4 February 2016 | redryan64
Establishing A Definite Screen Persona.
BEING THE SECOND short from Warner Brothers/Vitaphone Corporation, it still was part of the "Hollywood Novelties" grouping; which was an umbrella title covering an anthology of comedy and musical shorts,. It wouldn't be for several more installments that the JOE Mc DOAKES series would show its worth and gain independent under the "behind the old 6 ball" opening.
MUCH AS IS the case with the Mc DOAKES shorts immediate ancestor on the evolutionary tree, the PETE SMITH SPECIALTIES, the movie is done in strict pantomime by Mr. George O'Hanlon and his cohorts. This was complemented by the voice over narration by dependable Art Gilmore.*
ONCE AGAIN WE are reminded of the great similarities to the MGM PETE SMITH Series with the treatment of subject matter. At this stage of the game, about half of Mr. Gilmore's off screen "lecture" was divided into equal parts of serious and comic send-up. It was a 50/50 deal.
AS FOR THE "Star", Mr. George O'Hanlon, he did a great job in expressing his anguish, difficulties and occasional triumphs in the silence. George could likely have been a success in the prior World of the Silent Screen. But he was able to skillfully develop his character and, much like Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, bring even greater and most appropriate a voice to future outings.
NOTE: * Art Gilmore had a long and multi-faceted career. He did radio acting and announcing, provided the voice for scores a film trailer (that's "Previews of Coming Attractions" to you, Schultz) and did TV acting. He did provide the voice impersonation for President Franklin D. Roosevelt at least twice; being in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and ACTION IN THE NORTH Atlantic. We of the "Baby Boomer" generation remember him as the longtime announcer for THE RRED SKELTON SHOW.