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  • Perhaps the best way to describe this short film is to label it "a star-studded 20 minutes." As a movie, it is reminiscent of the early 10-minute silent reels with goofy plots, only way less developed. Each scene is quickly abandoned in an effort to show as many well-known actors as possible. The story merely serves as an excuse to show off Hollywood's biggest stars, ranging from Joan Crawford to Laurel & Hardy. So have fun with it, and just be sure to pay attention or you'll miss a star!

    THE CAST (in order of appearance): Wallace Beery, Buster Keaton, Jack Hill, J. Farrell MacDonald, Edward G. Robinson, George E. Stone, Eddie Kane, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Allen 'Farina' Hoskins, Matthew 'Stymie' Beard, Norman 'Chubby' Chaney, Mary Ann Jackson, Shirley Jean Rickert, Dorothy 'Echo' DeBorba, Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins, Pete the Pup, Polly Moran, Norma Shearer, Hedda Hopper, Joan Crawford, William Haines, Dorothy Lee, Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen, El Brendel, Charles Murray, George Sidney, Winnie Lightner, Fifi D'Orsay, Warner Baxter, Irene Dunne, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Richard Dix, Lowell Sherman, Claudia Dell, Eugene Palette, Stuart Erwin, 'Skeets' Gallagher, Gary Cooper, Wynne Gibson, 'Buddy' Rogers, Maurice Chevalier, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Loretta Young, Richard Barthelmess, Charles Butterworth, Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon, Frank Fay, Barbara Stanwyck, Jack Oakie, Fay Wray, Joe E. Brown, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Little Billy Rhodes, Mitzi Green.
  • "The Slippery Pearls", also called "The Stolen Jools", is a short comedy that is worth watching for the star power alone. It's amazing how many movie greats appear in just 20 minutes, from silent film legends to some of the (at the time) youngest stars in Hollywood.

    The actual story, an investigation of the theft of Norma Shearer's jewelry at a big party, is just a device to give a "detective" a reason for talking to all these celebrities. There are a fair number of decent gags, but the humor is not nearly as noteworthy as the great cast. Watch it and see how many luminaries you can spot.
  • Ron Oliver30 December 2004
    A dogged police inspector searches Hollywood for THE SLIPPERY PEARLS purloined from Norma Shearer.

    Several of Tinseltown's brightest talents donated their time to this fund-raiser for the National Variety Artists Tuberculosis Sanitarium located at Savanac Lake, New York. Funds would be solicited from theater patrons after viewing this 20 minute short, which was ironically sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes. Distributed by Paramount Studios, some of the stars are embarrassingly bad in their tiny roles. The comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey come off by far the best, although one wishes one could see more of Maurice Chevalier, Laurel & Hardy and the Our Gang kids.

    This little film is sometimes shown under its alternate title of THE STOLEN JOOLS (1931).

    The closing credits obligingly give a cast list, particularly helpful in identifying the celebrities of yesteryear who've faded into obscurity:

    At The Police Station: Wallace Beery, Buster Keaton, Jack Hill, J. Farrell MacDonald, Edward G. Robinson & George E. Stone.

    The Law: Eddie Kane, Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy.

    At The Victim's House: Our Gang's Allen 'Farina' Hoskins, Matthew 'Stymie' Beard, Norman 'Chubby' Chaney, Mary Ann Jackson, Shirley Jean Rickert, Dorothy 'Echo' DeBorba, Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins & Pete the Pup. Also Polly Moran, Norma Shearer & Hedda Hopper.

    Tête-à-Tête: Joan Crawford & William Haines.

    On The Porch Swing: Dorothy Lee.

    At Breakfast: Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen & El Brendel.

    In The Hotel: Charles Murray, George Sidney, Winnie Lightner, Fifi D'Orsay, Warner Baxter (as the Cisco Kid) & Irene Dunne.

    At Lunch: Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey.

    In The Movie Studio: Richard Dix, Lowell Sherman & Claudia Dell.

    The Newsmen: Eugene Palette, Stuart Erwin, 'Skeets' Gallagher, Gary Cooper, Wynne Gibson & 'Buddy' Rogers.

    The Detective: Maurice Chevalier.

    Under The Tree: Douglas Fairbanks Jr. & Loretta Young.

    At The Car: Richard Barthelmess.

