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  • Here's an early Pete Smith narrating credit, one of the "Fisherman's Paradise" series of shorts for MGM. It's a short subject showing some of the exotic fish on exhibit at the Steinhardt Aquarium in San Francisco. Smith's narration is reltively restrained for the sarcastic standards he would later maintain.

    Although nowadays most of these specimens are common to many a collector's tank -- the varieties end with goldfish -- this short is most noteworthy for the fact it is shot in some excellent two-strip Technicolor. That is, of course, largely of historical and technical interest these days; the introduction of three-strip Technicolor was just around the color, and a few years later, the Technicolor Corporation would introduce its monopack, making Technicolor production much easier -- although far more expensive than black & white, given the special equipment and higher film cost.
  • Color Scales (1932)

    ** (out of 4)

    Pete Smith narrates this "Fisherman's Paradise" entry from the MGM series. The short takes place at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco where we see a wide range of fish and sharks. Yeah, that's pretty much the entire story here as you probably aren't going to be overly entertained unless you have a real interest in fish. I think film buffs will mainly want to check this out for its early use of 2-strip Technicolor, which is certainly a major bonus since this is a film meant to show off the colors of fish. The print that was shown on TCM was a little dark but there was still plenty of detail in the colors and what really jumped off the screen were the orange and pink colors that really looked good. At least two dozen fish are highlighted here so if you're a fan of them then this here will be a must see. Smith, as you'd expect, gets a few jokes in but even his humor can't save this.