22 February 2016 | redryan64
Small Screen vs. Big Screen
WELL NOW, JUST where do we start? This episode of the MC DOAKES Series may well be dated in many respects, but so what? It's now over 62 years old. That's to be expected. While lacking all of the modern amenities that we now expect, the short is energetic and is an excellent vehicle for taking us back to those "innocent" 1950's. (a time which a "Baby Boomer" such as Schultz and me can recall quite well)
THE OPENING SCENE and central premise are all too true in their presentation of "how things were." From the cessation of hostilities in both Europe (V E Day) and in the Pacific rim (V J Day) until the mid '50's the knew medium of television finally emerged and took center stage. It had been waiting patiently in the wings all during World War II, but it gave the impression that it had emerged magically from nowhere in 1945. (actually the first commercial TV stations of the U.S. were licensed in 1940, with those in the U.K. having preceded them by few years)
NOW, GETTING BACK to this short, it was perhaps the most "lavish" Mc Doakes installment in some time. Number of cast members, complex shooting of what are supposed to be television programs and old movies would most likely have been too costly for a one reeler movie short. So, what happened? Well we'll never tell. Watch it and see! BUT, BEFORE WE sign off for the night, let us make just a few more observations about this edition.
APPARERNTLY THE STUDIO felt that George O'Hanlon's stock had risen some; evidenced by his always getting credited for co-writing the shorts. There was also a "kinder and gentler" Joe depicted in the first title card following their sensational "Behind the 8 Ball" opening.
IT FEATURED AS w have already intimated, a large cast of supporting players. Phyllis Coates (Alice) and Rodney Bell (Marvin) were regulars. Additionally, we have Gail Bonney, Ralph Brooks, Steve Carruthers, Fred Kelsey (semi-regular), Jack Mower (also semi-reg) and Mabel Smaney (Marvin Wife # 2). Unusual participants included Phillip Van Zandt (from CITIZEN KANE and many others) and Pro Wrestler Tor Johnson (known in the Ring as "The Super Swedish Angel").
IN FURTHER CASTING, it presented us with a couple of other non roster players ("Uncredited" to you, Schultz!) in Miss Doris Day and Mr. Gordon Mac Rae. They were present to give a little publicity for their then current feature film, BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON; which just (not so) coincidentally was also from Warner Brothers.
AS AN ADDENDUM to what we thought was the final words, yet another observation struck us. Now the way that the new Television Set caused problems in the Mc Doakes household, as contrasted with the manner in which Joe's trip to the local movie house and relative peace, quiet and good fortune is portrayed; one would think that maybe the Brothers Warner were sending us a message about the movies being superior to the small screen in your living room.
NO, THEY WOULDN'T pull a stunt like that, would they, Schultz?