    At The Gate: Charles Butterworth.

    Couples At Home: Bebe Daniels & Ben Lyon, Frank Fay & Barbara Stanwyck.

    In A Movie Scene: Jack Oakie & Fay Wray.

    In A Beard: Joe E. Brown (unbilled).

    In The Projection Room: George 'Gabby' Hayes & Little Billy Rhodes.

    Solving The Mystery: Mitzi Green.

    An interesting comparison with THE SLIPPERY PEARLS is MGM's THE Christmas PARTY, released the same year and with some of the same cast (Norma Shearer, Polly Moran, Wallace Beery). In half the time and with much better production values, it presents a rapid succession of some of MGM's biggest stars playing themselves in a Christmas greeting to their fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is another film where you get some kind of trivia question that seems unusual:

    Name the film that had a cast including Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Hedda Hopper, Fay Wray, Polly Moran, Maurice Chevalier, William Haines, Wallace Beery, Gary Cooper, Edward Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Frank Faye, Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen, Richard Dix, Richard Barthelmess, Charles Butterworth, Buster Keaton, Gabby Hayes, "Our Gang", Mitzi Green, George E. Stone, Wheeler and Woolsey, El Brendel, Jack Oakie, Joe E. Brown, Laurel and Hardy, Eugene Palette, Stu Erwin, and Skeets Gallagher.

    It is THE STOLEN JOOLS (also called THE SLIPPERY PEARLS). It was a specialty little film done for charity by Chesterfield Cigarettes in 1931. It is a relatively minor comedy - and it is it's stars and some of the humor they bring to it, that make it worth watching today. A bit better planning about the material and maybe the film would be worth real revival on television or by movie societies.

    Plot Summary:

    Norma Shearer threw a big Hollywood party at her home for a charity, and during it her pearls were stolen. We learn it was Eddie Robinson and George E. Stone who stole them, but the pearls were stolen from the thieves. Robinson and Stone report the theft from them to a bemused Wallace Beery (more interested in writing a film script than in pursuing criminals, despite being a police sergeant). He sends for Buster Keaton (his assistant) to get the police out. The investigator is Inspector (Eddie) Kane - who goes to the Shearer mansion with his two best men (Stan and Ollie - whose car falls apart when they arrive). The rest of the film follows Kane's questioning all the prominent guests, with varying degrees of success due to their cleverness or density. The end result is Kane finds the stolen jewels when the party who took them from Robinson and Stone confesses.

    The film had vast potential, but like so many "let's stuff the film with stars" ideas, the appearance of the stars out stripped the actual result. Like those World War II all star war-effort films, the idea sounds appealing, but the results are less so.

    Laurel & Hardy; Wheeler & Woolsey; Beery (with or without Robinson and Stone); Stanwyck with her then husband Faye (and Kane); Irene Dunne (all too briefly); Palette, Erwin, Gallagher, and Cooper; Our Gang, all have the best moments in the film. Kane (a useful character actor, but nothing really special) does happen to prove funny as the struggling detective. But the fact is that the material is so slap-dash it is not really memorable at all. Stan and Ollie drive Kane to Norma Shearer's mansion - and their car collapses. Kane asks them to wait for him. As he walks away, Ollie hits Stan on the shoulder and says, "Didn't I tell you not to be so fast on that last payment?" Cute bit, but not one of their high points. Wheeler and Woolsey are in a diner watching Kane (disguised as a counter man. They don't trust him, but Bert is unwilling to leave without a cup of coffee (he is sitting in back of a mountain of empty coffee cups - the best sight gag in the film, and probably not noticed by most viewers). They end up in a slapping situation with Kane over remarks that Bert said that Robert told him to say. Kane finally asks if they've ever done this before. Woolsey says, "Yeah, in RIO RITA!".

