includes some great scans of a color brochure about the train.
Friday, May 9, 2014
This encore from 2011 features another one of those strange 1930s shorts. The references to dental hygene can be explained by the fact that a toothpaste company commissioned the cartoon, but even taking that into account, it is still a bit odd. Nevertheless, you have to love the chorus of "Sing, Sing, Sing" from the elves. From the Internet Archive, here is "Boy Meets Dog."
Thursday, May 8, 2014
The Golden Age blog has posted a series of those magazine covers, as well as a few ads for the radio show. I picked this one because it included the famous radio tagline "The Shadow knows."
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The Orpheum Theatre has announced its Summer Movie Series for 2014, and although there are a few more modern films in the line-up, there are still a some classics. Notably absent is Gone With The Wind because licensing of the film was suspended during its 75th anniversary. Casablanca returns, however, along with Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Wizard of Oz. One new classic in the series is The Little Princess, a 1939 film starring Shirley Temple at the height of her popularity and in Technicolor. The entire schedule is below.
- Friday, May 30 at 7:00 PM DOUBLE FEATURE: Night of the Living Dead and Zombieland
- Thursday, June 5 at 7:00 PM Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Friday, June 6 at 7:00 PM National Lampoon’s Vacation
- Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 PM DOUBLE FEATURE: Father of the Bride (1991) and Bridesmaids
- Friday, June 13 at 7:00 PM Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Thursday, June 19 at 7:00 PM Mamma Mia Sing-Along
- Friday, June 20 at 7:00 PM Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Thursday, July 10 at 7:00 PM Clue
- Friday, July 11 at 7:00 PM Office Space
- Wednesday, July 16 at 1:30 PM FAMILY MATINEE: Babe
- Thursday, July 17 at 7:00 PM The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along
- Friday, July 18 at 7:00 PM Labyrinth
- Thursday, July 24 at 7:00 PM Steel Magnolias
- Friday, July 25 at 1:30 PM FAMILY MATINEE: Shirley Temple in The Little Princess
- Friday, July 25 at 7:00 PM Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Thursday, July 31 at 7:00 PM Grease Sing-along
- Friday, August 1 at 7:00 PM The Princess Bride
- Friday, August 8 at 7:00 PM Jaws
- Friday, August 22 at 7:00 PM Casablanca
- Friday, September 5 at 8:00 PM The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Boing Boing posted this very early stop-motion animation film from 1930 starring Charlie Bowers. When he gets the idea to open a "flivver factory," he is using the contemporary slang term for a small, cheap automobile: a flivver. Very good animation for such an early film.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
After a quick glance, I was going to pass this one by until I saw the caped, green-headed dude with the blade and the swastikas. Who could resist a half-naked, swashbuckling Nazi goblin? Posted on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, we learn that the hero, Power Neslon, maintains a secret identity as Gene West, a radio announcer.