    That happens to be the most interesting aspect of THE STOLEN JOOLS: the topical references to Hollywood in 1931. William Haines is in a sequence as a friend of Joan Crawfords. Still a recognized leading man in 1931, Haines retired soon after because he was coming out of the closet as a gay man, and would soon have a successful career with his boyfriend as interior decorators and furniture designers in Hollywood. Beery's involvement with Listening to robbers Robinson and Stone (who, remember, actually did steal the pearls from Shearer) is a reference to Robinson's first big role (shared in many scenes with Stone) in LITTLE CAESAR. George Sidney is with his film partner Charles Murray, who appeared as the warring heads of the mixed couple marriage in THE COHENS AND THE KELLY series. Mitzi Green was a popular young child actress in that period, and the "Our Gang" group includes Norman Chaney (soon to be replaced by the better remembered Spanky MacFarlane. Lowe and McLaglen are with a female extra in a restaurant (run by El Brendel as waiter) and obviously dressed as Quirt and Flagg from their "What Price Glory?" series - in fact McLaglen gets upset finding that Lowe went with the girl to Shearer's party the night before! The soon to be over marriage of Frank Faye and Stanwyck is referred to as currently existing in their scene.

    By the way, Dunne and Stanwyck do the best comic performances of the regular stars among the females - Dunne describing the missing item, but claiming she never saw it, and Stanwyck reciting an awful poem she wrote, and getting rewarded by Kane (with Faye's approval) for reciting it. The best of the regular actors who appeared was probably Beery, who is barely concerned at news that Los Angeles is burning as he concentrates on his writing. Warner Baxter does a nice trip on his Cisco Kid performance flirting with his Spanish accent to Fifi D'Orsay with her French accent. When Kane demands of Baxter if he attended the Shearer party and danced, Baxter says, "Excuse me, I do not dance English!".

    It needed a major script rewrite - but it's best moments are cute enough.
  • 20 minute short film PACKED with some of the biggest film stars of the day. The premise is that at a major Hollywood party Norma Shearer's jewels are stolen. A detective interviews all the stars who were at the party. Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford and best buddy William Haines, Buster Keaton....and so many more stars. The story is not too funny, and in some cases not very well acted, case in point look at Norma Shearer herself, but if you are able to find this on VHS or DVD I suggest you watch it.
  • This little number is quite unique! It almost serves as a trailer for every film made by the majors in 1931. If you see this, you will see virtually every major and minor star of the era in a sort-of non musical "all-star" picture which was formerly very popular in the early sound days. It is quite fun to see the stars from MGM, Paramount, Columbia and RKO all together in this melange. Some of the artists do no more than appear for a split-second on camera, but the intent seems to be to sandwich as many recognizable stars as possible into this, a 20 minute short film, underwritten by Chesterfield cigarettes to benefit tuberculosis research! It is fascinating to see "screen snap shots" of some famous Hollywood couples of the day, such as Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay, and Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyons. Norma Shearer has the biggest part, and she seems to be enjoying herself in this little film. You also get a glimpse of Joan Crawford and her best friend, gay film star William Haines. I got this film a few years ago for next to nothing as part of a 3 disc set of silent and early sound movie classics in a dollar store. At a dollar a disc for the set, it has a lot of fascinating entertainment for the price.
  • I just caught this old thing as an add-on for Dementia 13 on Haunted Hollywood (A light night movie program that shows here in Dallas). It wasn't quite the laugh riot it was intended to be, but there were several moments worth catching. Laurel and Hardy, for example, as 2 detectives that mistakenly make a final payment on their car. There was a funny bit with someone I thought was George Burns, but have found that it actually was someone else I don't know. Don't look for a solid story line, rather expect a series of gags, skits and one liners, not all of which hit the mark.. When you have half of Hollywood out for cameos, that's about all one can expect.
  • Those of us who are stargazers will be suitably impressed by The Stolen Jools, originally entitled The Slippery Pearls. Just about all the studios lent some of their best contract players out for this 20 minute short subject.

    I can't really describe a plot because there isn't one here. It begins with Wallace Beery as a police sergeant getting the call among others and the fun just starts from there. When you get Edward G. Robinson and George Stone reprising their characters from Little Caesar, when you get Wheeler and Woolsey, Laurel and Hardy, and the Little Rascals all doing a bit of shtick, and such beauties as Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford and so many more just walking, what's to complain?

    The short was actually shot at Paramount, there seems to be a tilt toward Paramount players, but only slightly and it was to benefit the National Variety Association tuberculosis sanitarium in Saranac Lake, New York. Back in the day that was a favored location for those who contracted TB.

    Just sit back and stargaze.
  • "The Stolen Jools" boasts more prominent stars than have ever appeared before in a single feature, which may be true. Dozens of stars appear, all too briefly, in an under 20-minute search for actress Norma Shearer's lost jewels. We begin on a balmy summer evening in Hollywood, as blustery police chief Wallace Beery receives notification of area crimes. A short appearance by Buster Keaton is followed quickly by Laurel and Hardy becoming involved in the fun. The camera next find Ms. Shearer at her house, with various guests. An extensive cast list follows the film, though it notably leaves out the likes of Joe E. Brown.

    Sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes, this short film helped raise money to fight tuberculosis.

    Eddie Kane is the main investigator. Box office pals Joan Crawford and William Haines are among the first suspects. Obviously, they didn't do it. Warner Baxter does his Oscar-winning "Cisco Kid" characterization. Small parts are played by Irene Dunne, Richard Dix, Gary Cooper, Buddy Rogers, Maurice Chevalier, Douglas Fairbanks, and Loretta Young. Richard Barthelmess and Charles Butterworth appear, but not "under the tree." Married couple Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon are seen at home, as are the alter-bound Frank Fay and Barbara Stanwyck, she reading a rather silly poem. Many others appear, with young Mitzi Green finally ending the mystery.

    ***** The Stolen Jools (4/4/31) William C. McGann ~ Eddie Kane, Norma Shearer, Wallace Beery, Mitzi Green
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Rating this short film is almost impossible, as it isn't exactly a film but was created by Chesterfield Cigarettes as a fund raiser for a TB clinic (now that's irony). It was created using celebrities from all the major studios and dozens of the biggest stars of the day make cameos. The problem is that the plot is paper thin and it's really just an excuse to show the celebrities--sort of like the movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", but the cameos are far shorter in "The Stolen Jools". Most of them are only mildly interesting--mostly because the shortness of the film doesn't allow for lengthy segments. Among the most interesting was the one with Laurel and Hardy (I love that exploding car gag), but so many stars of the day appear that it's hard to remember all of the vignettes.

    This isn't a great film and lacks a decent plot, but for lovers of old Hollywood, this is a must. And, if you do watch, print up the IMDb list of stars--it's in the order of appearance and is a real help in identifying them all.
  • Comedy short made for charity, notable for the cast of big names. Someone has stolen Norma Shearer's jewels at the annual Screen Stars Ball. The investigation leads us through a variety of stars playing bit parts. That's pretty much the whole plot. The stars include Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Laurel & Hardy, the Our Gang kids, Loretta Young, Buster Keaton, Wallace Beery, Joe E. Brown, the aforementioned Norma Shearer, and many others. The purpose of the short was to raise money for the N.V.A. Tuberculosis Sanitarium. It's amusing although each star's bit is disappointingly brief. It's certainly interesting for classic film fans. But it's pretty much just empty fluff. Don't expect to laugh your socks off.
  • Believe it or not, this unique all-star comedy short was financed by a tobacco-producing company in aid of charity! Practically everybody who was anybody in Hollywood circa 1931 puts in an appearance here during its mildly enjoyable but thoroughly fascinating 18-minute run: seasoned copper Wallace Beery sending rookie Buster Keaton to patrol the streets of L.A., detective team supreme of Laurel & Hardy arriving on the scene of the titular crime (belonging to Norma Shearer, no less) and having their car disassemble itself right there and then, Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe (in character as Flagg and Quirt) waited on by Swede El Brendel at a restaurant, Warner Baxter (again in character as The Cisco Kid – for which he was awarded an Oscar in 1929) flirting with the ladies, gangsters Edward G. Robinson and George E. Stone hiding out in a hotel lobby, Richard Dix and Irene Dunne – whom I have just seen teamed up in CIMARRON (1931) – being questioned by a nosy investigator, editor Gary Cooper ordering reporter Eugene Palette about, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. taking a stroll with Loretta Young, a rare peak at the home of newly-weds Frank Fay and Barbara Stanwyck (of whom, incidentally, I have just acquired a handful of rare movies)…plus Richard Barthelmess, Joe E. Brown (donning a false beard), Maurice Chevalier, Joan Crawford, Jack Oakie, Wheeler & Woolsey (whose brief bit here made me want to watch more of them), etc.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Made by arrangement with Chesterfield Cigarettes, this 1931 film short was produced to solicit contributions to the National Variety Artists fund for tuberculosis research. I'm no spring chicken myself, but I could only identify a handful of the players here without the cast list, folks like Edward G. Robinson, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, and a trio of the Little Rascals, Stymie, Farina and Chubby. The better surprise is catching future stars that were completely unrecognizable, at least to me, such as Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Fay Wray, Douglas Fairbanks and Loretta Young. Interestingly, I was able to pick out Joe E. Louis, even with a fake beard, but was completely fooled by someone I was sure was George Burns, cigar and all. Billing itself as the greatest collection of stars ever to appear in one place at one time, "The Stolen Jools" was nominally a detective story attempting to find out what happened to Norma Shearer's valuables which disappeared at a movie celebrity ball. Mitzi Green solves the mystery by fingering E.G. Robinson and George E. Stone for the heist, but it was all done in good fun for a worthwhile cause. A must see for old time film fans for the celebrities alone, but that's about as much as you get.
  • This short to benefit a TB hospital sponsored by a cigarette company should be a good indication that things are going to be slightly off-beat. The lighting is somewhat inconsistent, a problem with a lot of early films up through the 1930s.

    This short has brief appearances by major stars (either at the time, recent past, or soon to be) - Wallace Beery, Buster Keaton, Edward G. Robinson, Laurel & Hardy, the Little Rascals, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Wiliam Haines (career about to end in pictures due to his being an openly gay man which was not approved by Louis B. Meyer), Warner Baxter, Irene Dunn, Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Loretta Young, Bebe Daniels, Barbara Stanwyck, Jack Oakie, Fay Wray, and Gabby Hayes. There's also some actors who weren't as big, such as Wheeler & Woolsey - a comedy team that had one of the better bits in a diner, Richard Dix, Richard Barthelmess, Charles Butterworth, Eugene Palette, and Mitzi Green, who played many young girl parts, such as Becky Thatcher to Jackie Coogan's Tom Sawyer in a couple of films.

    There's not much of a plot - just a theft of Norma Shearer's jewels by Edward G. Robinson and George E. Stone, which are then stolen by Mitzi Green. Inspector Eddie Kane is driven to the scene of the crime by Laurel & Hardy and basically then has a 1 or 2 sentence dialog with almost all of the other actors.
  • My main reason for watching 'The Slippery Pearls' (or 'The Stolen Jools') was for comedic geniuses Stan Laurel and Oliver Laurel in my project of watching all their filmography other than the ones already watched. Also like a lot of the celebrities featured here and the title was appetising.

    While by no means a misfire, 'The Slippery Pearls' was something of a disappointment. It is a long way from awful with enough enjoyable elements to make it watchable. It is just very difficult to rate, have not seen much recently that has conflicted me more than 'The Slippery Pearls', mostly have found myself loving something, liking something with reservations, not caring for something though with its moments and hating something but this is a case of neither being the case.

    'The Slippery Pearls' is moderately fun. There were a lot of familiar faces and some are delightful. Especially Edward G. Robinson, Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy (the funniest). Parts are very amusing and well timed, also easy to recognise.

    It looks good and 'The Slippery Pearls' is seldom dull.

    However, for a celebrity-guess-who effort to work it is kind of essential to be familiar with everybody featured. Unfortunately there were some unfamiliar faces so their material was lost on me on top of not being particularly funny in the first place. Got the sense that 'The Slippery Pearls' was too short for so many celebrities being featured, and also the sense of there being too many faces and their appearances often being far too brief.

    The story is paper thin with a nice premise but not enough story content. It felt more like an excuse to include as many celebrities as possible, maybe to cover up that there was little to the story. The direction is far from amateur but it's uninspired and undistinguished, the appearances that do work are down to that those that appear are too good at what they do.

    Overall, difficult to rate but interesting curio, curiosity value being the main reason to see it. 5/10 Bethany Cox
  • This 20-minute short has 60 cameo appearances by leading actors and actresses of 1931. They came from all the major Hollywood studios. A thin plot about tracking down jewel thieves is the vehicle to bring this mega cast together. The film was made as a fundraiser for the National Vaudeville Artists Tuberculosis Sanitarium.

    The major sponsor for the film was Chesterfield Cigarettes. All the actors took part for no fees. It was shown in theaters across America with whatever feature film was showing at the time. At the close of the film, theater ushers collected donations from the public to support the TB center.

    There would be little reason to watch or keep this film, but for its historical value and the appearances of many early Hollywood stars. The cast runs from Warner Baxter to Loretta Young. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy lead the list of comedians. Among the best known and most famous of the cast are Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, Barbara Stanwyck, Fay Wray, Buster Keaton, E.G. Robinson, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    TB was a deadly, infectious lung disease that killed more than 1.5 million Americans before 1950. That's when the cure, streptomycin, became widely available. After that, the iron lung respirators became all but obsolete. Only a few were known to exist well into the 21st century. They are used in treatment of some people with polio. They developed that disease before it was all but eradicated after vaccine cures were found in the mid and late 1950s.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This 19-minute short, made for medical charity purposes with the co-operation of a cigarette company (!), can also function as a trivia quiz to determine just big a movie buff you are. Do you recognize Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton? You're still a beginner. How about Wheeler & Woolsey or Loretta Young? You're moving on to the advanced class. Any luck with Wallace Beery, Stuart Erwin or Winnie Lightner (who has a sexy shower scene)? Congratulations, you have a diploma! To be honest, the film is not especially funny, and some of the stars (at least in this version currently in circulation) just appear for a few seconds and don't do much, but it's fascinating anyway, and a collector's item for sure. **1/2 out of 4.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Norma Shearer's party is interrupted by the theft of her valuable jewels, and all the guests are questioned, which includes some of the greatest stars of the early 1930's, some of them playing their popular detective characters of the time. Something tells me that many of these stars didn't know each other, but gathering them altogether in a short is quite a feat, even if it was basically a publicity stunt. But when you've got Winnie Lightner (in the bathtub, singing her famous song about bating from "Show of Shows"), Wheeler and Woolsey (repeating their slapping gag), the married couple of Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay (with Stanwyck playing quite a fictional, dizzy version of herself), Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, Our Gang, Mitzi Green, Laurel and Hardy, William Powell, Warner Oland, Gary Cooper, among others, you've got a sight for delighted sore eyes trying to catch a glimpse of everybody. There's still a ton of actors that most people have never heard of, but this makes an interesting introduction to their styles, many dated, but much of it classic. Unassociated with a major movie studio, this is "Paramount on Parade" meets "Show of Shows" meets "The Fox Movietone Follies" meets "Hollywood Revue" minus the musical numbers.
  • gmoore4413 November 2005
    Just saw this, on a VHS collection titled Hollywood Comedy Classics. It was fun, to spot all the famous stars, and with it being just past the end of the silent era, lots of well known silent stars were there. Buster Keaton, Stan Luarel, Oliver Hardy and Harold Lloyd were easy to spot. Also saw Wallace Beery, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford. Also noticed Joe E. Brown, not because I knew him by sight, but his voice I knew from the movie "Some Like It Hot". He played the character of Osgood Fielding III, the older wealthy gentleman that was pursuing Jack Lemmon when he was in drag! The plot device is just something to hand the movie on, but it is well worth your time. If you are good at spotting Hollywood stars, keep your eyes open for this one!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Stolen Jools" is an American black-and-white film from 1931, so this one had its 85th anniversary last year and it is a 20-minute short movie from the early days of sound. You may have read about the cause in the plot summary and I agree that it is a somewhat honorable one, but this does not make it a good movie. I think the only way to enjoy this one is basically if you are a gigantic film fan of the 1930s and recognize all the actors working in here and they sure were the elite and among the most known people from show business back then. Let me just mention the Rascals and Laurel and Hardy, but there are many more and you can check the cast list to see who exactly participated. But this is also the problem. the sheer quantity of stars pressed into a film of under a third of an hour means that pretty much everybody does not have the material to shine really, neither in terms of quantity, nor in terms of quality. So this is maybe actually a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth and this could also refer to the amount of directors working on this one here. Yes it is nice that you see all those famous people if you recognize them, but this is really the only reason. The plot just isn't memorable at all and I give it a thumbs-down. Not recommended.
  • This fairly lame two-reel comedy is an early example of an all-star cast, although even by Hollywood standards the cast can be described as stellar. Many of them will be unfamiliar to viewers who aren't knowledgeable about classic Hollywood flicks from the twenties and early thirties, but for those of us who are familiar with that era the film will serve up a few surprises and give us the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of near-forgotten stars of the past such as Billy Haines who, if I remember correctly, was the first openly gay actor in Hollywood (needless to say, this distinction and the fact that he was a self-destructive hedonist, did his career absolutely no good whatsoever, and probably goes some way to explaining why he is forgotten today.) Here he shares a scene with Joan Crawford, already a Hollywood fixture by then but still looking incredibly young.

    The film was financed by Chesterfield (the cigarette people) for the NVA, and is really little more than a series of twenty second gags, each one featuring a couple of stars. Most of the gags are fairly unfunny – although Laurel & Hardy's collapsing car gag is a highlight – but it's still a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era, and a clue as to who was considered hot and who – by their absence – was, perhaps, not back in 1931.
  • 20 minute short film PACKED with some of the biggest film stars of the day. The premise is that at a major Hollywood party Norma Shearer's jewels are stolen. A detective interviews all the stars who were at the party. Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford and best buddy William Haines, Buster Keaton....and so many more stars. The story is not too funny, and in some cases not very well acted, case in point look at Norma Shearer herself, but if you are able to find this on VHS or DVD I suggest you watch it.
  • This is an incredibly simple movie with almost no-story present in it. The movie really feels like a lame excuse to show off with all of the stars that are present in the movie.

    Most of the stars play themselves in this movie. Some of them are in it for about 5 seconds. It's ridicules! Yet in a way it also makes the movie irresistible to watch for the movie nut, like myself.

    The movie really features some great big stars of its period but also lots of one-day-fly's. no one now would had ever heard of. Big stars in this movie are Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Laurel & Hardy, 'Our Gang', Buster Keaton, Irene Dunne, Gary Cooper, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Fay Wray, among others. Amazing the amount of celebrities present in this movie, yet only the comical actors feel really at place in it.

    The story is far from entertaining and the movie really relies on the purely the performances of the actors to make the movie work out entertaining. It has a couple of laughs and good one-liners as a result.

    The movie succeeds in some parts but also fails at others. It makes the movie an unbalanced one, though it still remains a perfect treat to watch to those who are familiar with most of the celebrity names attached to this movie.

    6/10

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    The aim was obviously to cram in as many stars as possible, using Eddie Kane (our favorite head waiter, though he sometimes played detectives as here) as link man. The plot is paper thin, the continuity (doubtless the result of often forcedly haphazard shooting) somewhat jerky (there seems to be at least one small bit of footage missing from all the present DVD prints in the Maurice Chevalier cameo which ends abruptly almost as soon as it starts).

    McGann's flat (and no doubt hasty) direction also ensures that much of the comedy misfires. One often has the impression that all these famous stars are lending their names and talents to an amateur production or home movie. Still, this only adds to the fun. No-one is on-screen long enough to become boring, whilst many of the stars still shine so brightly one wishes they could stay longer. And there are some surprises too. The usually obnoxious William Haines comes across quite agreeably, a clean-shaven and well-spoken George Hayes will be unrecognizable to most of his fans, the personable Frank Fay seems rather unnecessarily nasty to a frumpish Barbara Stanwyck (no wonder their marriage ended in divorce), and Victor McLaglen's name is correctly pronounced the Irish way: "McLocklen."

    P.S. I was right. Chevalier originally sang a few bars of "It's a Great Life If You Don't Weaken". I also notice that this was one of the few shorts reviewed by The New York Times. Multiple prints were made so that the short could be exhibited simultaneously at most of Broadway's cinemas in early April 1931. At the end of the sketch, Bert Lytell made an on-screen pitch for audience donations. This plea was evidently removed from prints when the present end titles were added in the 1940s.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    You may have picked up from the other reviews that this was sponsored by Chesterfield Cigarettes to raise money for, not cancer research, but TB research. Surprise, surprise. The viewer is challenged to spot the stars, for his or her own amusement. I spotted three, which is therefore my rating for this effort. Those three were Laurel, Hardy and Edward G Robinson. They are physically unforgettable. I don't think I recognised any of the others, although I've seen a lot of films. They all looked so young. I think I did also spot Joe E Brown, although I've only seen him in one film. You know the one I mean. I don't think he deserves another rating star, though.
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